The course explores the historical and ethnographic contexts of Japan's compound disasters of March 2011. As people sought to survive and make sense of the disasters, social media as well as photos, videos and websites played critical roles. We examine the role of these records, using a participatory digital archive developed at Harvard. Student teams will develop research questions, collect digital material, and create multimedia narratives. Students will complement their research with study of responses to similar global events as well as critical reflection on digital scholarship and the emerging practice of "crisis archiving."