The Zoom event featured presentations from five students.
William & Mary’s Japanese Studies program was proud to host its first Senior Thesis Colloquium on Thursday, April 30. The hour-long Zoom presentation, originally slated to occur on campus, featured the research of five seniors who are members of the inaugural cohort of the Japanese Studies major. Thirty-three participants joined the event. Presentations included:
“Wasted Effort: Representations of the Onsen through the Commercialization of Leisure in 1930s Japan,” by Margo Baden
“Murky Mirror: Miyamoto’s Dо̄tonborigawa and Being Left Behind by Economic Growth,” by Alison Bolton
“The Influence of American Military Presence on Students in Murakami’s Sixty-Nine” by Sarah Wilkowske, “Systems of Oppression through the Korean Body,” by Julia Wright; and
“Refusing to Sit Still: The Portrayal of the Japanese City’s Mobility and Moga in Tanizaki Jun’ichiro’s Quicksand,” by Kayla Zanders.
The students’ presentations were filled with information they discovered during their course, “The Japanese City.” The capstone seminar acquainted them with the historical development, theoretical conceptualization, and everyday life of the Japanese city from the nineteenth century to today. Students examined representations of the city in literature, film, architecture, and city planning. They completed their theses under the direction of Dr. Tomoyuki Sasaki, Japanese Studies Program Director and Associate Professor of Japanese Studies.
The Japanese Studies program extends its thanks to the students, faculty, and staff who assisted in bringing the colloquium to fruition as it offered a platform for the college to celebrate the students’ academic achievements. Special appreciation goes to Associate Professors Dr. Eric Han and Dr. Hiroshi Kitamura of the History department. Both offered insightful comments during the colloquium for the students who showcased the breadth of their research.
Margot Baden, the Modern Languages and Literature Book Prize winner for overall excellence in the Japanese Studies program, has displayed exemplary academic and extracurricular achievements. A Japanese Studies and International Relations double major, she strives to deepen her understanding of Japanese culture, history, language, and politics. Ms. Baden decided to pursue Japanese Studies after participating in High School Diplomats, a program that brings together students from the U.S. and Japan. She served as a leader of William & Mary’s Japanese Cultural Association since her freshman year and studied abroad at Keio University in Tokyo, one of her most rewarding opportunities. Today, she is one of the first graduates of William & Mary’s Japanese Studies program and will relocate to Japan to work as a JET Assistant Language Teacher. She later hopes to facilitate cross-cultural connections between the U.S. and Japan. We wish Ms. Baden the best in her future endeavors.