Date of Award

Summer 8-2-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program




Major Professor

Elizabeth Steeby

Second Advisor

Doreen Piano

Third Advisor

John Hazlett


In “‘Bury Your Head Between My Knees and Seek Pardon’: Gender, Sexuality, and National Conflict in John Okada’s 1957 novel, No-No Boy,” I analyze the ways in which the complexities of gendered sexuality expressed by protagonist Ichiro Yamada intersect with post-World War II and Internment-era national identifications for American nisei. I demonstrate that this apparent story of one man’s pursuit to resolve his conflict over national identity is, in reality, a tour de force of literary subversion that not only destabilizes the subterfuge that surrounded internment but also—in its deliberate failure to resolve questions of national conflict on the basis of masculine and heterosexual norms—encourages skepticism about the larger structures of order that allowed internment to happen.


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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.