Jerome de Groot teaches at the University of Manchester. He is the author of Consuming History (2016), Remaking History (2012) and many articles on public history, genealogy, film and television. HE is currently AHRC Leadership Fellow and you can read about his project ‘Double-Helix History’ here, or follow it at @doublehelixhist.
Aya Ikegame (University of Tokyo)
"Gurus and Development in Modern India"
Dr Aya Ikegame is Associate Professor in the Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies and the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia, the University of Tokyo.
She is specialised in the Social Anthropology of India and Japan with a particular interest in kingship, big men, social exclusion and the religious and quasi-religious institutions that provide civic services parallel to those of the modern state. Her recent publications include Princely India Re-imagined: A Historical Anthropology of Mysore from 1799 to the present (Routledge, 2012) and The Guru in South Asia: New interdisciplinary Perspectives (co-edited with Jacob Copeman, Routledge 2012).
Taylor Mignon (Tokyo Poetry Journal)
"Do Dos and Don't Don'ts: A Poem Inspired by Torii Shozo"
Taylor Mignon (1967-) is Editor-in-Chief of Tokyo Poetry Journal (“TPJ is proving to be fertile ground for experimentation among Japan’s English-speaking poets.” Japan Times) and has advised Japan-themed issues for Prairie Schooner (Summer 1996), Atlanta Review (Spring/Summer 2002), and Vallum (Montreal, 2005). He recently edited a special book-issue of TPJ focused on Japanese and The Beats.
He is endeavoring to finish a project on VOU visual poetry with Karl Young’s Light and Dust Books. His virgin book of poems Japanglish Whiplash (2010) “fuse the traditional and the experimental ... Mignon’s work is steeped in the avant-garde yet surprisingly palatable.” (JT) “Mignon’s translations of Torii Shōzō, a poet long associated with VOU, is a timely expansion of renewed interest in this group.”
He currently teaches Creative Writing at Musashi and Daito Bunka universities while also finishing a creative writing manual for instructors.
Giovanni Pellone (Designer and Creative Director)
"We are all designers: We just don't know it"
Giovanni Pellone is a designer and creative director with over fifteen years of experience in the development of consumer products, graphic communication and visual branding programs.
He grew up in Rome, Italy, where he studied industrial technology and economics; but developed his passion for design in the USA, where he attended Parsons School of Design (interior design) and Pratt Institute (industrial design); studying under Karim Rashid, Bruce Hannah and Bill Fogler.
Soon after graduating, he launched a multidisciplinary design practice with graphic designer Bridget Means, developing laboratory equipment, packaging, and branding programs. Still with Ms. Means he later founded the housewares manufacturer Benza, of which he was creative director for the following nine years. At Benza he initiated and managed successful collaborations with many prominent designers: among them his former teachers Karim Rashid and Bruce Hannah, as well as Harry Allen, Jeffrey Bernett, Ayse Birsel, Constantin Boym and Tucker Viemeister. For almost a decade Benza’s designs garnished the shelves of hi-end shops worldwide, from the MoMA Design Store in NYC, to Harrods in London, and Idee in Tokyo.
Giovanni’s work has received great acclaim in the design world, receiving honors and awards, featuring in prestigious international exhibitions, and appearing in the world’s most respected design publications.
He has been a visiting lecturer on the subjects of creative process and design entrepreneurship at leading universities, Including Pratt Institute and Savannah College of Art and Design in the USA, and Tokyo University and Keio University in Japan.
After Benza, he collaborated until 2010 with Japanese graphic designer Makiko Takeuchi on design projects in the United States, Italy and Japan. In 2011 he moved to Tokyo, where he now leads a multicultural and multitalented design team, and works with clients worldwide.
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