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Imaging Disaster: Tokyo and the Visual Culture of Japan's Great Earthquake of 1923

Imaging Disaster: Tokyo and the Visual Culture of Japan's Great Earthquake of 1923

  • Date:
    Thursday, January 30, 2014
  • Time:
    12:30 PM to 2:00 PM
  • Campus:
    University Park Campus
  • Venue:
    Doheny Memorial Library (DML)
  • Room:
    241

Summary:

Focusing on one landmark catastrophic event in the history of an emerging modern nation – the Great Kanto Earthquake that devastated Japan's imperial capital and its surrounding areas in 1923 – this talk explores how different media produce modes of seeing, understanding, and, eventually, remembering.

Description:

The Indian Ocean Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, the Sichuan, Haiti and Tohoku earthquakes – the experience of disaster is both universal and particular. Most of us understand these horrific events through a complex matrix of media, most of them visual, that attempt to record and assign meaning to destruction, chaos, and tragedy. Images mediate our experiences. How the visual functions in relation to disaster, however, requires close critical examination. Focusing on one landmark catastrophic event in the history of an emerging modern nation – the Great Kanto Earthquake that devastated Japan's imperial capital and its surrounding areas in 1923 – this talk explores how different media produce modes of seeing, understanding, and, eventually, remembering.