Junko Yamazaki, “Reorienting Jidaigeki: Matsumoto Toshio’s Shura (1971)”
Junko Yamazaki, a PhD candidate in Cinema and Media Studies and East Asian Languages and Civilizations will present a work-in-progress version of one of her dissertation chapters. She summarizes the chapter as follows. The workshop will begin and end an hour earlier than normal to accommodate other talks later in the day.
Once hailed as one of the most important and beautiful films made in Japan since Kurosawa’s prime by film critic Noël Burch, experimental filmmaker, video artist Matusmoto Toshio’s “dark” film Shura (1971) has remained relatively unknown compared to its more playful and lively “white” counterpart, Funeral Parade of Roses (1969). Shot entirely in black-and-white—except for the opening shot—Shura casts its drama on the verge of pitch blackness and invisibility. By offering a genealogy of the relationship between jidaigeki and Japanese avant-garde practices of the 1960s, this chapter challenges the view of the film as Matsumoto’s “turn” from politically engaged avant-garde film to politically disengaged, if not reactionary, jidaigeki (period) film. I argue that Shura’s anachronism is better understood as a hermeneutic challenge than as a political or aesthetic compromise. I will highlight Shura’s engagement with the “modern present” through a discussion of Matsumoto’s conception of spectatorship, and of his interpretation of the kabuki play on which the film is based: Tsuruya Nanboku’s recently revived The Lover’s Pledge. On the formal register, I will highlight Matsumoto’s preference for destabilization over the rejection of narrative as an avant-garde filmmaking strategy, and analyze his deliberate play on spectatorship through the constant reconfiguration of the viewer’s assigned position and orientation within the spatial coordinates of the image. This will enable us to see that Shura is a sophisticated effort to confront the spectator to her hermeneutical situation rather than a reactionary recoil into the “premodern past.”
A draft of Junko’s chapter will be available soon. If you have not received the password for the post, or if you have concerns about accessibility, please feel free to contact David Krolikoski at davidkroli at uchicago.edu or Brian White at bmwhite at uchicago.edu.
Janet Poole, “A New World?: Midcentury Modernisms on the Korean Peninsula”
We have invited Professor Janet Poole, the 2015 Modernist Studies Association Book Prize Winner, from the University of Toronto to give a very special lecture at APEA. A summary of the talk can be found below. Please note the unusual meeting time.
This talk takes an exploratory look at two writers—Yi T’aejun and Ch’oe Myŏngik—and their work from the late colonial and early post-Liberation periods. Acknowledged as masterly modernists during the colonial era, their work from the late 1940s is usually understood as having regressed under the influence of the North Korean society to which they moved (in the case of Yi) or stayed (Ch’oe) as the peninsula was partitioned by competing states. But can we think of their work through the era of the Asia-Pacific and Korean Wars as forming part of an ongoing modernist project?
There will be no pre-distributed paper for this talk. If you have concerns about accessibility, please contact David Krolikoski at davidkroli at uchicago.edu or Brian White at bmwhite at uchicago.edu.
Han Zhang, “Philological Jiangnan: The Practice of Wu Dialect in the Works of Drama in Late Imperial China”
Han Zhang will present a work-in-progress version of one of her dissertation chapters. She summarizes the chapter as follows.
In 1684, after winning a complete victory over the revolt of the three Han feudatories and consolidating Manchu rule over mainland China, Emperor Kangxi soon launched his first southern inspection tour. In Suzhou, the emperor grabbed the earliest opportunity he had to indulge in a Kunqun opera performance. The emperor’s infatuation with Kunqu, captured in a contemporary Shanghai native and Ming sympathizer’s diary, obviously contains extravagant historical and political implications worthy of decoding. This paper focuses on the dual indexicality of Kunqu as a unique art and cultural genre in the Qing dynasty. Kunqu, in the historical trajectory, is a highly refined, artistic representation of the classic and entertaining cultural inheritance passed down from the late Ming, while in the geopolitical dimension, it bears an inseverable philological connection to Jiangnan, the thorny area that once held the most persistent resistance to the Manchu conquest. By examining the practice of the Wu dialect, the alleged linguistic foundation of Kunqu composition and vocalization, in the works of drama in late imperial China, this paper intends to gain a further understanding of the actual use of the Chinese language(s) in a multi-lingual and multi-media context. Moreover, this study aims to complicate and challenge the prevailing time-dominant narrative of the vernacularizing history of the Chinese language(s) and literary writing, bringing the discussion of language into intrinsically connected spatiotemporal formations.
A draft of Han’s chapter is available at this link. If you have not received the password for the post, or if you have concerns about accessibility, please feel free to contact David Krolikoski at davidkroli at uchicago.edu or Brian White at bmwhite at uchicago.edu.
Unless otherwise noted our workshop meets from 3-5 p.m. at 1155 E 60th St (60th and Woodlawn) in Room 319.
Spring 2016 Schedule
April 15 (F), Han Zhang (East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago)
April 26 (T), 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Janet Poole (Associate Professor, East Asian Studies, University of Toronto) * note time and date
May 6 (F), Junko Yamazaki (Cinema and Media Studies/East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago)
May 20 (F), William Feeney (Anthropology, University of Chicago)
May 27 (F), Documentary Roundtable
June 3 (F), Anne Rebull (East Asian Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago)
If you are interested in presenting at the workshop, please contact David Krolikoski (davidkroli at uchicago.edu) or Brian White (bmwhite at uchicago.edu).
Friday, March 4, 3-5 PM in CEAS 319 (1155 E. 60th St.)
Scott Aalgaard (EALC), Susan Su (EALC), and Nic Wong (Comparative Literature)
“Space and Region in Research on East Asia”
Please join us TOMORROW, Friday, March 4th for a roundtable discussion jointly hosted with the East Asia: Transregional Histories workshop on the concepts of “Space and Region” as they relate to the work of our three discussants. The discussants are Scott Aalgaard (PhD Student in EALC), Susan Su (PhD Student in EALC), and Nic Wong (PhD Student in Comparative Literature). Preliminary remarks from each of our three panelists can be found by following this link. We hope the transregional, transmedial, and interdisciplinary perspectives brought by our discussants will provide the grounds for a rich conversation on these topics that will highlight the commonalities and differences in our approaches to physical, cultural, and historical spaces. We welcome you to join in the discussion.
Please contact David Krolikoski at davidkroli at uchicago.edu or Brian White at bmwhite at uchicago.edu if you have concerns regarding accessibility. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow!
Michiyoshi Satō, February 9, 5:00 PM-6:30 PM in CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St.)
Please join us Tuesday, February 9 from 5:00 PM-6:30 PM for a conversation with Michiyoshi Satō, a contemporary Tsugaru-jamisen performer. This event follows Satō’s performance on the previous day, which will be held at Bond Chapel at 6:00 p.m. Catering will be provided at the workshop.
Annotated lyrics in Japanese and English are available via this link. Please do not circulate or cite the lyrics without the permission of Michiyoshi Sato and Joshua Soloman. If you have not received the password for the post, or if you have concerns about accessibility for this meeting, please do not hesitate to email David Krolikoski at davidkroli at uchicago.edu or Brian White at bmwhite at uchicago.edu.