Published: March 6, 2014

On March 10 and 11, Eric Dinmore, Associate Professor of History at Hampden-Sydney College, will come to the University of Colorado Boulder to discuss his recent research, offering the Boulder community the opportunity to engage with a prominent scholar on issues relating to Japan, both current and historical.

On March 10, he will give a talk entitled “Curating and Presenting the ‘3-11’ Earthquake Online: Reflections from My Year with Harvard’s Digital Archive of Japan’s 2011 Disasters.” Dinmore was invited to be part of the Harvard Digital Archive of Japan’s 2011 Disasters Project as a postdoctoral fellow at the Edwin Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies from 2011 to 2012. The Great East Japan Earthquake and associated tsunami and nuclear catastrophes of March 11, 2011 provoked a global garage of online blog entries, discussion group postings, Twitter tweets, audio recordings, non-governmental and relief organization communications, photographs, videos, news articles, disaster-related government websites, and other digital documentation. While on the project, he helped to catalog hundreds of thousands of these documents and to store them on servers for future users.

Then, on March 11, he will give a talk of a more distantly historical nature, entitled “High Growth Hydrosphere: The Sakuma Dam and ‘Comprehensive Development’ Planning in Post-1945 Japan.” Dinmore will discuss the genealogy of the 1950 Law on Comprehensive National Land Development, which was part of an effort to overcome “backwardness” by employing long-term planning, empirical data analysis, and technocratic guidance in the name of the public good to unify the management of the domestic landscape and harness natural resources to promote economic growth. The Sakuma Dam, completed in 1956, stood as Japan’s largest dam and as a concrete product of comprehensive development policy. Dinmore argues that the Sakuma Dam illustrated the limitations of the comprehensive development approach by skewing the benefits of hydraulic exploitation toward urban industrial centers, by failing to encourage rural revitalization, and upsetting the natural environment of the Tenryū River Valley in central Japan.

The event on March 10 will be at 5:00 p.m. in Hale 230 on the CU-Boulder campus, and the event on March 11 will be at 4:00 p.m. in Hale 450, also on the CU-Boulder campus. Both events are free and open to the public.