May 2007 Archives

Yesterday was Yale's graduation ceremony. I attended for the first time since my own graduation in 2001. We had an excellent crop of graduate students who are going on to do exciting things.

I just finished reading part of Rob Knop's blog about his tenure denial at Vanderbilt University. It makes me aware of just how difficult the job market is and that getting a PhD is just the first step on a long and difficult road: http://scienceblogs.com/interactions/2007/05/the_astronomy_community_to_rob.php

I'm really not sure how I missed this:

Japanese Visual Anthropology is a six-week program that focuses on the central theme of human visuality and, specifically, visual culture in modern Japan. Based at Temple University, Japan Campus, the program is designed for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students interested in Japan, Asian studies, visual anthropology, visual sociology, media studies, or inter-cultural communication. Students enroll in two courses carrying three credits each for a total of six credits.

Through the program, students examine the breadth of public and vernacular visual culture as seen and practiced within the Japanese context. While such questions used to be relegated to the world of art history, now all visual forms — professional and non-professional, mass media and home media, public and private — are amenable to visual analysis. The topic is addressed through a framework of culture and visual communication, with primary attention given to sociological and anthropological perspectives. All lectures and production laboratories are offered in English, and there are no prerequisites, although some background in social science would be beneficial.

Tokyo, one of the world’s most vibrant cities, provides students with an extraordinarily rich environment for the discovery and examination of visual culture in contexts of business enterprises, popular culture, architecture and art, as well as the presentation of everyday life. Field trips include several art museums in Tokyo (calligraphy, screens, prints, paintings, photography) and locations dedicated to popular culture—television and/or film production sites, mural art settings, Print Club Galleries, and graffiti sites, among others. In short, participants are exposed to “high, middle and low” visual culture.

Student participants will be encouraged to understand, participate in, and produce an ethnographic visual record in the form of either still photography or videography. Students are required to either bring with them one or more cameras, still and video, or to explore soon after arrival the vibrant world of inexpensive consumer imaging shops in Tokyo. More information about equipment requirements will be provided in one of the pre-departure mailings sent to all accepted students.

Sounds like a great curriculum. The cost ranges from approx US$4000 - $6200, depending on your undergrad/grad status and residency, plus about $2400 in living expenses in Japan. So it isn't exactly cheap.

More info here: http://www.temple.edu/studyabroad/programs/summer/japan/visual-anthro.html

A prospective doctoral student interested in the anthropology of Japan recently inquired about what schools I'd recommend. I posted a list last year but thought I'd update it for 2007 2012:

Ph.D. Granting Institutions with Japan Faculty)

  • Canada: University of British Columbia - Prof. Millie Creighton
  • USA-CA: Stanford University - Prof. Miyako Inoue
  • USA-CT: Yale University - Profs. William Kelly, Karen Nakamura*
  • USA-HI: University of Hawai'i (Manoa) - Prof. Christine Yano
  • USA-IA: University of Iowa - Prof. Scott Schnell
  • USA-MA: Boston University - Prof. Merry White
  • USA-MA: Harvard University - Prof. Theodore Bestor
  • USA-MO: University of Missouri at St Louis - Prof. Laura Miller
  • USA-NC: Duke University - Prof. Anne Allison
  • USA-NY: Columbia University - Prof. Marilyn Ivy
  • USA-MI: University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) - Prof. Jennifer Robertson
  • USA-PA: University of Pittsburgh - Prof. Gabi Lukakcs

* Italics = denotes junior faculty member who may or may not be taking on graduate students.

M.A. Programs

I'll keep updating this list, if you have any suggestions, additions, corrections, feel free to e-mail me or drop a comment below. Last updated: 2007/09/23


There's a short article on wheelchair accessibility at Yale: http://www.yale.edu/opa/v35.n27/story3.html

One of the nice things about the new anthropology building that is opening this fall at 10 Sachem Street is that we're going to finally be wheelchair and handicap accessible. For the longest time, the main anthropology building at 51 Hillhouse Avenue was totally wheelchair inaccessible. The new building will have accessible entrances and an elevator to all floors. Even the new Media Lab for visual and linguistic anthropology will have a wheelchair accessible soundbooth and editing stations.

Nakamura-ImperialPalace.jpgI'm leaving soon for some more fieldwork in Japan and won't be able to maintain this blog on a daily basis as before. One of the time-consuming tasks that I do each day is checking through the comments and getting rid of the dozens of spam comments that are posted.

I'm implementing on an experimental basis a CAPTCHA type spam filter for comment posts. Before you post a comment, you'll now be required to type the word 'camera' in the anti-spam comment field. Most spam robots won't know how to do this, and their junk spam will get filtered out automatically.

Please give it a spin -- please add a comment to this entry saying whether you like it or not! If I don't get any comments, I'll know it's either broken or stinks!

Nakamura-Kashgar.jpgThis is a follow up to my earlier posting about various water purification methods in the field. Please note that everyone has their own particular field water purification needs and one-size does not fit all.

In my case, I occasionally travel through urban and semi-rural areas in East and Southeast Asia, and not always the most developed areas. I stay at hotels and hostels and there is usually running water although it may be suspect. I eat at street-side restaurants that may not be that hygienic. The food is usually ok because it's been cooked but the water/lukewarm tea that gets served is suspect.

So my water needs are to to easily purify tap and street bought water (clean but maybe virus or parasite laden). As noted in my previous post, the obvious and best solution for this is UV-C water purification. Iodine / chlorinated tablets leave a bad taste and take too long and water filters are a pain to use.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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