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Joan Ericson Has Personal Stake in ‘Voices from Japan’ Exhibit

Colorado College Professor Joan Ericson was on sabbatical in Japan when the most powerful earthquake known to hit Japan occurred on March 11, 2011. The earthquake and resulting tsunami caused widespread devastation, including meltdowns at a nuclear power plant complex that forced massive evacuations.

Ericson, who teaches Japanese literature, language, and culture courses at Colorado College, was deeply affected by the natural and man-made disasters she witnessed, and knew she wanted to do something to help.

Fast-forward to Spring 2013, two years after the Japanese disaster. Ericson, working with IDEA Space Curator Jessica Hunter-Larsen, is commemorating the 2011 tsunami through an exhibition and series of lectures, films, concerts, and panel discussions that run from March 25 through April 6 in a variety of locations on the Colorado College campus.

The main exhibit, "Voices from Japan: Perspectives on Disaster and Hope," opens with a reception and gallery talk at 6 p.m., Monday, March 25 in the IDEA Space. This traveling multimedia group exhibition, developed in response to the earthquakes, tsunami, and nuclear disasters in Japan's Tohoku region in Spring 2011, includes 100 tanka (31-syllable Japanese poems) composed by survivors of the disasters. Ericson, who is bilingual and bicultural as a result of being raised in Japan, was one of three Japanese literature specialists asked to translate the poets' voices into English.

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Report an issue - Last updated: 12/16/2020