Major Transitions: Filed, Moved, and Starting at St. Olaf College

Me and my awesome advisor, Bert Winther-Tamaki

As I rounded the final stretch of my dissertation, life didn’t give me much opportunity to come and update this blog. It has certainly been a time of major transitions for me, both personally and professionally. I am jazzed to report that my dissertation, Ainu Fever: Indigenous Representation in a Transnational Visual Economy, 1868 – 1933, has been filed with the University of California, Irvine for Ph.D. in Visual Studies. This closes a long and important chapter of my academic life! After so many years of research–both in the United States and Japan–it is hard to believe that the 300+ page document is finally wrapped up. Dissertations are works-in-progress in so many ways, and I look forward to seeing the new ways that it will evolve in the coming years… But for now, I plan on enjoying the huge wave of relief!

This is a photograph of “Old Main” at St. Olaf College. It reminds me so much of Akarenga in Sapporo.

But perhaps more crucial than the dissertation, I accepted a position as a visiting assistant professor. We arrived here in Northfield, MN after an arduous road trip across the country and I am thrilled to call St. Olaf College my home for 2015-2016. I will be teaching four courses here: History of World Architecture (Fall 2015), History of Photography (Spring 2016), Arts of Japan (Spring 2016), and Visual Culture in Modern Japan (Spring 2016). I’m currently putting together the syllabus for World Architecture which will be a fun, but challenging, topic to cover in a semester.

I will certainly miss many aspects of academic life at UC Irvine, but I’m ready for a new adventure. Although I’m not totally convinced that I can survive without easy access to Japanese food… Time to flex by culinary creativity here in Minnesota!

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