In the aftermath of Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor and the systematic exile and incarceration of thousands of Japanese Americans, the National Japanese American Student Relocation Council was born. Created to facilitate the movement of Japanese American college students from concentration camps to colleges away from the West Coast, this privately organized and funded agency helped more than four thousand incarcerated students pursue higher education at more than six hundred schools during WWII.
Allan W. Austin’s From Concentration Camp to Campus examines the Council's work and the challenges it faced in an atmosphere of pervasive wartime racism. Austin also reveals the voices of students as they worked to construct their own meaning for wartime experiences under pressure of forced and total assimilation. Austin argues that the resettled students succeeded in reintegrating themselves into the wider American society without sacrificing their connections to community and their Japanese cultural heritage.