Assistant Professor of Art History/Visual Studies
Postwar avant-garde in Japan
Contemporary art and visual culture
Posthumanism and poststructuralism
20th century intellectual history
History of design
Politics of ecology and nature
Ken Yoshida received his Ph.D. in Visual Studies from the University of California, Irvine, in 2011. His current work focuses on the discursive and aesthetic role of “matter” in postwar avant-garde art to demonstrate that artists in the 1950s to the 1970s consistently critiqued humanism and biopolitics. He is working on his book manuscript tentatively titled "Between Matter and Ecology: Art in Postwar Japan and the Question of Totality." Yoshida has also worked as a translator for "Primary Documents: Japanese Art Criticism 1945-1989" (MoMA: November 2012). His article “The Undulating Contours of Sogo Geijutsu (gesamkunstwerk), or Hanada Kiyoteru’s Thoughts on Transmedia” was published in the March 2012 issue of Inter-Asia Cultural Studies. His latest article is forthcoming from positions: east Asian critique. His new project tracks the history macrobiotics that gained cultural and political traction during the 1930s and the 1940s and the effects on design and lifestyle in contemporary Japan. He joined UC Merced in 2012.