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Researching and Teaching Japanese American Internment in Arkansas and Louisiana

Panel Discussion


This is a roundtable discussion for the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans and Japanese civilians deported from Latin America during the Second World War in Louisiana and Arkansas. Participants will discuss the Camp Rohwer and Camp Jerome Relocation Centers in Arkansas, the internment camp at Fort Livingston near Alexandria, Louisiana, the Algiers Immigration Station in New Orleans, and the many challenges of researching, teaching, curating exhibits, and preserving these historic sites.

Asian American South 20th Century

Session Participants

Stephanie Hinnershitz, Air Command and Staff College

Chair; Panelist

Stephanie Hinnershitz is Senior Historian at the Institute for the Study of War and Democracy at the National WWII Museum.

Hayley Johnson, Louisiana State University


Hayley Johnson is the head of Open Scholarship and Government Publications at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Her research interests include collaborative partnerships in academia, information literacy, civic engagement, and social justice. She has previously published on the use of social media during the Standing Rock protests and has received grant funding to pursue research into the linked histories of Japanese American and American Indian military service during World War II. With her research partner, she has been unearthing the civilian internment of Japanese men during World War II in Louisiana culminating in a forthcoming book titled Beneath Heavy Pines In World War II Louisiana: The Japanese American Internment Experience at Camp Livingston with Lexington Books. Outside of her own research, Hayley continues to promote the use of government information as an essential tool in the research process.

Dr. Adam Long, Arkansas State University


Dr. Adam Long is the executive director of Arkansas State University’s Heritage Sites. This program preserves four historic sites of national significance in the Arkansas Delta region, including the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum (Piggott), the Southern Tenant Farmers Museum (Tyronza), the Lakeport Plantation (Lake Village), and the Historic Dyess Colony: Johnny Cash Boyhood Home (Dyess). Dr. Long is also the administrator of Crowley’s Ridge Parkway and a member of the Arkansas Delta Byways regional tourism association board.

Dr. Long holds a Bachelor of Arts from Lyon College, a Masters from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, and a Doctorate from the University of Kansas. His specialty is American literature, particularly the writing of the American modernists, including Faulkner and Hemingway.

Dr. Greg Robinson, Université du Québec À Montréal


Sarah Simms, Louisiana State University Libraries


Sarah Simms is the Undergraduate & Student Success Librarian at LSU. She and her research partner, Hayley Johnson, have been working to uncover the history of Japanese alien internment at Camp Livingston in central Louisiana during World War II. With Johnson, she has written articles, spoken at TEDxLSU, and written a manuscript on the subject. This history has led them both to be advocates for social justice - especially in libraries, the classroom, and advocating for the inclusion of historically excluded voices in the historical conversation. When not researching this history, Simms teaches information literacy at Louisiana State University and collaborates with faculty to embed the concepts of understanding information and its use in various aspects of the curriculum across campus.