Christina Spiker

Assistant Professor


Christina Spiker is an art historian with expertise in modern Japanese art and visual culture. Her interdisciplinary research explores modern representations of the indigenous people of northern Japan known as the Ainu, and the global networks of image and art exchange that inform stereotypes about them in Japan and abroad. At St. Kate's, Christina teaches courses in the fundamentals of art history and visual culture. She believes in researching and teaching about art history "from the margins" by focusing on the rich experiences of women and underrepresented peoples across the globe. She has a strong interest in working with students to combine art and technology through the digital humanities and finds her greatest reward in helping students to explore the profound relationship between visual culture and the social issues of our time.

Ph.D., Visual Studies
University of California Irvine, Irvine, California, 2016

Master of Arts, Visual Studies
University of California Irvine, Irvine, California, 2010

Bachelor of Arts, East Asian Studies; minor in Japanese
Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania, 2007

Chancellor’s Club Fund for Excellence Fellowship, UC Irvine, 2014–2015

Advanced Graduate Research Fellowship, Pacific Rim Research Program, University of California, 2013–2014

Spencer Baird Resident Scholar Program, Smithsonian Institution Libraries, 2013

8th Annual Chino Kaori Memorial Essay Prize, Japan Art History Forum, 2010–2011

Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History, St. Catherine University, 2016–Present

Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History, St. Olaf College, 2015–2016


E. Takashina. “Sea of Hybridization: In Dispute over Urashima” from The Sea Beyond: Hōsui, Seiki, Tenshin, and the West. Translated by C. Spiker. Review of Japanese Culture and Society 26:1 (2014), 80-103.


C. Spiker, “At the Limits of Visibility: Noritaka Minami’s Past Won’t Pass (Catalog #52)” in Octopus Journal, 5 (2011): 1-4.

C. Spiker, “Recasting the Indigenous: Virtual Ainu Ambassadors in Japan’s Samurai Spirits, 1993–2008,” Console-ing Passions (International Conference on Television, Video, New Media, and Feminism), University of Notre Dame, June 16-18, 2016.

C. Spiker, “Touring the Indigenous Village: Kondō Kōichiro’s Ainu Illustrations, 1917,” first annual Art Historians of the Twin Cities Symposium, St. Catherine University, April 2, 2016.

C. Spiker, “Constructing the Indigenous: Nineteenth-Century Circulation and Transformation of the Ainu Image in British and American Print Culture,” Nineteenth Century Workshop (Theme: Circulation), Rutgers University, October 2, 2014.

C. Spiker, “An Itinerary of Hokkaido: Photo Postcards, Tourism, and Erasing the Indigenous Body,” Eighteenth Asian Studies Conference Japan (ASCJ), Sophia University, Tokyo, June 21, 2014.

C. Spiker, “Untangling a ‘Hairy’ Encounter: Ainu Representation at the World’s Fair,” Isamu Noguchi & Qi Baishi: And Other Inspiring Encounters In and Beyond Modern Asian Art Symposium, University of Michigan Museum of Art, May 18, 2013.

C. Spiker, “Exploring the Real Hokkaido: A.H. Savage Landor’s Travel Illustrations, 1893,” Rethinking the Space and Place of Japan: Japanese Art and Globalizations Conference, UCLA, April 7, 2012.