College Writing R4B: "Images of History"

Bears in History

The Forgotten Impact of the Japanese American Internment at UC Berkeley

Acrylic Laser Cut Images

Left to Right - Monroe Deutsch, Miné Okubo, Yoshiko Uchida

About the Course Assignment

With the Creativity Discovery Grant from the Art + Design Program at UC Berkeley, the class endeavored to create a project that brings awareness and visibility to the Japanese American internment, an event that is often brushed over in history classes or lost in the context of World War II. Particularly, they sought to make it clear that there were over 500 UC Berkeley students who were forcibly removed from campus and interned, preventing them from finishing their degrees completely altering their lives. Collectively, the class created life sized acrylic images of three Cal bears in history and created Spark presentations featuring historical context and biographical information about each of the figures.

Everyone who I have shown the project to has been utterly flabbergasted by the result of a bunch of young scholars and a little less than $1,000. Looking at all the amazing work we have done together makes me incredibly happy, to think all our efforts came together so beautifully and resulted in such an amazing product.

“Bears in History” Website and Acrylic Images

The students collectively decided to work on creating life-sized acrylic images that would be placed in locations on UC Berkeley’s campus where the figures commonly worked or studied to raise visibility for the impacts and legacy of Japanese incarceration during World War II. Additionally, the class wrote historical and biographical context for each figure that is contained in the website and Spark presentations.

pat steenland

Patricia Steenland

Lecturer, College Writing

I needed convincing that multi-modal assignments allowed students to learn as much from, and go into as much depth, as written analysis. [This program] answered these concerns by allowing me to experiment in the classroom with new visual media as a platform for exploring ideas.
Patricia Steenland