Christina M. Spiker

Christina M. Spiker

Art Historian | Professor | Digital Humanist

Presentation // Western Women and the Poetry of Crepe-paper Books (Kanagawa University, Yokohama)

CITATION

Spiker, Christina M. “Western Women and the Poetry of Japanese Crepe-Paper Books” (西洋女性とちりめん本の詩について), invited paper delivered at the Japanese Crepe Paper Books and Girl’s Culture Exhibition and Symposium (「ちりめん本と女性の文化」展覧会・シンポジウム), Kanagawa University, Yokohama, Japan (November 24, 2018).

ABSTRACT

Coming Soon

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Guest Blog // Generation Wipeout (w/ Kristen Galvin)

CITATION

Galvin, Kristen and Christina M. Spiker. “Generation Wipeout,” part of “Beyond Survival: Public Support of the Arts and Humanities” in Art Journal Open (October 25, 2018).

INFORMATION

The original call was cosigned by Sarah Kanouse (Northeastern University), Catherine Morris (Brooklyn Museum), Mimi Thi Nguyen (University of Illinois), and Jeremy Liu (Creative Ecology Partners).

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Presentation // The Shôjo and the Indigenous Body: Representations of Ainu Woman in Japan’s Samurai Spirits, 1993-2008

CITATION

Spiker, Christina M. “The Shôjo and the Indigenous Body: Representations of Ainu Woman in Japan’s Samurai Spirits, 1993-2008,” paper delivered on the “The Shôjo Body as Indigenous, Ubiquitous, Balletic and Beautiful” panel at the 67th Annual Midwest Conference for Asian Affairs (MCAA), Metropolitan State University (October 19-20, 2018).

ABSTRACT

With the 2014 release of Never Alone (Kisima Inŋitchuŋa), a puzzle-platformer developed by Upper One Games in conjunction with the Alaskan Cook Inlet Tribal Council, academics and gamers alike have begun to examine the potential for video games to explore native culture as a form of both entertainment and interactive storytelling. In Japan, where its indigenous Ainu minority was recognized as recently as 2008, the relationship between the Japanese and Ainu population remains strained. This paper investigates the role of representation in creating an accessible version of indigenous culture repackaged for the Japanese mainstream. Focusing on Ainu sisters Nakoruru and Rimururu who are featured prominently in the fighting game Samurai Spirits (1993–2008), this paper examines battling indigenous shōjo heroines as virtual ambassadors of culture. While these two characters are marked as Ainu through their clothing and relationship with nature, their indigenous identity is often secondary to their portrayal the shōjo, or “young girl” archetype. In conversation with the work of Sharalyn Orbaugh, this paper questions how the archetype of the “busty battlin’ babe” translates when dealing with the bodies of Ainu women. I argue that Ainu-ness is represented as a form of narrative excess that the character can don as a costume and remove just as easily. By analyzing Nakoruru and Rimururu’s official representation in the franchise, in addition to fan interpretations as presented in self-published comics (dōjinshi) and the erasure of their Ainu backstory upon import to the United States, this paper negotiates various representations of indigenous Otherness against the backdrop of Japanese racism and indigenous activism in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

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Course // All Art is Propaganda: Visual and Scientific Perspectives on Persuasion (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

All Art is Propaganda: Visual and Scientific Perspectives on Persuasion
HONORS 4990 | St. Catherine University
Co-taught with Gabrielle Filip-Crawford

DESCRIPTION

Building on an edited volume of George Orwell’s writing titled “all art is propaganda,” this course will explore the art and psychology of advertising, propaganda, and other persuasive visual media. Combining methods of scientific and visual analysis, students will investigate how both historical and contemporary images are constructed and consumed. In learning to apply psychological theories of influence, students should expect to engage with diverse media including contemporary art, political advertisement, public service announcements, military propaganda, cartoons, caricature, product advertising, and branding. Upon completion, students will have the tools to be critical consumers of art and visual culture.

Image Credit: (top) Cliff Chiang, Untitled (He Can’t Do it Alone), 2010. Originally made for Star Wars Galaxy Series 5, a series of Legends trading cards by Topps.

Image Credit: (bottom) Aleksandr Rodchenko, “Books,” 1924. Poster.

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Course // The Reflective Woman (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

The Reflective Woman: Scholars, Artists, Thinkers, Writers
CORE 1000W | St. Catherine University
Co-taught with Cecilia Konchar Farr, Hella Cohen, and Monica Rudquist

DESCRIPTION

The Reflective Woman (TRW), the first course in the Catherine Core Curriculum, provides a common touchstone experience for all entering students at St. Kate’s. Our main objective will be to examine together what it means to be a “reflective woman”—to know yourself, to integrate the knowledge you have, to seek new truths, to encounter art and perceive beauty, to live in communities, and to quest after a good life.

Image Credit: Patricia Olson, Details of selected paintings from The Catherine Portrait, 2008-2011. Oil on canvas.

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Course // Buddhist Art & Architecture (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

Buddhist Art & Architecture
ARTH 2994 | St. Catherine University

DESCRIPTION

This course explores Buddhist art and architecture of South, Southeast, and East Asia. Proceeding both regionally and thematically, we will examine how art and iconography responds to innovations in Buddhism, and how Buddhism itself changes to accommodate local tastes and stylistic preferences. This course will examine a variety of media such as temples, site-specific sculpture, zen ink painting, Chinese and Japanese gardens, and even contemporary comics. Aside from cultivating a general knowledge base of these features, this class should further a general appreciation for regional specificity in art and the major continuities and discontinuities in the Buddhist artistic canon as it moves through Asia. Class will consist of lecture, discussion, and kinetic/creative activities that are intended to further student understanding in a tangible way, such as practicing Japanese tea ceremony and creating a Tibetan sand mandala.

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Course // Art History: Ancient through Medieval (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

Art History: Ancient through Medieval
ARTH 1100 | St. Catherine University

DESCRIPTION

This course introduces the history of art from the prehistory through the Middle Ages. Beginning with the cave paintings of prehistoric France and Spain, this course surveys the visual arts and architecture of ancient Egypt and the ancient Near East, the Classical Greek and Roman worlds, and finally medieval Europe. This course also provides comparative global examples to understand Western movements in context. We will consider a variety of media (sculpture, pottery, wall painting, mosaics, and manuscripts as well as architecture) as meaningful expressions of their historical contexts.

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Course // Art History: Renaissance through Modern (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

Art History: Renaissance through Modern
ARTH 1110 | St. Catherine University

DESCRIPTION

This course introduces the history of art from the early Renaissance in Europe to the present in Europe and the U.S. It surveys the artists, architects, and art movements that constitute the canon of Western art since the Renaissance with an eye to examining how society influences artistic production. The role of patronage, individual artistic personalities, religion, war and peace, and attitudes about gender are explored throughout and compared across geographic boundaries. This course provides comparative global examples to understand Western movements in context. The basic principles of visual analysis are taught and utilized; students are also introduced to fundamental methods of art history such as iconography, formalism, and social art history.

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