Christina M. Spiker

Christina M. Spiker

Art Historian | Professor | Digital Humanist

Mechademia 2019; Queer(ing) Through the Fetishized Body

I couldn’t be more thrilled to take part in the 2019 Mechademia, which has the theme of Queer(ing) this year. My paper will take some of the previous work I’ve done on the Ainu video game character Nakoruru from Samurai Shodown to explore ideas of fetish with the indigenous body in doujinshi. I’m still refining the paper, but excited to see how it turns out. Our panel was convened by Frenchy Lunning and it is cross-disciplinary bringing together scholars from art history and literature from both Macalester and St. Olaf College. If you are in the Twin Cities, it is a conference well worth participating in. The atmosphere is incredibly constructive and curious. And there is a fashion show. Yes.

Here is the information on our panel:

September 28th, Session IV, 4:30-6pm

Panel 10: room 450
Queered Through the Foreign, Fictional, and Fetishized Body
Frenchy Lunning, convener and discussant

 

Queer Desire for the Black Body in Ôe Kenzaburô’s “Prizestock”
Arthur Mitchell, Macalester College

The “Nakoruru Problem”: The Malleable Ainu Image in Samurai Shodown, 1993-2019
Christina Spiker, St. Olaf College

Virility, the “Coolie,” and Control in Manchukuo: The Ambivalence of Chinese Masculinity in Japanese Photography, 1931-1940
Kari Shepherdson-Scott, Macalester College

“The Multiplicity of Queer Desire in Matsuura Rieko’s The Apprenticeship of Big Toe P
Joanne Quimby, St. Olaf College

Come join the festivities in Minneapolis from 9/27-9/29!

Nakoruru Mondai

Public Lecture on Ainu Representation @ Macalester (9/19)

I couldn’t be more excited to be delivering a public lecture at Macalester College on September 19th. If you are interested in blending Art History, Asian Studies, and Indigenous Studies, I encourage you to come. My talk is titled “Indigenous Modernity in Hokkaido, Japan: the Complexities of Ainu Representation in Photography and Illustration” and is sponsored by the departments of Art and Art History, Asian Studies, and the Office of Academic Programs. The talk arises out of research completed for my dissertation and figures who I continue to grapple with. In addition to exploring the dominant images that forged the Ainu stereotype in the Euro-American imagination, I will be examining how Ainu producers of image and text—such as Takekuma Tokusaburō and Katahira Tomijirō—engaged with these dominant representations. I feel that understanding the gradual development of optical consistency from photographs to the illustrations based on them can better illuminate the calcification of Ainu stereotypes at home and abroad, as well as expand our understanding of photography as a visual medium in Meiji and Taishō Japan.

For those interested:

Title: “Indigenous Modernity in Hokkaido, Japan: the Complexities of Ainu Representation in Photography and Illustration”

Location: JBD Lecture Hall, Campus Center, Macalester College

Time: 6-7:30pm (talk followed by Q&A)

Presentation at Art Historians of the Twin Cities Symposium

art_history_symposiumI 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. Kondō’s work gives us an interesting look at the role of tourism in these indigenous communities, and from the perspective of a tourist, his visual representations are quite different from any “ethnographic” work being done in the area! Although the project originally derives from the 4th chapter of my dissertation, I will be working out some new ideas and approaches to his material that I developed after coming to St. Olaf College. It is like revisiting an old friend! If you are in the area, please feel free to join us to hear about what Art Historians in the Twin Cities are up to! There are a lot of exciting papers, and it is a great opportunity to hear about the research of many local art historians.

Date: April 2nd, 2016

Time: 10am – 3pm

Location: St. Catherine’s University, Visual Arts Building, Room 102, 2004 Randolph Avenue, St. Paul, MN

Sustainability Weeks?

sw06_1Hokkaido University is just wrapping up Sustainability Weeks (サステナビリティ・ウィーク), which sponsors events and lectures over the course of several months dedicated to the theme of “sustainability” in society and in the academy. The official description from the website reads:

Sustainability Weeks (SW) is a campaign hosted by Hokkaido University with the aim of promoting research and education to help create a sustainable society. The assembly of more than 6,000 researchers, educators, students, and citizens from home and abroad during the two weeks of SW to share and discuss the latest scientific knowledge in the form of symposium, workshop and various exhibitions will enable us to identify the next steps toward a better future.

Even though the term is most often heard in environmental or economic discourse, the events during Sustainability Week are separated (and cross-listed) between four categories: Learning for the Future, Quality of Life, Harmony with Nature, and then a yearly theme (this year’s theme is “Education for Sustainable Development”). These headings seem to invite a kind of feel-good gathering around the campfire, but I actually think that there is something really important to discussing sustainability within the University and Humanities, especially in light of practices that cannot keep pace with changes in the nature of the university and academic publishing

Sustainability Week 2013But the quest for a sustainability is also of concern to indigenous communities across the globe. Last year, I attended Hokkaido University’s Sustainability Week symposium titled “Indigenous Heritage and Tourism: Succession and Creation of Living Heritage” (先住民文化遺産とツーリズム: 生きている遺産の継承と創造). Across three days at Hokkaido University and The Historical Museum of the Saru River in the town of Biratori, scholars, artists, and activists from Hokkaido and abroad dialogued about how to preserve indigenous heritage, and the the transference of knowledge about Ainu language and art to a younger generation moving into the future.

This year’s theme, “Indigenous Heritage and Tourism: Constructing Cultural Landscape and Indigenous Heritage Issues” (先住民文化遺産とツーリズム ―文化的景観と先住民遺産をめぐる諸問題―), continues this conversation by examining the various uses of landscape in indigenous communities as both managed resource and cultural inheritance. The activities on December 20th center around the theme of “Cultural Landscapes Created by Rock & Water”, while December 21st is dedicated to “Cultural Landscapes Created by Sea and Lake.” If last year’s event was any indication, this year will a vibrant dialogue, so check it out if you are in the Sapporo area.

Date/Time
December 20, 2014, 1 – 3pm (doors open at 12:30pm)
December 21, 2014, 10am – 4pm (doors open at 9:30am)

Location:
Hokkaido University Conference Hall [学術交流会館 小講堂] (Open to General Public)

Language:
Japanese/English (consecutive interpretation)

Sponsored By:
Hokkaido University Center for Ainu and Indigenous Studies
Center for Advanced Tourism Studies, Hokkaido University
WAC-Japan (Bid Committee for 8th World Archaeological Congress in Kyoto)

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