Sophia Sherry: Ethnography of Loss

Sophia Sherry (PhD Candidate, English)

“Ethnography of Loss: Fumiko Hayashi’s Postwar Women”

Discussant: David Krolikoski (PhD Candidate, EALC)

Friday, January 18, 3-5PM
Location: CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)

 

On January 18th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm the Art and Politics of East Asia workshop will host Sophia Sherry (PhD Candidate, English). She will present “Ethnography of Loss: Fumiko Hayashi’s Postwar Women,” a chapter of her dissertation. Sophia provides the following abstract:

On one standard account, Western literary “modernism” traces its origins to the metropolitan centers of Euro-America in the fin-de-siècle period. In this genealogy, Jules Laforgue’s symbolist experiments in verse inspire T.S. Eliot’s high-modernist formalism, for instance, and Baudelaire’s squalid Paris of the French Second Empire makes possible James Joyce’s reimagining of Dublin in his Ulysses of the 1920s. On this account, too, that signature, modernist modality of “stream of consciousness” is born in William James’s pragmatist philosophy and it finds its perfect exponents in James’s fellow anglophones Virginia Woolf and William Faulkner. Within the modernist (sub)field of English literary scholarship, such geographically constrained myths of influence and derivation appear at once comfortable (familiar) and increasingly short-sighted.

This paper contributes to the growing field of global modernist study by joining the ranks of current scholars engaged in broadening the latitudes of modernist scholarship and inquiry. Transnational imperatives driving new conceptions of cultural modernism encompass, therefore, not just the ethical and political demands of postcolonial literary emancipation but also, I am wagering, merely alternative epistemes and methodologies which are differently inflected, at either the perpetrating or receiving end, by the violent histories of global imperialism. Modern Japan, which Shu-mei Shih has called a member of the “honorary West,” is one case of the latter in point. Meiji Japan is a late-born empire, an instance of an “alternative” and mostly simultaneous, if accelerated, modernity, and yet still, as part of the global East, it lurks as one piece of the West’s projected Other—a modern Orient of reformed despotism whose essential difference serves, in Said’s classic analysis, to consolidate a foreclosed narrative of Western exceptionalism.

Fumiko Hayashi’s “social-realist” modanizumu is the focus of this paper, especially as it manifests at global scale within the Japanese postwar context. Primary texts include Hôrôki (1930) and Ukigumo (1951). Behaviorist in her rendering of diverse human subjects, Hayashi’s “nomadic” modernism (as Seiji Lippit has called it) partakes of a phenomenological logic of revolutionary inversion (tentô), or more simply of a de-naturalizing of naturalized categories of understanding. Such naturalized intellectual and sensuous tendencies would seek to differentiate human subjects from material objects, say, or make history seamless and inevitable when in fact it is always contingent. In this scrambling of epistemological assumptions (tentô), I borrow from Kôjin Karatani’s 1990s deconstruction of the “origins” of Japanese literature. The paper also draws on Sho Konishi’s recent work on Japanese-Russian anarchist modernity and Ann Sherif’s scholarship on Japan in the global Cold War period.

Refreshments will be served at the workshop. We look forward to seeing you there!

Nicholas Lambrecht

Nicholas Lambrecht
“Life After Return in Postwar Japan: From Fujiwara Tei to Miyao Tomiko”
Friday, November 16, 3-5PM
Location: CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)
 
 
Discussant: Nicholas Wong, PhD (Comparative Literature)
 
On November 16th from 3:00pm to 5:00pm the Art and Politics of East Asia workshop will host Nicholas Lambrecht (PhD Candidate, EALC). He will present “Life After Return in Postwar Japan: From Fujiwara Tei to Miyao Tomiko,” a chapter of his dissertation. The abstract is as follows:
This week marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I, an event that brought global attention to the issue of postwar repatriation, and November 6 was the 100th anniversary of the birth of Japanese writer Fujiwara Tei (1918–2016). Fujiwara Tei and Miyao Tomiko (1926–2014) were among the more than one million Japanese civilians who repatriated from Manchuria to Japan at the end of the Second World War, a journey that cost tens of thousands their lives. The repatriation literature (hikiage bungaku) of returnees like Fujiwara and Miyao has struggled to maintain the memory of the hardships of postwar repatriation and pass it down to new generations. This paper examines popular narratives about the large-scale repatriation to Japan that took place in the aftermath of the Second World War. The paper traces the development of tropes about repatriation, shows how depictions of repatriation have reflected the postwar lives and evolving perspectives of their authors, and points to factors that influenced the dissemination and style of Japanese-language repatriation literature.

