The Hoover Institution Library & Archives presents the Fanning the Flames Speaker Series. This fourth session is moderated by Matthew Sommer, Bowman Family Professor of History at Stanford University and presented by Alice Tseng, professor of Japanese Art and Architecture at Boston University. The “A Visual Revolution: The Emperor in Popular Prints” and Launch of Online Exhibition Fanning the Flames: Propaganda in Modern Japan event is on Tuesday, October 5, at 4:00 pm PDT.
The popularization of images of the reigning emperor of Japan was one among many radical changes of the Meiji period. But it was not a simple matter of indiscriminately showing his face and form in commercial prints. This talk investigates the various ways that the emperor became visible and legible, by considering Japanese and foreign conventions of portraiture and visual representation. It also considers the effects and limitations of the new visibility.
This event also celebrates the launch of the Fanning the Flames: Propaganda in Modern Japan website and online exhibition.
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Alice Y. Tseng is the department chair of History of Art and Architecture and professor of Japanese art and architecture at Boston University. Her research focuses on Japan from the nineteenth century to the present, especially the history of cities, buildings, and the visual arts in response to exchanges with Europe and the United States. Tseng is the author of numerous publications including The Imperial Museums of Meiji Japan: Architecture and the Art of the Nation (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008), Kyoto Visual Culture in the Early Edo and Meiji Periods: The Arts of Reinvention, coedited with M. Pitelka (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, 2016), and Modern Kyoto: Building for Ceremony and Commemoration, 1868–1940 (Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press, 2018).
Matthew Sommer is the Bowman Family Professor of History at Stanford University. He is a social and legal historian of China in the Qing dynasty (1644-1912) whose research focuses on gender, sexuality, and family. He is the author of Sex, Law, and Society in Late Imperial China (Stanford University Press, 2000) and Polyandry and Wife-Selling in Qing Dynasty China: Survival Strategies and Judicial Interventions (University of California Press, 2015).