Western Washington University
Julia Sapin is Associate Professor of Art History in the Department of Art and Art History at Western Washington University; she is also currently serving as chair of the department. Her research focuses on the visual culture of the Meiji period (1868-1912) in Japan with a special emphasis on representation of national, regional, and gender identities in textiles, painting, and department-store advertising. Her recent research has focused on the use of photography in Japanese department-store publicity magazines.
Julia enthusiastically anticipates her first journey with the Semester at Sea community. She has been an avid traveler all of her life. Professionally, she has been taking students to Japan on biannual, three-week field programs since 2008. Aside from living in Japan off and on for six years, she has also participated in numerous study tours, in countries including India, Vietnam, and Korea. During her free time, she has traveled in Central America and Europe, most recently enjoying a trip to Slovenia with husband Jeff and son Blake to meet Jeff’s distant relatives.
Given the broad range of courses she teaches at WWU, Julia is excited about the opportunity to tap her knowledge of visual cultures throughout Asia and discuss them in comparison with African artistic practices. She looks forward to introducing students to the visual cultures of the countries we will be visiting and, through that visual study, coming closer to understanding those cultures’ social, religious, and political frameworks along with their visual cultures.