Knowing the Strangers in the Shogun's City

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This work of history is a biography of a woman named Tsuneno who lived in the first half of the 19th century in Edo, Japan (which would become Tokyo). On the strength of its storytelling this work has been awarded the 2021 PEN and National Book Critics Circle awards for biography. The book takes a sympathetic look at the life of a woman who made her way from a village to the big city. After having read about Plato’s ideal vision for a city in The Republic, this work of history will sketch for us the reality of life in a growing modern city, and give us a look at the demands such a city makes on individuals.

The lecturer, Brigid E. Vance, focuses her research on the intellectual and cultural history of dreams and dream divination in late Ming China. She also has research and teaching interests in early modern Japan, the history of psychology and psychoanalysis, cross-cultural interactions along the Silk Roads, and innovative and inclusive pedagogy. In 2020, Brigid was awarded Lawrence University’s Award for Excellent Teaching by an Early Career Faculty Member. Brigid completed the Further Education in Analytical Psychology Program at the CG Jung Institute in Zürich, Switzerland in 2017.