Symposium: Digital Humanities & The Futures of Japanese Studies

Sat, 03/14/2015 - 10:30am to Sun, 03/15/2015 - 3:00pm

Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery,  913 South University Ave.

2255 North Quad, 105 S. State St.

"Digital Humanities and the futures of Japanese Studies"

Through the digitization of primary materials and the enhancement of newly digitized modes of communication, objects of study and forms of collaboration formerly hampered by distance of archives and the difficulties of long-distance collaborative enterprise has become readily accessible to the scholarly world. 

At the same time, the new field of Digital Humanities (DH) has often failed to live up to what seems to be its seemingly inherent promise of global reach.  As many in the DH community have pointed out, the field remains dominated by work within the Anglo-American geographies and linguistic fields. 

The goal of this symposium and workshop is to help to fulfill its global promise by creating an intellectual space for a series of dialogues between scholars, librarians, and archivists about how DH can be done and what DH means for scholars working in area studies disciplines and, in turn, how this new field can shape the futures of Japanese studies in the twenty-first century.


Saturday, March 14 
Venue: Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library Gallery

10:30 – 11 am
Breakfast and Welcome Remarks

11 am – 12:10 pm
Ryo Akama (Ritsumeikan University): “"Digital Humanities for Japanese Arts and Culture: The Case of the Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University"

12:10 – 12:40 pm

12:40 – 2 pm
Lunch Break

DH 2.0: the Futures of Digital Humanities and Areas Studies

2 – 2:40 pm
Paul Conway (U-M): “Digitization and Access to Live Sound Recordings: Two Case Studies from American Folk and the African Field"

2:40 – 3:10 pm
Jonathan Zwicker (U-M): "From Ephemerality to the Enduring Ephemeral: Performance and the Archive in the Digital Age – the Case of Japan"

3:10 – 3:40 pm
Keiko Yokota-Carter (U-M): “Building Library Support for Digital Scholarship in Japanese Studies"
Jeremy York (U-M): “Digital Humanities in HathiTrust: Research at Any Scale"

3:40 – 4:10 pm
Q&A and General Discussion

Sunday, March 15
Venue: 2255 North Quad, 105 S. State St.

9:30 – 9:50 am

From Theory to Practice: Tools and Technics in Japanese Digital Humanities

9:50 – 10:45 am
Kiyonori Nagasaki (University of Tokyo): "Data Visualization of Japanese Literature"

10:45 - 11:00 am

11 – 11:45 am
Yuta Hashimoto (Kyoto University): "SMART-GS: A Tool for Studying Digitized Historical Manuscripts"

11:45 – Noon

Noon – 1:15 pm
Lunch Break

1:15 – 3 pm
Hands-on Workshop by Yuta Hashimoto: “"Hands-on: Using SMART-GS for Reading Japanese Historical Manuscripts" 
*Please bring your own laptop.

This symposium is free to the public, but please register in advance for lunch. Interested attendees can contact to join an email list for a registration announcement. 


Ryo Akama is a Professor of Japanese literature and a founding member of the Art Research Center at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan. As early as 1989, he started one of the first digitization projects of performance material at the Tsubochi Memorial Theater Museum at Waseda University, Tokyo. Professor Akama joined the Ritsumeikan University in 1991, while continuing with his archival work at Waseda University. After the establishment of the Art Research Center in 1998, Professor Akama became the leader of the project group “Digital Humanities of Japanese Art and Culture”. This is a broad-based project group that uses innovative digital technology to create research material on traditional and popular Japanese culture. Professor Akama’s project focuses on the relationship between texts and images in the Edo and Meiji periods. He has created digital archives for Japanese rare books and prints, especially those related to traditional performing arts from those two important historical periods in Japan. From 2003, he expanded his digital archival work to ukiyoe collected in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum in the United Kingdom. At present he has expanded his archival projects to include historical materials from other European countries as well as North America.


Paul Conway is an Associate Professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan. Conway’s research encompasses the digitization of cultural heritage resources, particularly photographic archives, the use of digitized resources by experts in a variety of humanities contexts, and the measurement of image and text quality in large-scale digitization programs. Conway has extensive research, teaching and administrative experience in the archives and preservation fields and has made major contributions over the past 30 years to the literature on archival users and use, preservation management, and digital imaging technologies. Prior to joining the faculty of the School of Information in 2006, Conway held positions at Duke University (2001-06), Yale University (1992-2001), the Society of American Archivists (1988-89), and the National Archives and Records Administration (1977-87; 1989-92). In 2005, Conway received the American Library Association's Paul Banks and Carolyn Harris Preservation Award for his contributions to the preservation field. He holds a PhD from the University of Michigan in Library and Information Studies.  


Jonathan Zwicker is Assistant Professor of Japanese Literature in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan. He specializes in the literature and cultural history of early-modern and modern Japan with research interests in print culture and the history of the book in the late Edo and Meiji periods. He received his PhD in Japanese literature from Columbia University in 2002 and was a fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows from 2002-2005.



Keiko Yokota-Carter is liaison and selector for the Japanese Studies collection at the University of Michigan Library. Her responsibilities include development and maintenance of the Japanese collection, evaluation and selection of information sources related to Japanese Studies, reference and research consultation in supporting instructional programs designed for Japanese Studies, serving as liaison with the Center for Japanese studies faculty, responding to faculty and students research and teaching needs, and cooperating with the Center for Japanese studies activities and projects.  




Jeremy York is the Assistant Director of HathiTrust. He has worked for HathiTrust since shortly before its launch in 2008.  As Assistant Director, Jeremy helps to coordinate projects and initiatives within the partnership, especially those related to repository administration, communications, user support, and other operational activities. Jeremy received a bachelor's degree in history from Emory University and a Master of Information Science from the University of Michigan, with a specialization in archives and records management.


 Kiyonori Nagasaki is Senior Fellow, International Institute for Digital Humanities / Project Associate Professor, Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies, University of Tokyo.