Associate Professor, Ethnic Studies

Office: 541-737-5743

Waldo Hall

Waldo Hall 256

2250 SW Jefferson Way

2250 SW Jefferson Way
Corvallis, OR 97331
B.A., Claremont McKenna College
Ph.D., SUNY at Stony Brook

Profile Field Tabs

Affiliated with: 
Sch Lang, Culture & Soc
Research/Career Interests: 

Patti Sakurai is an Associate Professor in the Ethnic Studies Department at Oregon State University where she has taught since the department's opening in the fall of 1996. Before coming to OSU, she taught in the Department of Asian American Studies at UC Santa Barbara, the English Department at Colorado College, and the Department of English at Emory University where she held a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her previous research includes Asian American literature of the 1960s and 70s, the WWII Japanese American internment, and race/gender in Asian American studies. Her current work focuses on pedagogical concerns in Ethnic Studies and the experiences of faculty of color at predominantly white institutions. She has also started to work in film, particularly community-based documentaries and experimental film.

Other Links

  • Teaching
  • Research and Awards
  • Professional Affiliations and Services


 Professor Sakurai teaches in the Asian American Studies portion of the Ethnic Studies curriculum; she also teaches a broad cross-section of comparative ethnic studies courses. The following are courses she has developed and offered at OSU:

  • ES 101 - Introduction to Ethnic Studies
  • ES 201 - Inventing Ethnic America
  • ES 231 - Asian American Studies: 1st and 2nd Generations¬†
  • ES 232 - The Asian American Movement
  • ES 233 - Contemporary Issues and Cultures in Asian America
  • ES 331 - Japanese Americans and WWII
  • ES 332 - Asian Pacific Americans and the Media
  • ES 334 - Asian American Literature
  • ES 354 - Literature of Ethnic Minorities in the United States
  • ES 437/537 - Gender Issues in Asian American Studies
  • ES 451/551 - Theories of Race and Ethnicity
  • ES 456/556 - Theories of Race, Class, Gender, and Sexuality
  • ES 457/557 - Literature by Women of Color in the United States

Research and Awards

Professor Sakurai, trained in literature studies, has also turned her attention to film and video production. Recent work includes:

  • In Wind and Sand: Landscape and the Reading of Gila River Internment Camp. Finding Our Place: A Cultural Ecology of the Far West.Ed. Judith Li, under review with Oregon State University Press.
  • Railroads, Lumber, Factories and Silicon: Asian and Pacific Islanders Working in Oregon. Mosaic: A Multicultural History of Oregon. Ed. Jun Xing, et al. To be submitted to Oregon State University Press. (in progress)
  • Shanghai Tunnels (experimental documentary exploring Portland's underground tunnels and the questionable reliability of historical knowledge/documentation), Fall 2004.
  • "Threads" (A film on the social/cultural/political significance of clothing in the U.S.) Summer 2003
  • Patti Sakurai, co-editor, Documentary for Gabriela (a human rights organization whose current campaign focuses on the trafficking of women and children from the Philippines).

Professional Affiliations and Services

  • Production collective for APA Compass, a monthly Asian Pacific American radio show on KBOO
  • Member, MELUS
  • Videographer, Editor and Consultant, Sisters in Action organizational film project, Portland