Meet Dr. Hilary K. Snow from an Evening in the Land of the Rising Sun

Who is she?

Dr. Hilary K. Snow is a faculty member of the Honors College at UW-Milwaukee teaching courses on Asian studies, art history, and museums. She was the ASIANetwork/Luce Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellow in Asian Studies and Art History at Carthage College in Kenosha prior to joining UWM. She has been a visiting researcher at Keio University in Tokyo and a Fullbright-Hays Fellow. She also taught at the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She earned her PhD in Japanese Art History in 2010 and MA in East Asian Studies in 2002 at Stanford University as well as her BA in Art History and Social Anthropology in 1997 at Harvard University.

“I first visited Japan as a high school student on an American Field Service exchange. I lived with a Japanese family in Kobe and attended a Japanese high school. I lived there for eleven months, completing the junior year of Japanese high school (I missed the second half of sophomore year and the first half of junior year at my American high school because the Japanese school year begins in April). It was a transformative experience for me. I loved the traditional culture, the food, and the arts. When I was in college, I decided to study Japanese art history to keep my connection to Japan.”

What does she do?

“I teach in the Honors College at UWM, where all classes are small seminars. Teaching students so intensively allows me to really develop relationships with them and see their growth as students and thinkers. I find it extremely rewarding.”

Snow specializes in Asian visual culture and her research includes early modern patronage and the mingling of sacred and secular practices at Japanese religious institutions. She is also interested in the visual culture of early modern Japanese urban spaces and aesthetic amusements at religious institutions. She wrote Between Cambridge and Kyoto: Japanese Tea Ceremony in America in 1997.

“My research focuses on votive paintings from the early modern period (roughly 1615-1868 in Japan) and the mixing of sacred and secular culture at Japanese religious institutions. I’m currently studying an extremely large-scale (almost 50 feet long) painting at a shrine in Ishikawa Prefecture in which a historical story is retold through the lens of the local area. I’m also researching paintings at a shrine near Hiroshima, where the collection includes some unusual and interesting paintings which challenge our expectations.”

Where is she going?

They’re going to be presenters for our Evening in the Land of the Rising Sun show every Friday at 7 p.m. from March 24 to May 5. Join us at 6 p.m. each day for Spring Festival activities including food and games.

Dr. Aragorn Quinn from the UWM Department of Foreign Languages and Literature will be joining Snow as a presenter. Get to know her here.