International Symposium   

Representing Tokyo/Teaching Tokyo   

to be Held at Amherst College  



November 29, 2012, 413-542-2295


AMHERST, Mass. -- From the evening of Thursday, Dec. 6, through midday on Saturday, Dec. 8, Amherst College will offer Representing Tokyo/Teaching Tokyo, an international symposium held in conjunction with the Mead's special exhibition Reinventing Tokyo: Japan's Largest City in the Artistic Imagination. The symposium features eight distinguished lectures and is free and open to the public. All of the lectures will take place in Pruyne Auditorium, Fayerweather Hall; registration is not required.


The symposium begins at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6, with a keynote lecture by Japanese painter Yamaguchi Akira, whose work is featured in the Reinventing Tokyo exhibition. On Friday and Saturday, speakers include Peter Duus, Professor of Japanese History, Emeritus, at Stanford University; Nakatani Norihito, Professor of Architecture at Waseda University; Wada Hirofumi, Professor in the Faculty of Literature at Tōyō University; Gennifer Weisenfeld, Associate Professor in the Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University; Kaneko Ryuichi, author and guest curator at Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography; and Jonathan Reynolds, Associate Professor of Art History at Barnard College and Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University.  


The symposium concludes on Saturday with a Teaching Tokyo roundtable discussion moderated by Theodore Bestor, Reischauer Institute Professor of Social Anthropology and Director of the Reischauer Institute of Japan Studies at Harvard University. Please see the Symposium Program (PDF) for a complete schedule, speaker biographies, and additional information.


The Mead is also offering a related half-day Mellon workshop for Five College faculty, Teaching Tokyo at the Mead Art Museum, on Friday, Dec. 14, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Participants will learn in depth about a range of objects in the Mead's collection that depict Tokyo, while exploring innovative teaching strategies for using these artworks in college courses across the disciplines. Five College faculty members in any discipline are encouraged to apply; the workshop is limited to twelve participants on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here for more information, including how to register.


The symposium and related workshop are sponsored by the Amherst College Departments of Asian Languages and Civilizations and Art and the History of Art and by the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College. Funding is provided by John C. Weber, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the John Whitney Hall Fund in the Department of Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the Georges Lurcy Lecture Series Fund at Amherst College.   


Image detail, left: Kobayashi Kiyochika, Japanese (1847-1915), Night at Nihonbashi

(Nihonbashi yoru), Meiji era, 1881. Mead Art Museum, Amherst College.

Image detail, right: Satō Shintarō, (born 1969), Shinkoiwa, Katsushika-ku (Snow), 2005. Courtesy of the Artist and Photo Gallery International, Tokyo. 

The Mead Art Museum houses the art collection of Amherst College, spanning 5,000 years and encompassing the creative achievements of many world cultures. An accredited member of the American Association of Museums, the Mead participates in Museums10, a regional cultural collaboration. The museum and its gift shop-café are open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. year-round, and until midnight on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday during the academic term.


For more information, including a complete schedule of all museum events, please visit or call 413/542-2335.