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Hermeneutical Strategies: Methods of Interpretation in the Study of Japanese Literature

Hermeneutical Strategies: Methods of Interpretation in the Study of Japanese Literature

3 day international conference on hermeneutics

Friday, November 21, 2003
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
314 Royce Hall
Los Angeles, CA 154003




Hermeneutical Strategies:

Methods of Interpretation in the Study of Japanese Literature


University of California, Los Angeles, November 21-23, 2003

Royce Hall 314

Organizer: Michael F. Marra


Sponsors: The Japan Foundation, Toshiba International Foundation, UCLA Center for Japanese Studies






Friday, November 21, 2003


Registration/Coffee and Pastries



Welcoming Remarks by Michael F. Marra



Panel 1--Feminist Theories, 1


“The Maternal Body as the Site of Ideological Contest: A Feminist Reading of Hirabayashi Taiko,” Linda Flores, University of California, Los Angeles.


“The Rhetoric of Misogyny: Women Who ‘Hate’ Women and Other Feminist Problems in the Literature of Takahashi Takako,” Julia Bullock, Stanford University.


“Japanese Female Writers Watch a Boy Being Beaten by His Father: Female Fantasy of Male Homosexuality, Psychoanalysis, and Sexuality,” Kazumi Nagaike, University of British Columbia.


Discussant: Rebecca Copeland, Washington University in St. Louis.



Panel 2--Feminist Theories, 2


“Hirabayashi Taiko and the Future of Feminism,” Marilyn Bolles, Montana State University-Bozeman.


“Outing Miyamoto Yuriko: The Hermeneutics of Sexual Identity,” Sarah Pradt, Macalester College.


“How Housewives Shatter a Narrative: Tawada Yoko’s The Bridegroom was a Dog,” Robin Tierney, University of Iowa.



Panel 3--Postcolonial Theories


“Issues of Postcolonial Theories in Zainichi Literature,” Yoshiko Matsuura, Purdue University.


Zainichi Literature Through a Lacanian Gaze: The Case of Yi Yang Ji’s Yuhi,” Catherine Ryu, Michigan State University.


“Debating War Responsibility in Postwar Japanese Film Discourse,” Michael Baskett, University of Oregon.






Panel 4--Voices from the “Ikyo” (Foreign Space)


Shōjo and Yamanba in Mori Mari’s Literature,” Hiromi Tsuchiya Dollase, Vassar College.


“A Female Modernist in Chaos (Gendered Place): Osaki Midori’s Dainana Kankai Hōkō (Wandering Around the Seven Sensuous Worlds),” Eguro Kiyomi, Josai International University.


“Shinjuku as ‘Ikyo’: Hideo Levy’s Seijōki no Kikoenai Heya (The Room in which the Sound of American Flag Cannot Be Heard), Satō Koji, Josai International University.



Panel 5--Literary Interpretation and the Crises of Modernity: Cultural Criticism in Early Shōwa


“I Am A Revolutionary Cat: Proletarian Literature and Natsume Sōseki,” Michael Bourdaghs, University of California, Los Angeles.


“The Fiction and Criticism of Sakaguchi Ango: The Rhetoric of Ambivalence,” Oshino Takeshi, Hokkaidō University.


“’Irony’ and Subjectivity in the Essays of Yasuda Yojūrō,” Nosaka Akio, Oita Prefectural College of Arts & Culture.


Discussant: Miriam Silverberg, University of California, Los Angeles.



Panel 6--Cultural Criticism in Early Shōwa, 2


Shinseinen, the Contract and Vernacular Modernism,” Kyoko Ōmori, Hamilton College.


“Miyazawa Kenji and the Ethics of Scientific Realism,” Gregory Golley, University of Chicago.


“The Problem of Aesthetics in Nishida Kitarō,” Matteo Cestari, University of Turin.



Keynote Speaker

Fujita Masakatsu, University of Kyoto.

西田幾多郎の哲学と日本語 (Nishida Kitarō’s Philosophy and Japanese Language)

(in Japanese)





Saturday, November 22, 2003



Coffee and Pastries



Panel 7—The Author, Intertextuality, and  Narratology


“What if the Author was Never God?: Some Thoughts on Kawabata, texts and Criticism,” Matthew Mizenko, Ursinus College.


“The Author, the Reader, and Japanese Literary Texts: Returning Poststructuralist Intertextuality to its Dialogic Roots,” Timothy J. Van Compernolle, College of William and Mary.


“Materializing Narratology: The Case of Kanai Mieko,” Atsuko Sakaki, University of Toronto.



Panel 8--Wa-kan Dialectic and the Field of Poetics


“Prefaces as Sino-Japanese Interfaces: Towards an Intracultural Poetics of Early Japanese Literature,” Wiebke Denecke, Harvard University.


“Pictured Landscapes: Heian Gardens and Poetic Imagination,” Ivo Smits, Leiden University.


“Beyond Wa-kan: In Search of Sharper Tools for Narrating Reception,” Jason P. Webb, Princeton University.



Panel 9--Re-Interpreting the Classics


Beyond Our Grasp? Materiality, Meta-genre and Meaning in the Po(e)ttery of

Rengetsu-ni,” Sayumi Takahashi, University of Pennsylvania.


“Heteronormativity and the Politics of the Writing Subject: Zeami and the Legitimation of Popular Literature,” Joe Parker, Pitzer College.


“Staging the Spectacular: Kabuki, Shunga, and the Semiotics of Excess,” David Pollack, University of Rochester.


“The Role of Heian Intertexts in the Recuperation of Lyrical Acuity in Tawara Machi’s Late Capitalist Tanka,” Dean Brink, Saint Martin’s College.






Keynote Speaker

Matsumura Yūji, Kokubungaku Kenkyū Shiryōkan (National Institute of Japanese Literature).

本歌取りの 位置剽窃とオリジナリテイの (The Position of Allusive Variation: Between Plagiarism and Originality)

(in Japanese)



Panel 10--Strategies in Reading Tropes: The Hermeneutics of Medieval Language and Poetry


“Excluded Middles: Grammar vs. Rhetoric vs. Esthetic in the Medieval Hermeneutics of Canonical Waka,” Lewis Cook, Queens College, CUNY.


“Whether Birds or Monkeys: Names, Reference and the Interpretation of Waka,” Gian Piero Persiani, Columbia University.


“Dramatizing Figures: the Revitalization and Expansion of Metaphors in ,” Akiko Takeuchi, Columbia University.


Discussant: Haruo Shirane, Columbia University.



Panel 11--Literature on Literature: Hermeneutical Subtexts in Anthologies and Fiction

“Compilation as Commentary: The Two Imperial Anthologies of Nijō Tameyo,” Stefania Burk, University of Virginia.


Little Atsumori and The Tale of The Heike: Fiction as Commentary, and the Significance of a Name,” R. Keller Kimbrough, Colby College.


“Genji Goes to China: The Tale of Hamamatsu and Murasaki’s Substitutes,” Charo D’Etcheverry, University of Wisconsin.


Discussant: H. Richard Okada, Princeton University.



Panel 12--Constructing the Alternative Text: Commentaries in Late Medieval and Early Modern Japan.


“Accessorizing the Text: The Role of Commentary in the Creation of Readers,” Linda H. Chance, University of Pennsylvania.


“The Context and Structure of Neo-Confucian Commentary: The Case of Minagawa Kien,” W. J. