Contests over the Carceral Landscape: Space, Place, and Artifacts at the Manzanar National Historic Site
This chapter deals with the public memory of Manzanar internment camp as expressed in the internment narrative of the present-day exhibition in Manzanar National Historic Site’s visitor center and the rebuilt elements of the camp structures. Managed by the National Park Service and neglected until relatively recently, Manzanar raises important questions about its mission as a public immersive space, and the means of telling its wartime history to the general population. The chapter explores how the landscaping and reconstruction decisions on Manzanar National Historic Site influenced the public image of Japanese American internment and played into the “progressive” narrative of American history, ultimately minimizing the prominence of physical confinement, violence, and surveillance in the Japanese American internment experience.
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