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October conference continues Cornell's Japanese studies critical inquiry

Order and Disorder flyer image

Gathering together former students and colleagues of Vic Koschmann, Order and Disorder: Critical Reflections on Japanese Studies intends to take stock of the modes of critical reflexivity that have (or have not) informed the study of Japanese modernity in both North America and Japan. 

What are the implications, for Japanese Studies, of the successive breakdowns of the Cold War and neoliberal globalization as “world orders”? How do we re-assess the narratives, tropes, and chronotopes that have situated Japan in the modern world? 

Such critical reflexivity is premised on an acknowledgement of history’s crucial role in the constitution---or overthrow---of social orders. How, then, have the writing of history and historical agency been linked to one another? How are the production of history and subject/s of history mutually implicated? How might a radical historiography engage moments of disorder, rupture, discontinuity, and chaos, so often marginalized in the writing, and rewriting, of history? How do we understand the position and responsibility of the modern historian or intellectual?

Whether dealing with Mitō ideology, postwar subjectivity, wartime total mobilization, or visions of East Asian regionalism under Japanese imperialism and the Cold War, J. Victor Koschmann’s scholarship has consistently raised these and related questions. In honor of his work, this conference will bring together students and colleagues to present their research on the work of writing Japanese history.

Friday, October 27 – Asian Studies Lounge, 374 Rockefeller Hall
Saturday, October 28 – Physical Sciences Building 401


Friday, 10/27 - 374 Rockefeller Hall

Opening remarks, 9:30-10:00

Panel One, 10:00-12:00, Critique of the Social Sciences
• Akiko Ishii (National University of Singapore), “Plastic Nature: A Discursive History of Population in Japan”
• Sookyeong Hong (National University of Singapore), “Overcoming Modern Medicine: Sakurazawa Yukikazu’s `Natural Medicine’ (1929-1945)”
• Noriaki Hoshino (Hong Kong Baptist University), “On Transpacific Racial Contacts Between Two Empires”
• Kristin Roebuck (Cornell University), “Blood Ties: Enemies and Kin in the Aftermath of WWII”

Panel Two, 1:30-3:30, Continuity and Discontinuity in History
• Sujin Lee (UCLA), “Totalizing Population: Total War Population Policy (1937-1945)”
• Aaron Moore (Arizona State University), “Re-engineering Asia---Japanese Technical Aid and Post-Colonial Power in Cold War Asia”
• Seok-won Lee (Rhodes College), “Asianism After Asianism: Postwar Social Science and the Question of Asia in 1950s Japan”

Panel Three, 4:00-6:00, Community, Border, Affect
• Toba Koji (Waseda University), “Past, Self, and Community: Repetition and Renewal in Abe Kōbō”
• Richard Calichman (City University of New York), “Critical Japan Studies: The Place of Theory”
• Gavin Walker (McGill University), “Community, or the Writing of the Supplement”

Saturday, 10/28 – Physical Sciences Building 401

Panel Four, 9:30-11:00, Theorizing Subjectivity
• Takeshi Kimoto (Chukyo University), “Subject As Nothingness: Tanabe Hajime’s Interpretation of Hegel”
• Trent Maxey (Amherst College), “Mobility and Subjectivity in Japan’s Automotive Age”
• Wes Sasaki-Uemura (University of Utah), “In Praise of Disorder: Photography, Subjectivity, and ‘Chaos’”

Panel Five, 11:15-12:30, Occluded Histories, Critical Historiographies
• Reading of Naoki Watanabe (Musashi University), “Korean Soldier Internee in Siberia and the Problem of (Un)Redressability”
• Yukiko Hanawa (New York University), “Fraying the Edges of Boundaries: The One-eyed One”
• Katsuya Hirano (UCLA), “Living Social Death: Race, Capital, and Reification of the Ainu”

Panel Six, 2:00-3:30, Contemporary Histories, Contemporary Disorders
• Iwasaki Minoru (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies) "The Vicissitudes of Japan’s Reception of Hegel and the Shock of Hegel and Haiti"
• Kasai Hirotaka (Tsuda College), “Democratic Meltdown and the Contemporary Forms of Political Apathy”
• Reading of Hideto Tsuboi (International Research Center for Japanese Studies), “Living With the Living: Discourse on the Dead after 3.11” (in-absentia; paper to be read)

Concluding Roundtable, 4:00-5:30, “Critical Reflections on Japanese Studies”
• Narita Ryuichi (Japan Women’s University), “Japan’s Japan, America’s Japan”
Followed by Comments from Brett de Bary (Cornell), Carol Gluck (Columbia University), Kojima Kiyoshi (former editor Iwanami Shoten Publishers), Victor Koschmann (Cornell), Naoki Sakai (Cornell)