Big Read Events

Between October 2019 and March 2020, numerous events will take place at Seattle Pacific University and Highline College. See descriptions, locations, and times and dates below.

Register for the online author event

The NEA Big Read: King County event with New York Times bestselling author and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient Julie Otsuka, originally scheduled on the Highline and Seattle Pacific campuses for March 9, will take place online Tuesday, May 19, 7–8:15 p.m. via Zoom. 

The event will be hosted by Tom Ikeda, executive director of Densho, a local nonprofit preserving and sharing the history of the World War II incarceration of Japanese Americans.

Know someone interested in World War II history, local history, or reading and discussing great books? Share this information.

Seattle Pacific sponsored events

Autumn Quarter 2019

SPU Field Supervisor Meeting
Thursday, September 19
SPU School of Health Sciences Building Room 213

Emily Huff, director of field placements, will share information with university supervisors of SPU students about Big Read events. Supervisors will pass along information of events to mentor teachers and SPU students. (Open only to SPU field supervisors.)

SPU Day of Common Learning
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Cremona 201, SPU campus

Presenters include Lorraine Bannai, director of the Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality and professor at Seattle University School of Law, and Tom Ikeda, founding executive director of Denshō, will share local memories of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

ACSI 2019 Professional Development Forum
Thursday, October 17, 2019
Time (TBD)
Christian Faith School
33645 20th Ave. S., Federal Way, Wash.

A Big Read Discussion using a critical literacy lens.

COM 4607: Communication Seminar “Rhetoric of Dissent”
Autumn Quarter 2019
SPU campus

Professor of Communication Bill Purcell and his students will spend at least one class session studying the case of Gordon Hirabayashi, a UW student who refused internment laws in 1942. (Open only to students in COM 4607.)

Winter Quarter 2020

EDRD 3517: Young Adult Literature
Winter Quarter 2020
SPU Campus

In a course taught by Kristine Gritter, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, students will read Internment by Samira Ahmed, a dystopic novel that focuses on internment of Muslim Americans. (Open only to students in EDRD 3517.)

Faculty Life Office Book Club
January 23
3–4:30 p.m.
Library Seminar Room

Discussion of When the Emperor Was Divine facilitated by Kristine Gritter, professor of curriculum and instruction.

Immigration and Restriction: Chinese Exclusion, Japanese Internment, and Today’s Borders
Thursday, February 6, 2020
11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Eaton Hall 112

Sponsored by the SPU History Department and presented by Bill Woodward, professor emeritus of history.

Japanese Internment Remembrance: A Service of Lament
Tuesday, February 18, 2020
11 a.m.–12 p.m.
Upper Gwinn Commons

SPU takes up this critical practice of lament, with the knowledge that this heart-posture is essential for reconciliation and the restorative work set before us.

Does the U.S. torture? Lessons from Japanese Internment to Guantanamo Bay
Thursday, February 20, 2020
11:15 a.m.–12:15 p.m.
Eaton Hall 112

Sponsored by the SPU History Department and presented by Alissa Walter, assistant professor of history.

Kent: Teachers-Community Members Big Read Discussion
Saturday, February 22, 2020
2 p.m.
Kent Library
212 2nd Ave. N., Kent, Wash.

David Denton, associate professor of education at SPU, will lead a discussion with teachers and community members about local history presented in When The Emperor Was Divine.

Des Moines: Teachers-Community Members Big Read Discussion
Monday, February 24, 2020
7 p.m.
Des Moines Library
21620 11th Ave. S., Des Moines, Wash.

Kristine Gritter, professor of curriculum and instruction, will lead a discussion about When the Emperor Was Divine, trying on a lens of critical literacy to critique power dimensions at work with race and social class.

Burien: Teachers-Community Members Big Read Discussion
Thursday, February 27, 2020
7 p.m.
Burien Library
400 SW 152nd St., Burien, Wash.

Pete Renn, assistant dean of certification programs and director of SPU's Center for Professional Education, leads a discussion about forms of resistance during the internment, Japanese internment survivors, and resistance within internment camps.

Playreading of Hold These Truths by Jeanne Sakata
Monday, March 2, 2020
7:30 p.m.
Studio Theatre, lower McKinley Hall

This is a one-man play about Gordon Hirabayashi, a Japanese American Quaker and University of Washington student, who refused the internment and refused to fight in World War II. 

POSTPONED: Author Reading with Julie Otsuka at SPU
Monday, March 9, 2020
7–8:30 p.m.
SPU Upper Gwinn

Julie Otsuka, author of NYT bestseller When the Emperor Was Divine discusses and reads from her book and will be asked questions by Tom Ikeda, founding executive director of Denshō.

Highline College sponsored events

Winter Quarter 2020

Never Again: Reflections on the Mass Incarceration of Japanese Americans During World War II
Monday, January 27
1:30–3 p.m.
Highline College Building 2
2400 S. 240th St., Des Moines, Wash.

This panel discussion will feature experts on the Japanese American internment, including Rachel Endo, author of The incarceration of Japanese Americans in the 1940s : literature for the high school classroom, and dean of the college of education at the UW-Tacoma campus; Sarah Mattox, mezzo-soprano and composer of Heart Mountain Opera (an opera based on Japanese American internee writing and poetry); Bill Woodward, SPU professor emeritus of history; and former Highline faculty member Mira Shimabukuro, who’s now associate dean for diversity and equity in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at UW Bothell and the author of Relocating Authority: Japanese Americans writing to redress mass incarceration.

Lunchtime Book Discussion 
Monday, February 24, 2020
12:30–2 p.m.
Highline College, Mt. Constance room, Building 8 Student Union
2400 S. 240th St., Des Moines, Wash.

Bring your lunch and join Highline students, faculty, staff, and community members to discuss the Big Read book, When the Emperor was Divine.

POSTPONED: Meet Author Julie Otsuka at Highline
Monday, March 9, 2020
1:30–3 p.m.
Highline College, Building 7
2400 S. 240th St., Des Moines, Wash.

Julie Otsuka, author of NYT bestseller When the Emperor Was Divine, discusses and reads from her book.