Dean of Humanities
Humanities Building 1
Humanities Dean's Office
Humanities Deans Office
I consider myself to be an interdisciplinary, community-engaged scholar and teacher of public history, the history of photography, and the history of Japanese Americans during World War II. The overarching theme that unites my scholarship is the struggle for human rights and civil liberties, with a focus on the United States from the 1940s through the present. As a historian of photography, my archivally-based research investigates the history of what I characterize as “the presumptive right to the camera.” With the proliferation and popularization of the camera and other forms of photography and image-making from the mid-nineteenth century into the present, the capacity to create and circulate visual images has come to be seen as a right, existing alongside or integral to other rights that are inherent to citizenship, including the right to free speech and the right to political representation. As with those other rights, the right to the camera has been contested and denied on multiple occasions throughout U.S. history. My scholarly work investigates these contests and explores their significance for the broader history of citizenship, race, and civil liberties. My public humanities projects include digital and physical exhibitions that seek to bring the history of Japanese American incarceration and civil rights struggles to public audiences, and K-12 students in particular.
My teaching, both face-to-face and online, has ranged from graduate seminars in the history of photography to undergraduate courses on the history of race in the United States. As I am trained as an art historian, my classroom experience started with large survey courses on nineteenth and twentieth-century European and American art, as well as smaller seminar style courses on documentary and contemporary photography. After joining a history department, I broadened my teaching repertoire considerably to teach public history, digital history, and historical methods in addition to other graduate and undergraduate courses. In my teaching, as in my research, I use interdisciplinary strategies to enable students to make new connections and think beyond departmental boundaries, making visual culture relevant to those outside of the field.