The basicsThe basic unit of Bodies and Structures is the module. Each module analyzes a primary source or set of primary sources that speak to the spatial history of the Japanese Empire. The site links the modules together thematically through “core concepts” -- place, spatialities -- and “crossings” -- boundaries, flows, material culture, vehicles, imaginative geographies, figures, and built environments. The site also uses geospatial metadata to index the modules geographically.
Modules are composed of pages. We link these pages together in multiple ways: as linear pathways; as tags of other pages; or as links to notes and media objects. In Bodies and Structures, each page is a “place” that gathers different modules and different histories together. Users can navigate these places linearly via author-defined pathways; or nonlinearly via hyperlinks and tags. The structure encourages disorientation and re-orientation. Users constitute the space of the site through wayfinding.
NavigatingTo find a specific module, click on the Table of Contents button in the upper left hand corner of the screen. Use the dropdown menu to navigate to the “List of Modules” page. Select the module. Navigate through the module by following the instructions on the screen. For more guidance on navigating Bodies and Structures, see the visual guide to navigating Scalar below.
To explore a particular theme, click on the Table of Contents button in the upper left hand corner of the screen. Use the dropdown menu to navigate to the “Tag Map” page. Click on the bubbles to expand a particular crossing or core concept. Click on the “View” button below a particular bubble to go to that page.
To explore the site by geographic place, click on the Table of Contents button in the upper left hand corner of the screen. Use the dropdown menu to navigate to the “Geotagged Map” page. Hover over a “pin” to see what modules that place contains. Click on the pin to go to that module.
What you can do with this siteWe recommend that you first orient yourself to the Scalar interface by navigating through one or two modules. Then...
If you are an instructor you can …
- Assign one or more modules as course readings, along with their associated primary source translations. Encourage students to discuss the many roles that spatial identities, experiences, and forms have played in the history of modern Japan and the Japanese Empire.
- Use Bodies and Structures as the basis for student research projects. Students can develop their own modules by combining two of the site’s primary sources in a novel way and making an argument for how they would locate their module within the site’s Tag and Geotagged Maps. For more on this, see Using Bodies and Structures for Student Research Projects.
- Use Bodies and Structures's historical and conceptual maps to show students how historians create knowledge. Start with one primary source, and use the module to discuss how the author reads the document by putting it into conversation with other texts. Then, have the students discuss where they would locate the module in the Tag Map, consider how and why the author locates it where they do, and what new questions this placement might lead them to ask.
If you are a student you can…
- Read individual modules to learn about significant people, events, and ideas in the spatial history of modern Japan and the Japanese Empire;
- Identify topics and sources for research projects or presentations;
- Use the tag map to capture thematic connections between modules;
- Explore how historians tell larger stories from primary sources, including the kinds of methods we use for telling stories that cross traditional national and regional divides;
- Learn how you too could use Scalar to write media-rich, non-linear, and collaborative histories.
If you are a researcher, you can…
- Revisit major themes in the history of modern Japan and the Japanese Empire from a perspective that puts space and place at the core of the analysis; or, if you work in a different area context, enrich your own spatial historical interpretations by exploring how historians of modern Japan approach the history of space and place.
- Cite a module as a secondary source in your own research.
- Discover thematic, historical, and geographic connections between modules that spark new research questions.
- Use the Tag Map and Complete Grid Visualization to consider how “provincializing” cartographic representation creates new possibilities for scholarly conversations about spatial history in Japan and elsewhere.
- Participate in Bodies and Structures, either by commenting on the existing modules (we have a comments feature and plan to develop more robust tools) or by proposing your own module. (Warning, expect to be asked to join the curatorial collaborative!)
- Explore Scalar as a platform for presenting media-rich scholarship in non-linear formats.
Off you go!Explore. Get lost. Rediscover your scholarly orientation by wayfaring across the boundaries of our usual spatial containers.
List of Modules
Complete Grid Visualization