MIT Visualizing Cultures
MIT Visualizing Cultures weds images and scholarly commentary in innovative ways to illuminate social and cultural history. As Creative Director, I designed the approach and collaborated with some 20 scholars on more than 40 units based on the visual record of events in Japan, China, and the Philippines. My own unit, "Civilization & Barbarism: Cartoon Commentary and the 'White Man's Burden' (1898-1902)" was published in fall 2014.
Founded in 2002 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology by Japan historian John W. Dower and linguist Shigeru Miyagawa, Visualizing Cultures explores the web as a publishing platform enabling scholars to examine large bodies of previously inaccessible images; compose texts with unlimited numbers of color, high-resolution images; and use new technology for unprecedented ways of analyzing and presenting images to open windows on modern history. Publishing on OpenCourseWare, an early initiative to make all MIT courses freely available on the web, Visualizing Cultures negotiates with institutions to use images for educational purposes under a creative commons license.
Pedagogy has been furthered with secondary school curricula commissioned for the site and teacher training outreach events. Image-driven scholarship was the subject of four co-sponsored conferences, "Visualizing Asia in the Modern World," at Yale (2010 and 2013); Harvard (2011); and Princeton (2012). A seminar is planned for Yale and MIT spring 2015.
Visualizing Cultures Team:
John W. Dower (Director)
Shigeru Miyagawa (Director)
Ellen Sebring (Creative Director)
Scott Shunk (Program Director)
Andrew Burstein (Media Designer)