Community Archaeology at Amache, Colorado's Japanese American Confinement Camp
Dr. Bonnie Clark
The forced removal and subsequent incarceration of over 120,000 people of American of Japanese descent during World War II is a pivotal incident in world history. The sites of this confinement are significant resources for both research about and re-engagement with this critical, yet shadowed experience. Since 2008, Dr. Bonnie Clark has led collaborative archaeological investigations at the site of Amache, Colorado’s War Relocation Authority confinement facility. In this talk, Clark will discuss the ongoing project, highlighting how archaeology, oral history, and historic documents combine to provide insights about the strategies of a confined people to reknit community and reclaim humanity.
Dr. Bonnie Clark is committed to using tangible history – objects, sites, and landscapes—to broaden understanding of our diverse past. She began her career as a professional archaeologist and now serves as a Professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Denver (DU), as well as the Curator for Archaeology of the DU Museum of Anthropology. She is the author or editor of numerous publications including Finding Solace in the Soil: An Archaeology of Gardens and Gardeners at Amache and On the Edge of Purgatory: An Archaeology of Place in Hispanic Colorado. Dr. Clark leads the DU Amache Project, a community collaboration committed to researching, preserving, and interpreting the physical history of Amache, Colorado’s WWII-era Japanese American incarceration camp (https://portfolio.du.edu/amache). In 2011, Dr. Clark’s work was recognized by her peers with the University of Denver’s Teacher/Scholar of the Year award and in 2021, she was the recipient of the State Honor Award from Colorado Preservation, Inc.