Research & Teaching: For Teachers 日本語で見る | Read in Japanese
We think this web site provides two sets of learning objectives.
Students can use these pictures and texts to think about how culture operates to give people different views of the same events. Looking at the Japanese images and reading the American accounts of the same events, students can imagine how the Americans and Japanese saw their first official meeting in 1854. What views did the Americans and Japanese share? What things did they see very differently? Students could look for evidence of ideas in foodways, material culture, manners, and sports. Advanced students could discuss the meaning of culture and how it gets constructed. The essays by Brown students and students at the University of Tokyo, written 150 years later, show that Japanese and Americans still think about these events differently and read the sources about them differently.
The website includes both written and visual texts and so allows a chance for students to consider the differences between different forms of historical evidence. Students could compare what they learned from the pictures with what they learned from the written accounts of the Perry Expedition.
Teachers can have students write new descriptions of each image, Japanese and American, either before or after they read the student essays posted here. We'd be glad to post any essays you'd like to send us. And we'd be thrilled to hear other ideas about how to use the website in classes.
Contact Susan Smulyan, Professor, Department of American Civilization, Brown University.
We have included some examples of how teachers and students have used the website in their classes: