Tokyo Humanities Cafe 1 was held on 15 June, 2017, at the "Good Heavens" bar in Shimokitazawa. We had a full house and presentations from four great speakers - Naoko Asano, Tom Dabbs, Andrew Fitzsimons, and Arthur Huang.
See Quick Questions (#1 - #4) for interviews with the speakers.
Speakers from our first café
Naoko Asano (Mori Memorial Foundation)
"Defying the Victorian Fairies: Millais’s Ingenuity in Ferdinand Lured by Ariel (1849-50)"
Naoko Asano is a researcher at the Mori Memorial Foundation, where she is compiling a report on the development of cultural cities and also teaches at the University of the Sacred Heart as a part-time lecturer. Her passion for art, fashion and literature has led her to work as a contributing writer/blogger for ELLE Japan. She has recently submitted a thesis titled “Shakespeare in Pre-Raphaelite Millais: Millais’s Fidelity to Shakespeare’s Texts in Ferdinand Lured by Ariel (1849-50), Mariana (1850-51) and Ophelia (1851-52)” and received a Ph.D. degree from the University of the Sacred Heart. She previously examined trendsetting in fine arts in the Cultural and Creative Industries M.A. course at King’s College London.
Thomas Dabbs (Aoyama Gakuin University)
"Remembering the Office of the Revels in A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Digital Reconstruction"
Thomas Dabbs is Professor of English at Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, where he has taught Shakespeare and the English Bible since 2003. Prior to this he taught at Hiroshima University. He is the author of Reforming Marlowe: the Nineteenth-Century Canonization of a Renaissance Dramatist and Genesis in Japan: The Bible beyond Christianity. His recent research and publication focuses on the St Paul’s cathedral precinct in early modern London and the impact of this area on Shakespearean drama. He is a native of the state of South Carolina in the United States.
Andrew Fitzsimons (Gakushuin University)
"Our Neighbour's Garden: Poetry Found in Translation"
Andrew Fitzsimons was born in Ireland, and is a Professor at Gakushuin University, Tokyo. As well as essays on Irish poetry, he has published on Beckett and Shakespeare, and contemporary British poetry, and translated from Italian poets, including Eugenio Montale and Andrea Zanzotto. His study of Thomas Kinsella, The Sea of Disappointment, was published in 2008 by UCD Press, and he edited Thomas Kinsella: Prose Occasions 1951-2006 (Carcanet, 2009). His poetry has appeared in journals and anthologies in Ireland, Britain, Italy, Japan, the United States, and Canada, including the Global Poetry Anthology 2013. He was runner-up for the Patrick Kavanagh Award in 2006 and was shortlisted for the Montreal Prize in 2013. He has published two volumes of poetry, What the Sky Arranges (Isobar Press, 2013), and A Fire in the Head (Isobar Press, 2014). His new book, a version of Giuseppe Ungaretti’s Il Porto Sepolto, will be published by Isobar Press in 2017.
In his talk, he will discuss the different aspects of translation involved in writing the post 3/11 haiku sequence A Fire in the Head (Isobar Press, 2014), and in the making of contemporary poems from a medieval Japanese ‘original’ in What the Sky Arranges: Poems Made from the Tsurezuregusa of Kenko (Isobar Press, 2013).
Arthur Huang (Artist in Tokyo)
"Making Art in Between"
Arthur Huang lives and works in Tokyo, Japan as an artist and researcher. He is interested in exploring the relationship of conscious and unconscious everyday memories in his studio practice. He moved to Tokyo in 2009 to work as a molecular biologist and neuroscientist at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute, studying memory and learning in mice.
He is the director of the Tokyo-based artist collective Art Byte Critique. He has exhibited work in the United States, Europe, and Japan including HAGISO, hasu no hana, Gallery Camellia, Jill d'Art Gallery, Southern Exposure, Printed Matter, Tokyo Art Book Fair, Spiral Independent Creators Festival, and the Setouchi Triennale 2013.