History Internship for 2014-2015

January 24, 2014

"Ain't this the cutest little feller?" writes Gail

The Center for the Study of Pacific War Memories is seeking a student intern for the 2014-2015 academic year. The selected intern will assist with The Gail Project and participate in the Chancellor's Undergraduate Internship Program (CUIP).

CUIP provides on-campus internships in programs and departments throughout the campus. Interns work with a mentor to develop personal and professional skills, and take a leading role in producing projects in their internship. A two-unit leadership seminar class is required for fall, winter and spring quarters. A stipend of $8,200 dollars is paid towards the intern’s registration fees for the academic year.

The application deadline is Thursday, February 13th, 2014 by 5 pm. Be sure to allow yourself plenty of time to apply! Learn more and apply online, here

What is The Gail Project?

In 1952, U.S. Army dentist Dr. Charles Eugene Gail was posted to Okinawa to manage a hospital. An avid amateur photographer, Gail took every opportunity he could find to roam the Okinawan countryside with his Leica camera. Through his lens he developed a real affinity for the people of Okinawa, creating compelling images of their relationships, of the work of daily life and of a landscape he likely did not know was about to disappear under the blades of bulldozers, making was for a massive expansion of American bases only two years later.

Gail’s photos capture a moment in time at the early stage of the emerging postwar relationship between Americans and Okinawans. Using these photos as a portal, the students of Alan Christy’s seminar on Okinawan History at UC Santa Cruz, are embarking on this unique public history project to uncover the stories behind Dr. Gail’s photos, as well as personal histories of others who experienced the changing atmospheres of postwar Okinawa. Through this research, we seek to approach both history and education from new and interesting perspectives, ultimately revolutionizing the way we study and learn.

The photos currently reside in Special Collections at McHenry Library, thanks to a gift by Dr. Gail’s daughter, Geri Gail. Working with Geri, Christy and his students are creating an interactive exhibit that will debut in Santa Cruz in 2016, then travel to the Okinawa Prefectural Museum and Art Museum, then on to key sites in the Okinawan diaspora, including Osaka, Honolulu, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. As the exhibit travels, it will gather memories and impressions from visitors, adding deep layers of information and testimony. In the end, the exhibit will return to Santa Cruz to demonstrate what happens when student work is launched into the world as foundation for dialogue.