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Upcoming CJR Events 



Friday February 5:






February 24 12:30-13:30 @ Asian Centre Room 604:
“Do Virtual Earthquakes Still Shake Us to the Core? Simulating Survival in Japan’s Disaster Report Video Game”
Ben Whaley (Ph.D. student, Asian Studies)


This talk asks the question of whether a video game might help us better understand the trauma of another through an analysis of the PlayStation 2 game Zettaizetsumei Toshi (2002, Disaster Report, 2003). In the game, players must use limited resources to escape from an earthquake- and tsunami-stricken Japanese city, while rescuing other survivors and crafting tools for survival. Ian Bogost (2011) argues that if video games are to foster empathy for real-world situations, then players should be cast as the “downtrodden.” I introduce the idea of “limited engagement” or a form of operationalized weakness in which the game design intentionally subtracts in-game skills and items in order to communicate a sense of vulnerability and victimhood to the player. Drawing on a personal interview with the game’s creator, this talk discusses the real-world survival skills and techniques the game series is credited with teaching Japanese players. I conclude by discussing disaster photography within the video game and how its presence within a larger interactive framework might prompt a stronger empathetic engagement with representational media.  

February 26 12:30-14:00 @ Buchanan Tower 1197:
“Can the Subaltern Bark? Dogs, Japan, and the Making of the Modern Imperial World”
Aaron Skabelund (Brigham Young University)


This presentation uses Spivak’s famous query to explore human-animal relations in three ways.  First, from an epistemological perspective, it considers why researchers in the social sciences and the humanities have directed their attention almost entirely to human affairs, relegating the study of the non-human world to the natural sciences. Second, it argues that two modern technologies—photography and taxidermy—allow some animals to “speak.” And third, it highlights the tremendous transformation of certain dogs in the imperial world from the nineteenth century to the present, especially in Japan. To explore these three issues, the talk focuses in on two moments of human-canine relations in Japan: the latter half of the nineteenth century when Japan was the object of Western imperialism, and the 1930s when Japan become a major imperial power in its own right.  

February 29 @ Asian Centre Auditorium and Tea Gallery:
Tea Ceremony Lecture and Tea Serving
Details to follow

March 1 

March 3 15:00- @ C.K. Choi Room 120:
"Explaining the Persistence of Supplementary Education in East Asia: The case of Japan”
Steve Entrich (PhD student, University of Potsdam)

March 9
Recognising the 5th Anniversary of March 11th, 2011, Great East Japan Earthquake, Tsunami and Fukushima Nuclear Power Accident

12:00-14:00 @ C.K. Choi Room 120:
A joint talk by Professor Millie Creighton (Anthropology, UBC), Professor Nori Fujimoto (Fukushima University), and Professor Kiwa Nakano (Daito Bunka University)

16:00-18:00 @ Asian Centre Room 604:
Documentary (45 mins) screening:  "Nuclear Japan/No Clear Japan (2015)” with English subtitles.
Directed by Hiroyuki Kawai (Lawyer and Filmmaker, University of Tokyo)
The film will be introduced by Fumi Mano (Fukushima University)
A reception will follow the film.


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