Book event for "Imaging Disaster: Tokyo and the Visual Culture of Japan's Great Earthquake of 1923"
Gennifer Weisenfeld will give a presentation on her new book, "Imaging Disaster: Tokyo and the Visual Culture of Japan's Great Earthquake of 1923," followed by a reception and book signing. Focusing on one landmark catastrophic event in the history of an emerging modern nation--the Great Kanto Earthquake that devastated Tokyo and surrounding areas in 1923, claiming more than 100,000 lives--"Imaging Disaster" examines the remarkable array of visual responses to the event.Running the gamut from the voyeuristic macabre to the romantic sublime, media spectacle to sacred space, mournful commemoration to emancipator euphoria, and national solidarity to racist vigilantism and sociopolitical critique, the vast visual archive created in response to the Kanto earthquake includes photographs, paintings, postcards, cartoons, urban planning schemes, maps, architectural plans, and even scientific visualizations. In "Imaging Disaster," Weisenfeld shows how visual culture has powerfully mediated the evolving historical understanding of this major national disaster, ultimately enfolding mourning and memory into modernization. Gennifer Weisenfeld is an associate professor in Duke University's Department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, and author of "Mavo: Japanese Artists and the Avant-Garde, 1905-1931."