Publications

Research by FASA members

Japanese Americans at Heart Mountain: Networks, Power, and Everyday Life (2022)
Saara Kekki

On August 8, 1942, 302 people arrived by train at Vocation, Wyoming, to become the first Japanese American residents of what the U.S. government called the Relocation Center at Heart Mountain. In the following weeks and months, they would be joined by some 10,000 of the more than 120,000 people of Japanese descent, two-thirds of them U.S. citizens, incarcerated as “domestic enemy aliens” during World War II. 

Heart Mountain became a town with workplaces, social groups, and political alliances—in short, networks. These networks are the focus of Japanese Americans at Heart Mountain.

Interconnections between people are the foundation of human societies. Exploring the creation of networks at Heart Mountain, as well as movement to and from the camp between 1942 and 1945, this book presents a detailed look at the formation of a society within the incarcerated community, specifically the manifestation of power, agency, and resistance. Using historical “big data” drawn from the War Relocation Authority and narrative sources, including the camp newspaper Heart Mountain Sentinel, I created a dynamic network model of all of Heart Mountain’s residents and their interconnections—family, political, employment, social, and geospatial networks. For all the inmates, life inevitably went on: people married, had children, worked, and engaged in politics. Because of the duration of the incarceration, many became institutionalized and unwilling to leave the camps when the time came. Yet most individuals took charge of their own destinies despite the injustice and looked forward to the day when Heart Mountain was behind them.

The study of Japanese American incarceration remains relevant for its implications for debates over immigration and assimilation. Japanese Americans at Heart Mountain presents an opportunity to reconstruct a community created under duress within the larger American society, and to gain new insight into an American experience largely lost to official history.

Up in Arms: Gun Imaginaries in Texas (2022)
Edited by Benita Heiskanen, Albion M. Butters, and
Pekka M. Kolehmainen

Up in Arms provides an illustrative and timely window onto the ways in which guns shape people’s lives and social relations in Texas. With a long history of myth, lore, and imaginaries attached to gun carrying, the Lone Star State exemplifies how various groups of people at different historical moments make sense of gun culture in light of legislation, political agendas, and community building.

Beyond gun rights, restrictions, or the actual functions of firearms, the book demonstrates how the gun question itself becomes loaded with symbolic firepower, making or breaking assumptions about identities, behavior, and belief systems. 

Contributors include: Benita Heiskanen, Albion M. Butters, Pekka M. Kolehmainen, Laura Hernández-Ehrisman, Lotta Kähkönen, Mila Seppälä, and Juha A. Vuori. More information here.

Amerikan Yhdysvaltojen Historia (2022)
Ari Helo

Teos kattaa länsimaiden keskeisimmän valtiomahdin historian aina siirtokuntakaudesta Yhdysvaltojen nykypäivään. Maan merkitystä talous- ja sotilasmahtina täydentää sen asema kulttuurin suurvaltana. Yhdysvaltalaisen tieteen saavutukset, kirjallisuus, kevyen musiikin rikas perinne, Hollywood-elokuvat tai vaikkapa Walt Disneyn satuhahmot tunnetaan kaikkialla maailmassa. 

Jo vuoden 1776 itsenäisyysjulistuksessa amerikkalaiset sitoutuivat länsimaisiin kansanvallan ja tasa-arvon periaatteisiin. Kaikki vähemmistöt saivat kuitenkin äänensä kuuluviin vain pitkällisten poliittisten taisteluiden myötä. Orjat vapautettiin vasta verisen sisällissodan jälkeen. Rotukysymyksestä, työväen oikeuksista, aborttioikeudesta ja seksuaalisten vähemmistöjen oikeuksista kiistellään yhä. 

Maan menneisyyttä värittävät vahvasti poliittinen väkivalta ja lukuisat sodat. Siirtokunta-ajan sotia seurasivat itsenäisyyssota, suuret intiaanisodat ja lännen valloitus, maailmansodat, Vietnamin sota sekä monet muut konfliktit ‒ aina Irakin ja Afganistanin sotiin ja Ukrainan sodan luomaan uuteen geopoliittiseen asetelmaan saakka.

Poliittisen historian ajankuvaa täydentää joukko alansa johtavien asiantuntijoiden teema-artikkeleita:

“Yhdysvallat ja luonnonsuojelu” (Mikko Saikku)

“Amerikkalainen pragmatismi” (Sami Pihlström)

“Yhdysvaltojen kirjallisuus” (Bo Pettersson)

“Amerikkalainen elokuvateollisuus” (Kimmo Laine)

Teoksen kirjoittaja, Ari Helo on filosofian tohtori ja aatehistorian sekä Pohjois-Amerikan tutkimuksen dosentti. Hänen aiempia teoksiaan ovat Thomas Jefferson’s Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2013), Yhdysvaltain demokratian synty (Gaudeamus, 2014) ja History, Politics, and the American Past(Routledge, 2020).

The Man Who Started the Civil War: James Chesnut, Honor, and Emotion in the American South (2022)
Anna Koivusalo

In the predawn hours of April 12, 1861, James Chesnut Jr. piloted a small skiff across the Charleston Harbor and delivered the fateful order to open fire on Fort Sumter―the first shots of the Civil War. In The Man Who Started the Civil War, Anna Koivusalo offers the first comprehensive biography of Chesnut and through him a history of honor and emotion in elite white southern culture.

Koivusalo reveals the dynamic, and at times fragile, nature of these concepts as they were tested and transformed from the era of slavery through Reconstruction.

Best remembered as the husband of Mary Boykin Chesnut, author of A Diary from Dixie, James Chesnut served in the South Carolina legislature and as a US senator before becoming a leading figure in the South’s secession from the Union. Koivusalo recounts how honor and emotion shaped Chesnut’s life events and the decisions that culminated in the cataclysm of civil war. Challenging the traditional view of honor as a code, Koivusalo illuminates honor’s vital but fickle role as a source for summoning, channeling, and expressing emotion in the nineteenth-century South.