Department of Art
- Professor Kunimoto is interested in Asian art, photography, the concept of orientalism, gender, and the relationship between American Art and the Arts of Asia. Her research focuses on the visual arts in 1950s and 1960s Japan, with particular emphasis on gender issues, visual culture, and nationalism. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled, "Portraits of the Sun: Gender and Nation in Postwar Japan." She has also published research on photography, including "Intimate Archives: Japanese-Canadian Photography during the Internment" (Art History-Blackwell) and "Traveler-as-Lama Portraits and the Fantasy of Transformation in Tibet" (TransAsia Photography Review). Her current courses include "Introduction to the Arts of Japan," "Envisioning the Nation: Modern and Contemporary Art in Asia," "East - West Photography," and "Gender and East Asian Art."
DegreesPhD, History of Art, University of California, Berkeley
MA, History of Art, University of British Columbia
BA, Anthropology and History of Art, University of British Columbia
Favorite Spot on Campus:American University Museum
Languages Spoken:Japanese reading and speaking fluency, French reading ability
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Scholarly, Creative & Professional Activities
Dr. Kunimoto is interested in modern and contemporary art of Asia, Buddhist Arts of Asia and North America, photography, nationalism and orientalism, gender issues, theory, and visual culture. She is currently working on a book manuscript entitled, "Performing Cultural Capital: Gender and Nation in the Art of the Gutai Group." She has also published on photography during the Japanese-Canadian internment camps and on photography in Tibet.
- Spiritual Investments: Traveler-as-Lama Photography in Tibet, College Art Association, New York, 2011
- Scale and Subject in Tanaka Atsuko's Notebooks; Townsend Center, University of California, Berkeley, October 2009
- Tanaka Atsuko and the Materiality of the Body; University of British Columbia Graduate Symposium;February 2009
- The Art of Shiraga Kazuo and Tropes of the Masculine Hero; Japan Arts and Globalization Workshop; May 2008
- Tanaka Atsuko and the Circles of Subjectivity; University of Pittsburgh Colloquium, March 2008
- The Stakes of Aesthetics: Ernest Fenollosa's Theory of Ar; Workshop on Japanese Art History, London, Englan; June 2006
- Discipline and Distribution in Visual Culture; University of California Berkeley Graduate Symposium, March 2004
- Portrayals / Betrayals: Photography in the 1940's: Japanese-Canadian National Museum, Vancouver; May 2001
- A Place of Refuge: Japanese-Canadian Family Photographs, 1939-1949; University of Southern California Graduate Symposium, March 2001
- Body Topography: Visitor Performance at the Vancouver Art Gallery; University of British Columbia Graduate Symposium, March 2000
Honors, Awards, and Fellowships
- Faculty Research Support Grant, 2012
- International Travel Fund, American University, 2011
- Mellon Grant, American University, 2011
- Chancellor's Dissertation-Year Award, 2009-2010
- Japan Art History Forum Chino Kaori Memorial Essay Prize, 2008
- Dean's Award 2008
- Japan Foundation Research Fellowship, 2007-2008
- College Women's Association of Japan Fellowship, 2006-2007
- Social Sciences and Research Council of Canada Fellowship,2003-2007
- Institute of East Asian Studies Fellowship,&amp;nbsp;2003-2005
- “Shiraga Kazuo: The Hero and Concrete Violence” Art History, Blackwell publishing (forthcoming February 2013).
- Review of “Gutai: The Spirit of an Era” exhibition at the National Art Center, Tokyo, 2012, Modern Asian Art 11, (August 2012).
- “Traveler-as-Lama Photography and the Fantasy of Transformation in Tibet” TransAsia Photography Review 2, no. 1(October 2011).
- “Intimate Archives,” Art History 27, no. 1 (February, 2004): 129 - 155.
- Review: “Reagan Louie, Art, and the Problem of ‘Sex Work in Asia,’” International Institute for Asian Studies Newsletter 33 (March 2004): 42.
- “In the Playhouse: Mariko Mori at the Tokyo Museum of Modern Art,” Last Call (June 2001): 8-10.
- “Aping Art: The Guerrilla Girls,” Discorder (April 2000): 12.
Area of Expertise: Modern and contemporary Japanese art
Additional Information: Namiko Kunimoto's research focuses on the visual arts in the 1950s and 1960s in Japan, with particular emphasis on gender issues, visual culture, and nationalism. Kunimoto is currently working on a book manuscript, Portraits of the Sun: Violence, Gender, and Nation in the Art of Tanaka Atsuko and Shiraga Kazuo. She has also published research on photography during the internment of Japanese-Canadians during World War II.
Other publications include "Traveler-as-Lama Photography and the Fantasy of Transformation in Tibet," in TransAsia Photography Review (issue 3, forthcoming); "The Hero and Concrete Violence" Art History (forthcoming); “Intimate Archives,” in Art History (February 2004); “Shiraga Kazuo’s Portraits of the Sun” (under review); “Reagan Louie, Art, and the Problem of ‘Sex Work in Asia," in International Institute for Asian Studies Newsletter (March 2004); and “In the Playhouse: Mariko Mori at the Tokyo Museum of Modern Art" in Last Call (June 2001).
To request an interview please call AU Media Relations at 202-885-5950 or submit an interview request form.