Professor Thomas Conlan, East Asian Studies, talks about his interactive web site, Komonjo

Location: 330 Frist Campus Center (The McGraw Teaching Lab).

Teaching with Technology Showcase: Professor Thomas Conlan, East Asian Studies, demonstrates a teaching website developed with McGraw’s Educational Technologies group.

Professor Thomas Conlan

The Komonjo (documents) website is a learning environment that supports Professor Conlan’s seminar, EAS525-HIS520, Ancient and Medieval Japanese History. The site allows students in the course to explore transcriptions, translations, and historical contexts of a collection of medieval Japanese court documents. Students in the course have had an active role in translating and transcribing the documents. Images of each document can be zoomed and panned, in order to examine details, and transcriptions of the documents show where annotations have been added to the main text. Videos on the site feature Conlan speaking the collection, and interacting with facsimiles of documents to show how they were used.

Professor Conlan describes the site in this way:

“It is a radically new site -nothing comparable to it exists. It provides an introduction to how to read these documents, and insight into the epistolary culture of medieval Japan. For those interested in paleography, the photos and transcriptions provide a valuable tool to better learn how to read original documents. Others can gain insight into how to translate these difficult records. And this site also allows for some rare and little known documentary collections, held in Japan or the US (Princeton and Yale) to be disseminated to a wider audience. Finally, it reveals the synergy between teaching and research, for it showcases translations done in my graduate seminar.”

The site can be viewed at
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To learn more about the project read the post “Wrapped in Secrecy.”

Posted by February 14, 2017