Sensibilities of Transformation: The Linguistic Turn and Contemporary Japanese Literary Criticism

Sensibilities of Transformation: The Linguistic Turn and Contemporary Japanese Literary Criticism

UCLA April 19-20, 2002
Herbert Morris Seminar Room
306 Royce Hall

The decade between the mid-1970s and the mid-1980s saw a revolution in the study of modern Japanese literature. A new generation of scholars arose in revolt against the largely positivistic methodologies that had dominated postwar scholarship. Works such as Maeda Ai's The Establishment of the Modern Reader (Kindai dokusha no seiritsu, 1973), Kamei Hideo's Transformations of Sensibility (Kansei no henkaku, 1983), Noguchi Takehiko's The Japanese Language in Fiction (Shôsetsu no Nihongo, 1980), and Karatani Kôjin's Origins of Modern Japanese Literature (Kindai Nihon bungaku no kigen, 1980), began the process of challenging orthodox interpretations, often introducing new methodologies in the process: structuralism, semiotics, phenomenological linguistics, and many others.

With a quarter century of history behind this trend, it seems an appropriate time to reflect on the impact of this revolution, both in terms of the new possibilities it created and the shortcomings it was unable to overcome. This conference will carry out a critical reassessment of the linguistic turn, exploring the political implications of the new scholarship, extending possibilities that it first opened, as well as exploring questions it was unable to raise. Scholars from a variety of disciplines and areas will present papers helping us to understand where the linguistic turn has brought us and suggesting new possibilities for future directions.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Japanese Studies and the Dept. of East Asian Literatures & Cultures

Friday, April 19, 2001

1:30 p.m. Welcoming remarks

1:45 p.m. Panel One: The Politics and Practice of the Linguistic Turn

Chair: Shoichi Iwasaki (UCLA)

Tomiko Yoda (Duke University), "The 'Textual Turn' in Heian Literary Studies: The Tokieda Legacy"
Norma Field (University of Chicago), "Thinking about Form & Ideology: 'Literature & Revolution' through the Short Fiction of Kobayashi Takiji"
John Whitman (Cornell University), "Kokugogaku vs. Gengogaku: Language Process Theory and Tokieda's Construction of Saussure, 50 Years Later"

Kinsui Satoshi (Osaka University)
Theodore Huters (UCLA)

4:30 p.m. Keynote Address

Kamei Hideo (Hokkaidô University), "Theories of Language in the Fields of Philosophy and History: Japan in the 1970s"

Moderator: Michael Bourdaghs (UCLA)

5:30 p.m. Public Reception

Saturday, April 20, 2002

9:30 a.m. Panel Two: The Uses of Meiji Literature

Chair: Seiji Lippit (UCLA)

Joseph Essertier (UCLA), "The Propriety of Literary Form in Mid-Meiji"
Guohe Zheng (Ball State University), "A Linguistic Approach to Kajin no kigû."
Kohno Kensuke (Nihon University), "The Age of the Prize-Contest Novel"

Richi Sakakibara (Shinshû University)

1:00 p.m. Panel Three: Textual Subjects and the Rise of Modern Literature

Chair: Namhee Lee (UCLA)

Atsuko Ueda (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), "The Genealogy of the Modern Shôsetsu: Tsubouchi Shôyô's Shôsetsu shinzui"
Susie Jie Kim (UCLA), "Becoming Modern: Subject Formations in Turn-of-the-Century Korean Fiction"
Leslie Winston (Connecticut College), "The Voice of Sex"

Discussant: Christopher Bolton (UC-Riverside)

3:30 p.m. Panel Four: The Voice(s) of the Other

Chair: Mariko Tamanoi (UCLA)

Mirana May Szeto (UCLA), "From Princess to Bare Life: Kawashima Yoshiko and the Constitutive Dangers of the Nation and the Citizen"
Charles Shiro Inouye (Tufts University), "Centering the Word: Beyond Orality/Literacy"
Jennifer Lee (UCLA), "Between Speakers and Languages: Narrating Trauma in Yi Chongjun and Ôoka Shôhei"

Discussant: Rachel C. Lee (UCLA)

Presentations will be given in English or Japanese; English-language summaries will be provided for Japanese-language presentations. This conference is free and open to the public. Registration is not required, but seating is limited. Parking is available for $6.00 in Lot 2, or as directed by the Parking Services Information kiosks.

For further information, contact Michael Bourdaghs


Published: Friday, April 19, 2002