When it opens this month, "Pearl Harbor" may be the most publicized film of the year and one of the most costly in Hollywood history. The movie also promises to open issues about World War II history, the depictions of Japanese Americans and the cultural meaning of Pearl Harbor itself. The following UC Davis scholars can help shed light on these issues: INTERPRETING THE ATTACK
Many people have learned about Pearl Harbor's history by visiting the Navy's commemorative sites in Pearl Harbor -- the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, the U.S.S. Utah Memorial and the Ford Island battleship memorials. Carole Blair, professor of American studies, has conducted ethnographic research at those sites and writes about the ways in which the American public has chosen to interpret the Dec. 7, 1941, attack.
Media contacts: Carole Blair, UC Davis Washington Center, (202) 296-8221, firstname.lastname@example.org; Susanne Rockwell, News Service, (530) 752-9841, email@example.com
TACTICAL SUCCESS, STRATEGIC DISASTER
Kathryn Olmsted, a faculty member in the UC Davis Department of History, specializes in 20th century intelligence history. According to Olmsted, Army and Navy commanders at Pearl Harbor ignored numerous warnings about an imminent Japanese attack on U.S. forces somewhere in the Pacific. Ironically, the battle was a tactical success for the Japanese but also a strategic setback because the surprise attack awakened the United States from its isolationist slumber. Media contacts: Kathryn Olmsted, History, (530)753-1271, firstname.lastname@example.org; Susanne Rockwell, News Service, (530) 752-9841, email@example.com
HOW ASIAN AMERICANS WERE AFFECTED
Thomas Joo, acting professor of law, teaches and writes about race relations and Asian American legal history. He can talk about how the American legal system treated Asian Americans as foreigners during World War II. This made it easy for other Americans to view Japanese Americans as enemies after the Pearl Harbor attack, and thus led to the internment of Japanese Americans. He can also talk about how the view of Asian Americans as foreigners continues in modern legal events, for example in the Wen Ho Lee case.
Media contacts: Thomas Joo, School of Law, (530) 754-6089, firstname.lastname@example.org; Julia Ann Easley, News Service, (530) 752-8248, email@example.com
HISTORY, RACE AND CLASS BEHIND THE FILM
Kent Ono, an associate professor of American studies and Asian American studies, can talk about context for the movie in terms of historical representations, as well as international events relating to race, class, gender and sexuality. He is a widely published media critic and an analyst of film, television, print and cyberspace.
Media contacts: Kent Ono, American Studies and Asian American Studies, (530) 752-4901, firstname.lastname@example.org; Susanne Rockwell, News Service, (530) 752-9841, email@example.com