Date of Award

1-1-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Anthropology

First Advisor

Bonnie Clark, Ph.D.

Keywords

Amache, Japanese American Internment, Object Agency, Object Biography

Abstract

This project investigates the meaning of Japanese American families' personal possessions associated with internment through the concepts of object biography and object agency. It uses material culture analysis to help anthropologists understand the Japanese American internment experience, specifically through a case study at Amache, the Japanese American internment camp in southeastern Colorado. Five semi-structured phone interviews, and one structured email interview, are the primary data used to explore the importance of material culture associated with the site and to help preserve the cultural heritage of Amache. Object agency and object biography are key components of the new material culture theory. In this project, object biography concerns how examining different meanings, values, uses, and contexts over time can help anthropologists better understand the Japanese American internment experience. Object agency involves analyzing the relationship between former internees' families and their personal possessions. One of the crucial ways to investigate this concept is understanding why museum donors decided to donate their family items to a museum. It also involves why objects were donated specifically to the Amache museum, instead of to other museums that have Japanese American collections. This thesis suggests there are multiple patterns and themes in the relationships between museum donors and their objects that relate to the Japanese American internment experience.

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Provenance

Received from ProQuest

Rights holder

Rebecca Michele Cruz

File size

174 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Museum Studies, Cultural Anthropology

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