Christina M. Spiker

Christina M. Spiker

Art Historian | Professor | Digital Humanist

Article // The Indigenous Shôjo: Transmedia Representations of Ainu Femininity in Japan’s Samurai Spirits, 1993–2019 (Forthcoming)

CITATION

Spiker, Christina M. “The Indigenous Shôjo: Transmedia Representations of Ainu Femininity in Japan’s Samurai Spirits, 1993–2019.” Journal of Anime and Manga Studies 1. Forthcoming 2020.

ABSTRACT

TBD

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Presentation // Golden Kamuy and the Discourse of Ethnic Harmony: Defining a Multi-Ethnic Japan in Anime and Manga

CITATION

Spiker, Christina M. “Golden Kamuy and the Discourse of Ethnic Harmony: Defining a Multi-Ethnic Japan in Anime and Manga,” paper planned to be delivered at the 50th Annual Popular Culture Association Conference, Philadelphia (April 15-18, 2020). [CANCELLED DUE TO COVID-19]

ABSTRACT

The question of Japan’s status as a multi-ethnic nation has been intensively debated by scholars such as Tessa Morris-Suzuki since the 1990s. The development of a new national museum in Hokkaido dedicated to the indigenous Ainu minority called The Symbolic Space for Ethnic Harmony (民族共生象徴空間, or Upopoy in the Ainu language) has renewed many of these debates on the eve of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. While many scholars, such as Morris-Suzuki, have discussed the concerns with this new contemporary site and the line between celebration and exploitation of indigenous culture, these perspectives have not adequately addressed the role of popular visual culture in spreading an ideology of ethnic harmony in relation to Japan’s indigenous minorities. My paper addresses this issue in a case study of the popular visual cultural representation of the Ainu in the historical manga and anime Golden Kamuy (manga 2014-; anime 2018-) by Noda Satoru. I argue that the way that this show introduces Ainu culture to a non-Ainu majority is in line with many of the issues we see playing out in the political sphere regarding the tension between Ainu recognition by the Japanese government and the government’s unwillingness to take responsibility for past colonial aggressions. In conclusion, by examining Golden Kamuy we can begin to acknowledge the role of visual culture in informing a widespread understanding of indigeneity as we approach the Tokyo Olympics and the torch relay race that will go through this new ethnic museum and park in Hokkaido, Japan.

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Course // Global Japan: Art, Anime, & Visual Culture (St. Catherine University)

COURSE INFORMATION

Global Japan: Art, Anime, & Visual Culture
ARTH 2994 | St. Catherine University

DESCRIPTION

This course considers the global trajectory of Japanese art and visual culture from 1945 to 2016. From sushi to karaoke to martial arts, Japanese goods have permeated US markets. This class seeks to understand this phenomenon in the realm of art and visual culture through the analysis of diverse material including advertising, animation, comics, film, graphic design, installation, mascot culture, painting, photography, popular music, and street fashion. Grounded in art historical and visual studies methods, with supplementary readings from anthropology and media studies, this class will investigate issues such as the overlap between comics and contemporary art; Japanese and American approaches to animation; and the influence of Japanese graphic design on product packaging. The course will proceed thematically to address issues of nationalism, race, gender, domesticity, consumer culture, subculture, environment, minority representation, and the post-human through lecture and discussion, individual and group work, and film and video screenings. Our goal will be to critically interpret the role of Japanese art and visual culture in an increasingly interconnected world.

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Course // Visual Culture in Modern Japan (St. Olaf College)

COURSE INFORMATION

Visual Culture in Modern Japan
ART 276 | St. Olaf College

DESCRIPTION

Explore Japan through the mass production, distribution, and consumption of Japanese visual and popular culture. Students will learn how to analyze a diverse array of visual material—architecture, advertising, animation (anime), art, comics (manga), digital idols, film, graphic design, mascot culture, music, and video games. In discovering the popular construction of “Japaneseness,” the course will proceed thematically to address issues of nationalism, race, gender, domesticity, consumer culture, subculture, environment, and Japan’s relationship with its minorities from 1950 to 2015. Using methodologies from visual studies, media studies, art history, film studies, and anthropology, the goal of this course will be to rethink Japan as a site of local and global pop culture flows.

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Course // Godzilla to Hello Kitty: Japanese Popular Culture (UC Irvine)

COURSE INFORMATION

Buddhist Art & Architecture
FILM & MEDIA STUDIES 160 / ART HISTORY 150 | University of California, Irvine

DESCRIPTION

Explore Japan through the mass production, distribution, and consumption of Japanese popular culture. Students will learn how to analyze a diverse array of visual material-architecture, advertising, animation (anime), art, comics (manga), digital idols, film, graphic design, mascot culture, music, and video games. In discovering the popular construction of “Japaneseness,” the course will proceed thematically to address issues of nationalism, race, gender, domesticity, consumer culture, subculture, and Japan’s relationship with its minorities from 1950 to 2012. Using methodologies from media studies, film studies, art history, and anthropology, the goal will be to rethink Japan as a site of local and global pop culture flows from Godzilla to Hello Kitty.

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