Research

  • November 2, 2017
    by Christina

    Special Collections, St. Catherine University Library I feel like I keep saying this a lot, but I’m often surprised about the treasures that are hidden in plain sight. When I first arrived at St. Kate’s, Heather Carroll, a graduate student in the Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) Program, told me that we had a few Japanese prints hidden in the library’s Special […]

  • September 11, 2017
    by Christina

    For curious eyes, I just published a brief essay titled “Should You Pull?: Gachapon, Risk, and Reward in Mobile Gaming” with First Person Scholar. I’m trying to historicize plastic capsule toy vending machines in Japan, or gachapon, while also thinking forward to their application in mobile games as a monetary model. The essay brings together cultural history with some examples of application where the […]

  • The summer is off to a fantastic start! It has been hard to get my head into writing, so I’ve thrown my effort into developing a new online resource using ArcGIS and the StoryMap feature that they offer for free. It isn’t live yet, but I’m close… I have some experience working with the basic functions of mapping in ArcGIS through the Traveling Hokkaido project. […]

  • November 4, 2016
    by Christina

    It is hard to believe how quickly autumn as come — it feels like  yesterday that I was just getting settled into this office. Our campus is positively gorgeous at this time of year, and I take every opportunity that I can to set foot outside of the brutalist concrete of the Visual Arts Building to soak in the color of the changing leaves. […]

  • August 24, 2016
    by Christina

    The greatest part of moving to St. Paul thus far has been the sheer amount of local antique and thrift shops. I love antiquing because of the treasures you unexpectedly come across. A while ago, I posted about two Ainu nipopo dolls that I stumbled across in an Orange County shop. Although I will never again be so lucky, it is surprisingly easy to […]

  • May 28, 2016
    by Christina

    This paper is a bit of a “break” from my recent research on visual and material culture in the late Meiji period. I will be chairing a panel at Console-ing Passions (International Conference on Television, Video, Audio, New Media and Feminism) on Japanese visual culture, with papers presented by Colleen Laird from Bates College (“Screened and Not Heard: The Transnational Treasure Text of Kikuchi Rinko”), and […]

  • I am thrilled to present some of the work I’ve been doing on Japanese artist Kondō Kōichiro at the Art Historians of the Twin Cities symposium this April 2nd (Saturday). I’ll be exploring the work of Kondō Kōichiro, who traveled to Hokkaido in 1917 and depicted the Ainu in the village of Shiraoi in manga caricatures published the same year in the Yomiuri Newspaper. […]

  • October 18, 2014
    by Christina

    My childhood in Pennsylvania was filled of memories of antique shops, flea markets, auctions, and estate sales. I think it was somewhere between the rows of old objects that I discovered a love of history and a passion for the hunt. I vividly remember summer Saturdays, watching the world fly by from the passenger seat of my mother’s car. It lacked air conditioning and […]

  • Welcome message at the Hokkaido Old Government Building
    October 19, 2013
    by Christina

    Leaves are just starting to change on the Hokkaido University campus. This post is long overdue, but greetings from Hokkaido, Japan!  I was barely back in California for two weeks after researching at the Smithsonian before I re-packed my bags for a year of research abroad. I am very fortunate to be the recipient of a University of California Pacific Rim Research Program Advanced Graduate […]

  • August 14, 2013
    by Christina

    Sometimes research takes you in surprising directions. I started my day by perusing Birds of Japan (1880) by T.W. Blakiston (a famous naturalist/businessman who discovered the Blakiston’s line — a zoo-geographical boundary demarcated by the Tsugaru Strait that separates the Siberian avifauna of Hokkaido from that of Honshu). Somehow, through a strange twist of sources, I ended up absorbed by the otherworldly illustrations of […]

Christina M. Spiker | Research
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