Fall 2021 Courses

“The Tokyo Idea: Visualizing a Global City”

Tokyo is the political, cultural, and economic center of Japan. It is currently home to 13.5 million people, one tenth of Japan’s population, with the Greater Tokyo metropolitan area housing over 37 million people. Since its founding 400 years ago as Edo, the castle headquarters of the Tokugawa shoguns, the city has been reinvented and reimagined multiple times—as the birthplace of Japan’s early modern urban culture, imperial capital for a newly created nation-state, center of modern consumer culture, site of urban protests and postwar democracy in action, and postmodern megalopolis.

The class will focus on the different portrayals of Tokyo over time and how the city has been imagined in art, architecture, literature, film, popular culture, and fashion from the end of the Edo period to the present day. It will examine the changes that took place as the city modernized in the late nineteenth century (Meiji period), became the center of modern urban life in the 1910s-30s (Taishō and early Shōwa periods), experienced catastrophic devastation twice, and rebuilt itself as the center of the country’s economic miracle in the postwar era (late Shōwa, Heisei, and Reiwa). Having endured political upheavals, fires, earthquakes, fire-bombings and unbridled development, Tokyo has always been a complex subject. We will use that complexity to engage in interdisciplinary and multimodal thinking. This class is discussion based. Class sessions will include close analysis of images, texts, and films.

Spring 2021 Courses

“Visualizing Cities” ARTHIST 382.01

Visualizing cities in theory and practice. Exploring digital and visual representation of landscapes, structures, environments, history, culture, architecture, events, and populations. Change over time, cultural heritage, possible futures, and alternate pasts from historical, cultural, documentary, and scientific evidence and archives. The idea of the city as a conceptual category and metaphor. Ubiquitous computing in urban environments as a medium for interaction. Global cities and diaspora. Visual imagery and written accounts. Use of mapping, imaging, 3D, augmented reality, games. Individual and group research and production of visualizing cities projects. Topics and temporal foci vary. Instructor: Stern, Szabo, Triplett