The Impact of the Digital on Japanese Studies, Redux

Panel 3 - Abstracts

Aliz Horvath, University of Chicago

Creating and Reading Networks

What are the main questions and points to consider when planning and creating a network visualization? How can it be incorporated into a research project and how can it contribute to a more text-based inquiry in a meaningful way? This talk will focus on the initial phase of the creation process using the multifaceted data of 150 compilers who contributed to the production of the Mito domain's major history writing achievement, the Dai Nihonshi (The History of Great Japan), throughout the 250 years of its compilation process in early modern Japan.

Joel Legassie, University of Victoria

Can We Make Our Own Tools?

I want to talk about the tools I use to do scholarship, while advancing a ground up approach to digital scholarship that takes the material requirements and outputs of our work seriously. I will describe how "my system" has grown as I built an historical gazetteer of Hokkaido for my dissertation, and how I am upgrading and increasing the number of devices and applications I use while I continue to develop my craft and design new projects (that will visualize complex data in different ways). I will suggest that learning, practicing and teaching the skills and knowledge required to physically communicate scholarly work can make a significant and necessary contribution to the collaborative pursuit of knowledge in any field. If this is the case, is it possible to develop coherent and realistic curriculum of digital literacy that would cover everything from circuit board design, operating system programming, and serve administration to server side programming languages, fun javascript libraries and media production and editing? What devices and applications would such a curriculum require? How would it interact with existing methodological and pedagogical practices in the different fields that contribute to Japanese studies?

Steven Braun, Northeastern University

Framing Visualization as Reconciliatory Medium

How does the use of information visualization as a medium for narrating time, space, and place -- in discipline-agnostic and technology-aware ways -- change how we interact with, organize, and structure the raw materials that are the subject of its representation? This presentation will discuss this issue through the perspective of a project involving comparative analysis of U.S. and Japanese high school history textbooks and their shared representation of a specific point in time and place: the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In this work, we will consider what it means to think of visualization not only as object of research but more importantly as process of scholarly inquiry, one which reveals multiplicities of perspective and invites us to interrogate those constructs of digital and narrative representation that shape and are shaped by the questions we ask of it.