Elya J. Zhang envisioned the “Debating Japan” project to bring historical learning face to face with the living present. Students are divided into teams to face each other in formal debates. During each 45-minuted debate, two debating teams confronted each other over critical issues in contemporary Japan, while the rest of the students served as judges to decide the winning team. Through these videos, Elya hopes to share her students’ voices and enthusiasm with a broader digital audience.
Besides teaching and researching, Elya J. Zhang also organized seventeen history talks in Rochester, New York. Through her vigorous promotions (poster design, catering arrangement, and community advertisement), nearly five hundred people attended the talks. She believes that every interested audience could make a difference in history’s prolonged fight for relevance in the public eye, and Elya hopes the posters and photos below can serve as a record of their collective memory of enjoying the charm and enigma of history.