Megan Beckerich

Megan Beckerich

“Supernatural Bodies and Censorship in 19th Century Japanese Prints”

Friday, October 26th, 4-6 p.m.*

Location: CEAS 319 (1155 E. 60th St.)

Discussant: Minori Egashira (PhD Student, Art History)

*Please note the start time is one hour later than usual!

On October 26th from 4:00pm to 6:00pm the Art and Politics of East Asia workshop will host Megan Beckerich, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities. She will present “Supernatural Bodies and Censorship in 19th Century Japanese Prints,” a working draft of her MA thesis. Megan offers the following abstract:

This thesis will explore censorship and morality in images depicting the female body from 19th century Japan. Specifically, by utilizing The Lonely House at Adachi Moor (1885) by Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839-1892), as a case study, this thesis will show that the changing application of censorial laws in Meiji Japan was not solely for a true change in public morals, but rather was an intertwining of Japanese official’s attempt to modernize to western moral standards while utilizing art to promote ideas of what was acceptable and what was “backwards” in a industrializing nation. This censorship was targeted strongly against depictions of female bodies in sexual or violent scenes, but this form of censorship, heavily drawing from existing European moral notions in art, put images identified as “supernatural” into the realm of fantasy. As such, prints depicting supernatural women were able to pass the censors because the bodies depicted are not human, but only fantasy. This is turn allowed the Meiji government to continue promoting modernization vis-à-vis relegating regional folkloric belief in the supernatural to “fantasy” and unreal. An analysis of what constitutes supernatural and human bodies will be conducted to better understand what forms a body in art, and where the boundary between human and inhuman lies within that genre. By comparing the visuals, purpose, and reception of The Lonely House to selected imagery and Yositoshi’s own catalogue, this thesis aims to more clearly illustrate the web of cultural meanings, connotations, while better understanding why certain visually grotesque prints were more acceptable than others in early modern Japanese society.

2018 Fall Quarter Schedule

Sun Xun 孙逊 Endopsychic Fire, 2015. Painting Ink and color on Photographic Paper, Silver dust pigment.

Location: Center for East Asian Studies, Room 319, at the Harris School Building (1155 E 60th St)

Time: Friday, 3-5PM

Please note special location or time for some events.

 

10/12   Art in Smog (2018, 76 minutes, Mandarin with English subtitles)

Screening and Conversation with Director Lydia Chen

Introduced by Professor Paola Iovene (East Asian Languages and Civilizations)

Joint Event with Visual and Material Perspectives on East Asia Workshop

Time and location: 3-5PM, Cochrane-Woods Art Center, Room 157

 

10/19   Chao Wang, PhD Candidate (History)

“Blind Singing Girls and the Respectability of Livelihood in Early Republican Guangzhou, 1911-1927”

Discussant: Weichu Wang, PhD Student (History)

Time and location: 3-5PM, Center for East Asian Studies, Room 319

 

10/26   Megan Beckerich, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities

“Supernatural Bodies and Censorship in 19th Century Japanese Prints”

Discussant: Minori Egashira, PhD Student (Art History)

Time and location: 4-6PM, Center for East Asian Studies, Room 319

 

11/2   Lilian Kong, Master of Arts Program in the Humanities

Wolf Warrior II: Chinese Nationalism in the Popular Culture and Media Age”

Discussant: William Carroll, PhD Candidate (Cinema and Media Studies + East Asian Languages and Civilizations)

Special time for lunch and screening:

With a screening of “Wolf Warrior II” (战狼2) and catered lunch at Center for East Asian Studies, Room 319, starting at 1PM

 

11/16   Nicholas Lambrecht, PhD Candidate (East Asian Languages and Civilizations)

“Life After Return in Postwar Japan: From Fujiwara Tei to Miyao Tomiko”

Discussant: Nicholas Wong, PhD (Comparative Literature)

Time and location: 3-5PM, Center for East Asian Studies, Room 319

 

11/30   Yuqian Yan, PhD Candidate (Cinema and Media Studies + East Asian Languages and Civilizations)

“Constructing the Ancient: Set Design in Orphan Island Cinema”

Discussant: Pao-chen Tang, PhD Candidate (Cinema and Media Studies + East Asian Languages and Civilizations)

Time and location: 3-5PM, Center for East Asian Studies, Room 319

 

Jun Hee Lee


Title screen from film Araki Sakae the Laborer-Composer (1993)

Jun Hee Lee (PhD Candidate in History)
“In Chorus with Japanese Laborers: the Utagoe Movement and Araki Sakae the Laborer-Composer”
Friday, June 1st, 3:00pm-5:00pm in CEAS 319
Discussant: Alex Murphy (PhD Candidate in EALC)

