The Institute for Japanese Studies and OSU Libraries presents:
Department of History
President, Hendrix College
Title: Beyond the Man in the Rubber Suit: Godzilla, Postwar Japan, and the Global Imagination
Flyer: Bill Tsutsui Flyer
Abstract: Since Godzilla's first appearance almost exactly 65 years ago, the King of the Monsters has become a cinematic icon and a globally recognized symbol of Japan. But what can a giant, radioactive movie monster tell us about Japanese culture and Japan's national experience since World War II? What is it about an actor in a rubber lizard suit destroying miniature Japanese cities that has inspired love, loyalty, and laughter over generations of fans around the world? This talk will briefly survey the history and impact of the 32 Godzilla films, reflect on Hollywood’s handling of the King of the Monsters, and assess the impact of changes in special effects technology, cinematic fashion, and global politics on the world’s oldest and longest film franchise.
Bio: William M. (Bill) Tsutsui is president and professor of history at Hendrix College, a top-tier national liberal arts college founded in 1876 and located in Conway, Arkansas. He previously served as dean of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences at Southern Methodist University from 2010 to 2014. He holds degrees from Harvard, Oxford, and Princeton universities. Prior to joining SMU, Tsutsui spent seventeen years at the University of Kansas, where he served as Acting Director of KU’s Center for East Asian Studies, Chair of the Department of History, founding Executive Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Kansas, and Associate Dean for International Studies in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
An award-winning classroom teacher, Tsutsui is the author or editor of eight books, including Manufacturing Ideology: Scientific Management in Twentieth-Century Japan, Godzilla on My Mind: Fifty Years of the King of Monsters and Japanese Popular Culture and Globalization, as well as numerous articles on modern Japanese history. He has received Fulbright, ACLS, and Marshall fellowships, and was awarded the John Whitney Hall Prize of the Association for Asian Studies in 2000, the William Rockhill Nelson Prize for Non-Fiction in 2005, and the inaugural Bridges to Friendship Award of the Japan America Society of Greater Austin in 2015. His teaching and research focus on the business, environmental, and cultural history of twentieth-century Japan.
Free and Open to the Public
This event is co-sponsored by OSU Libraries and by the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. The IJS Lecture Series is supported by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant to The Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center.