Jordan Sand will be giving a Brown Bag Lunch presentation on Monday, October 13, 2014, from 12 to 1:30pm. His talk is entitled “Intimate Heritage: Recent Trends in Japanese History Museums.”

The practice of representing everyday life through in situ museum displays has a long history in Japan, as it does in Europe and the United States. Since the 1970s, however, in situ displays of everyday life have proliferated in museums and theme parks in Japan. Many of these displays represent the quite recent past. As local and national narratives have thus increasingly been tied to domestic, intimate, and familiar things, the museum in Japan has begun to abandon its traditional role as a site of publicly authorized history to serve instead as a site for the awakening of personal memory. Sand’s presentation at the BGC will look at particular iconic artifacts, such as the chabudai, a small folding table used for meals during the first half of the twentieth century, and at themes ranging from the reign of the Showa emperor to the role of television cartoons in late twentieth-century childhood, to explore the significance of this transformation in everyday life exhibits in Japan.

Jordan Sand is Associate Professor of Japanese History and Culture at Georgetown University. He received his BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University, his MA in Architecture History from the University of Tokyo, and his PhD in Modern Japanese History from Columbia University. Sand’s research and writing have focused on architecture, urbanism, material culture and the history of everyday life. His book House and Home in Modern Japan: Architecture, Domestic Space, and Bourgeois Culture, 1880-1930 (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2003) explores the ways that westernizing reformers reinvented Japanese domestic space and family life during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Sand’s most recent book, Tokyo Vernacular: Common Spaces, Local Histories, Found Objects (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013), analyzes problems of history and memory in the postindustrial city. He has also examined the comparative history of urban fires and firefighting, the modernization and globalization of Japanese food (including sushi, miso, and MSG), the history of furniture and interiors, and topics in the study of heritage and museums. Sand is presently working on a study of manifestations of colonialism in physical forms ranging from bodily comportment to urban planning.

Coffee and tea will be served; attendees are welcome to bring their own lunch.

RSVP is required.