Please join us Friday (6/1) from 3:00pm to 5:00pm as we host Jun Hee Lee (PhD Candidate in History). He will present a draft chapter from his dissertation, which he summarizes as follows:

The Utagoe movement arose, by official account, in 1948 in association with the Japanese Communist Party’s early postwar cultural policy.  Utagoe quickly gained momentum in the mid-1950s as it acquired associate performing groups in workplaces across Japan.  As Utagoe began aligning with labor and peace movements through the 1950s, one culturally and politically conscious laborer from northern Kyushu found his calling: Araki Sakae (1924-1962), a second-generation coal miner in Miike, the future site of a landmark labor dispute in postwar Japan.  Araki would dedicate the last ten years of his life to Utagoe, partaking in the Miike coal miners’ strike between 1959 and 1960 with his own songs.  This paper examines ways in which Utagoe has subsequently celebrated Araki Sakae as an ideal laborer-composer (rōdōsha sakkyokuka) figure who was at once an earnest, politically conscious laborer and a creative soul.  By exploring specific manners in which Utagoe posited the Miike strike as a national struggle and established Araki and his songs as landmarks for Utagoe’s timeline, this paper demonstrates how Utagoe produced and maintained a narrative of continued struggle (tatakai) for “peace” and “independence” of Japan, while eschewing Araki’s own life trajectory predating his encounter with Utagoe in favor of emphasizing Utagoe’s and Araki’s joint confrontations with “American imperialism” and “monopoly capital”.  Utagoe’s continued celebration of Araki today bespeaks the endurance of such perspective, in which continued struggles by Japanese laborers occupy a quintessential place.

The paper is available directly below, or at this link. If you have not received the password, or have questions about accessibility, please feel free to contact Helina Mazza-Hilway (mazzah@uchicago.edu) or Susan Su (susansu@uchicago.edu).

Pedagogy Roundtable: Syllabi Workshop

Sohye Kim, PhD Candidate in EALC; David Krolikoski, PhD Candidate in EALC; Kyle Peters, PhD Candidate in EALC; Yiren Zheng, PhD Candidate in EALC
Pedagogy Roundtable: Syllabi Workshop
Friday, May 18th, 3:00pm-5:00pm in Wieboldt 301N

Please join us Friday (5/18) from 3:00pm-5:00pm as we host a pedagogy roundtable of PhD Candidates from the East Asian Languages and Civilizations department. Roundtable participants will submit drafts of syllabi for the workshop’s consideration, and the following discussion will provide opportunity for workshop participants not only to give feedback on the particular syllabi drafts that have been circulated, but also to consider issues of creating East Asia-related syllabi for undergraduates: balancing area studies and discipline, managing the constraints and benefits of the quarter system, and transforming one’s own expertise and research into teaching material.

The syllabi are available directly below, or at this link. If you have not received the password, or have questions about accessibility, please feel free to contact Helina Mazza-Hilway (mazzah@uchicago.edu) or Susan Su (susansu@uchicago.edu).

Paride Stortini

Hirayama Ikuo, “Ancestral Buddhism,” 1959. Saku Municipal Museum Modern Art Collection.

Paride Stortini (PhD Student, Divinity)
“Imagining a Cosmopolitan “Furusato”: India and Buddhism in the Silk Road Imaginaire of Hirayama Ikuo”
Monday, March 5th, 12:00pm-1:15pm in Swift Hall’s Marty Center Library
Discussant: Sandy Lin (PhD Student in Art History)
Co-sponsored with the Religion and the Human Sciences Workshop

Please join us Monday (3/5) from 12:00pm-1:15pm as we host Paride Stortini (PhD Student in Divinity). He will present a draft of his qualifying exams paper in progress, which he summarizes as follows:

This paper is on a topic that is not directly linked to my dissertation research and will not be included in my dissertation, which will be focused on India in Meiji Japan. Nevertheless, many of the theoretical references, as well as the general issue of Buddhism and pan-Asianism, will certainly end up in my dissertation. In addition, I plan to present the last section of the paper at a conference in Delhi at the end of March on “India in the Silk Road,” and plan to keep this material for future research projects and single article publication. In this paper I am working on a chronological period (post-WWII Japan) with which I am less familiar than the Meiji period, and I use a lot of art, with which I am definitely not familiar, that is why any suggestion from colleagues with more expertise will be greatly appreciated.
The paper is available directly below, or at this link. If you have not received the password, or have questions about accessibility, please feel free to contact Helina Mazza-Hilway (mazzah@uchicago.edu) or Susan Su (susansu@uchicago.edu).