This article explores the correspondences between Lu Xun's famous “lantern slide moment” at Sendai Medical Academy in Japan in 1906, and the Visualizing Cultures student protest at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2006. In both incidents, wartime images of Japanese military execution of Chinese prisoners of war were displayed in a pedagogical context, instigating textual protests on the part of Chinese students studying abroad. This article analyzes the two institutional contexts of display, the two images of wartime execution, the pedagogical uses of images and narrative, and the visual rhetoric of compulsory witnessing. Reflecting on the historical continuities between the two incidents, this article shows how the 2006 MIT controversy anticipated the authorial and participatory challenges faced by present-day digital online pedagogy platforms.

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