5/7 Anthony Stott

Ph.D. Student, EALC, Comparative Literature

The Problem of Late Style in Ōe Kenzaburo

Image Caption: Manuscript copy of the third page of Ōe’s In reito sutairu (In Late Style, 2013)

Time: Friday, May 7, 3-5 pm CT

Zoom Registration: https://uchicago.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJwpdOuvqz4sGtZ_CTwGohQOlI6rxSE-bMpD

Discussant: Alex Murphy, Ph.D Candidate, EALC

The Art and Politics of East Asia (APEA) workshop is proud to host Anthony Stott (Ph.D. Student, EALC, Comparative Literature), who will present his paper, “The Problem of Late Style in Ōe Kenzaburo.” He summarizes his paper as follows:

On September 25, 2003, Edward Said passed away while still at work on his book about late style. Said’s death and the posthumous publication of this work as On Late Style (2006) led the writer Ōe Kenzaburō (1935–), a close friend of Said’s, to a period of particularly sustained engagement with Said’s life and thought. Taking Ōe and Said’s friendship and transpacific exchange of ideas as its starting point, this paper considers Ōe’s recasting of Said’s understanding of late style through two of Ōe’s most recent works: In reito sutairu (In Late Style, 2013), an idiosyncratic book of reflections and interviews centering on Ōe’s life and œuvre, but especially Suishi (Death by Water, 2009), his so-called “last full-length novel.” Reading Death by Water by way of In Late Style, it contends that late style catalyzes a two-pronged self-critique, oriented toward both the novelistic form of Ōe’s works and his writerly horizon as a male-gendered member of the yakeato generation. Bound up with this critique, Ōe’s late style as refracted in Death by Water gestures towards transcending a unitary narrative voice trapped within the strictures of its Ōe-like narrator’s positionality, but remains suspended in an aporetic space⎯between text and performance, the actualization of self-critique and its failure. Focusing on theatrical stagings of Natsume Sōseki’s Kokoro within Death by Water, this paper untangles this critique and its performative roots by drawing on Masao Miyoshi’s idea of “reading against the native grain.” Late style, as thus unearthed, possesses undeniable import for not only Ōe’s late works, but, in its critiques of Ōe’s entire project, his entire corpus. Furthermore, by way of its crystallization out of transnational encounters, Ōe’s late style registers a mode of grappling with questions of aesthetics and society that challenges approaches to literature and thought premised on nationalistic and unidirectional dissemination models.



Anthony Stott is a joint degree student in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Department of Comparative Literature. He works, broadly speaking, on postwar Japanese literature, culture, and thought. His research is motivated by problems of philosophical aesthetics and affect, reception and circulation, and translation. He pursues these problems as they are manifested not only in more typical literary texts but also across performance, architecture, and criticism as a self-sufficient object of analysis.

Spring 2019 Schedule

Art and Politics of East Asia Workshop (APEA) is excited to announce the Spring 2019 schedule.


Location: Center for East Asian Studies, Room 319, 1155 E 60th St

Time: Friday, 3-5PM

Please note special location or time for some events.


April 12

Chenxin Jiang (PhD Candidate, Social Thought)

Philhellenism and Philosophy in 1920s China

Discussant: Yanxiao He (PhD Student, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations)

Followed by a catered dinner


April 19

Professionalization Workshop with EALC Alumni Anne Rebull and Carly Buxton

Please note special time and location: 12-2pm in Cobb 302


April 26-27

Panel on East Asian Literary Histories
With PhD students Emily Yoon, Nicholas Wong, and Brian White
Discussant: Professor Paola Iovene (EALC)
Please note special time and location: Walker Museum 302, 1115 E. 58th St, Chicago, IL 60637; coffee and light refreshments at 3:30PM and panel at 4PM.


May 10

Yiren Zheng (PhD Candidate, EALC)

Voices that Are Not Fully Human

Discussant: William Carroll (PhD Candidate, EALC)

Please note special location: EALC Seminar Room, Wieboldt Hall 301N, followed by a catered dinner


May 17

Alia Breitwieser (PhD Candidate, Comparative Literature)

The Topography of the Text: Rethinking Jin Shengtan’s Reading Methods (dufa 讀法)

Discussant: Yiying Pan (PhD Candidate, EALC)


May 24

Jun Hee Lee (PhD Candidate, History)

Kindling Healthful Singing Across Tokyo: Utagoe Cafe Tomoshibi’s Cultural Ventures, 1962-1984


May 25

Public Lecture on Translating Premodern Chinese Buddhist Texts: Five Ways of Reading Chinese Buddhist History

Professor John Kieschnick, Stanford University

Please note special time and location: 9AM-12PM, Cobb Hall 110, followed by a catered lunch


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