My name is Christina Spiker and I am a scholar of modern Japanese art and visual culture. I am currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. I received my Ph.D. in Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine under the direction of Professor Bert Winther-Tamaki. I hold an M.A. in Visual Studies from UC Irvine and a B.A. in East Asian Studies from Ursinus College.
My work is concerned with the histories and theories of globalization, modernity, travel, and exchange in modern and contemporary Japan. In my doctoral dissertation, I investigated the visual encounters between the indigenous Ainu in northern Japan and Euro-American/Japanese tourists, artists, and anthropologists at the turn-of-the-twentieth century. In my work, I pay close attention to the reproduction and circulation visual culture in media such as postcards, illustrations, and newspapers. I enjoy working with archival material in addition to experimenting in the digital humanities. These two pursuits may seem opposite to one another, but I see a challenge in finding new ways to engage with both my students and historical material by using the latest digital tools. My research interests mirror my personal interests, as I am an avid shutter bug with a serious case of Wanderlust. Recently, I have become interested in expanding my research in issues of representation to include more contemporary media, such as animation and video games.