Studying History with Online Visual Materials
Professor Shigeru Miyagawa and John Dower have been working on a project where they teach history through looking at visual material online. Their course covered the arrival of Commodore Matthew Perry to Japan in 1853. The event had historical and cultural importance as it was Japan’s first interaction with Western Europeans . Digitized art from the period - from both Japan and the US - allows for comparison of the marked divergence in perspective that each country had regarding the encounter. As the menace behind Perry’s true motives become clearer to the Japanese, so did images of him change accordingly. These images and other content form the source material for Prof Miyagawa’s to ‘flip’ his class.