In conjunction with the exhibition “Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty,” the Japanese American National Museum will present a panel discussion on Sunday, Feb. 22, at 2 p.m.
This panel will take a critical look at Hello Kitty and examine her phenomenon from various perspectives. Moderated by “Hello!” curator Christine Yano, with Laura Miller, Jaime Scholnick, and Denise Uyehara. Yano will be signing books following the program.
JANM is located at 100 N. Central Ave. (at First Street) in Little Tokyo. Free for members; free with “Hello!” admission; $5 general. If you are purchasing tickets for “Hello!” and would like to attend this program, RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (213) 625-0414.
• Christine Yano is professor and chair of anthropology at the University of Hawaii and co-curator of “Hello!” She has an MA in musicology (ethnomusicology) and anthropology and a Ph.D. in anthropology, both from the University of Hawaii. Yano is the author of “Pink Globalization: Hello Kitty’s Trek Across the Pacific”; “Airborne Dreams: Nisei Stewardesses and Pan American World Airways”; “Crowning the Nice Girl: Gender, Ethnicity, and Culture in Hawaii’s Cherry Blossom Festival”; and “Tears of Longing: Nostalgia and the Nation in Japanese Popular Song.” During academic year 2014-15, she is visiting professor of anthropology at Harvard University.
• Laura Miller is Ei’ichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Endowed Professor of Japanese Studies and professor of anthropology at the University of Missouri, St. Louis. She received her Ph.D. in linguistic anthropology from UCLA in 1988. The author of “Beauty Up: Exploring Contemporary Japanese Body Aesthetics” and co-editor of three other books, Miller has published widely on Japanese culture and language, on topics that include English loanwords in Japanese, the beauty industry, girls’ slang, self-photography, elevator girls, tarot cards, divination, and the ancient Japanese monarch Himiko. She teaches courses on Japan and linguistic anthropology and works to promote Japan studies through a variety of campus and community programming.
• Jaime Scholnick is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work deals with gender, power, consumerism, and global domination. She has shown internationally at such venues as MOMA P.S. 1, the Torrance Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson. During a period of living in Japan, Scholnick began a series of multimedia artworks titled “Hello Kitty Gets a Mouth.” An eponymous short film from the series has been featured at film festivals throughout the U.S. Scholnick earned her MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 1991 and is represented by CB1 Gallery in Los Angeles.
• Denise Uyehara is an award-winning performance artist, writer, and playwright whose work has been presented throughout the U.S. and in London, Vancouver, Helsinki, and Tokyo. For over two decades she used interdisciplinary performance to investigate what marks us in our migrations across borders of identity. She is a recent recipient of grants and awards from the MAP Fund, the National Performance Network Creation Fund, and the Asian Cultural Council. A founding member of the Sacred Naked Nature Girls, she conducts workshops for a wide range of communities — artists, LGBTQ, women, people of color — and is a frequent lecturer at colleges and universities.