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Two-day Conference on Sensibilities of Transformation

The Linguistic Turn and Contemporary Japanese Literary Criticism

Saturday, April 20, 2002
9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Herbert Morris Seminar Room
306 Royce Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1487

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 Transformation of Sensibility (Kansei no henkaku, 1983), Noguchi Takehiko's The Japanese Language in Fiction (Shosetsu no Nihongo, 1980), and Karatani Kojin's Origins of Modern Japanese Literature (Kindai Nohon bungaku no kigen, 1980), began the process of challenging orthodox interpretation, 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 understnad where the linguistic turn has brought us and suggesting new possibilities for future directions.


Friday, April 19, 2002

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 and Ideology: 'Literature Revolution through the Short Fiction of Kobayashi Takiji"
--John Whitman (Cornell Univeristy), "Kokugogaku vs. Gengogaku: Language Process Theory and Tokieda's Construction of Saussure, 50 Years Later"
--Satoshi Kinsui (Osaka Univeristy)
--Theodore Huters (UCLA)

4:30 p.m. Keynote Address

--Kamei Hideo (Hokkaido 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 kigu
--Kohno Kensuke (Nihon University), "The Age of the Prize-Contest Novel"
Discussant: Richi Sakakibara (Shinshu 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 Shosetsu: Tsubouchi Shoyo's Shosetsu shinzui"
--Susie Jie Kim (UCLA), "Becoming Modern: Subject Formations in Turn-of-the-Century Korean Fiction"
--Leslie Winston (Conneticut 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 the 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 Yu Chongjun and Ooka Shohei"
Discussant: Rachel C. Lee (UCLA)


Cost: Free

For more information please contact

Micheal Bourdaghs

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