Harvard students learn about Apple’s history through manga





There’s no doubt that Harvard‘s Business School is serious business, but its students are surprisingly learning about the history of Apple‘s two Steves through a non-traditional medium: manga. Professor Noam Wasserman has been teaching about Wozniak‘s and Jobs‘ friendship and eventual falling out for years as a cautionary tale.

But, for the first time, he’s using a more visual medium that portrays the two tech titans as smooth, baby-faced young’uns with big anime eyes as a supplement to the course’s text. To be clear, it’s not that Jobs manga you’ve likely heard of in the past. This particular Japanese-style comics is actually an adaptation of Wasserman’s Harvard case study titled “Apple’s Core,” which tells the story of Apple’s early days.

The one responsible for turning the study into a graphic novel, however, is another professor named Thomas Alexander, who got the idea during a stint teaching at a business institute in the Philippines. He realized that the story would resonate more with his students (who were mainly from India, China, Korea, the Philippines and Europe) if it were a lot more visual.

He said:

None of them had English as a strong suit. So I knew that to give them a 30- to 50-page written text, they will not read this. The participation will not be there.


That’s why Alexander turned Apple’s Core into a 30-page script and hired an artist to bring Apple’s history to life. Wasserman, in turn, found it so intriguing, that he’s now giving it out as optional reading material. If you’re wondering, Harvard’s MBA students seem receptive to the idea of learning from a graphic novel — enough, at least, to grab all 20 copies Wasserman made last semester.


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Harvard students learn about Apple’s history through manga


Artist Tomokazu Matsuyama presents “Palimpsest” at Harvard’s Reischauer Institute


In Boston? Brooklyn based artist Tomokazu Matsuyama recently opened a new exhibition in the Reischauer Institute at Harvard University for its 40th anniversary. This sparkling showcase features classic and fresh paintings for those in the Boston area. This great show runs until November 1st and the artist reception with Matsu in attendance on September 26th. Be sure to check it out if you’re lucky enough to be in the area.

Tomokazu Matsuyama is known to combine modern artistic styles with traditional Japanese context, amalgamating East and West in unique renditions filled with mystical sensibility. Growing up in both Japan and the US, Matsu’s aesthetics is endearing to both cultures, merging the juxtaposition with acute color palettes and lively illustrations.

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Artist Tomokazu Matsuyama presents “Palimpsest” at Harvard’s Reischauer Institute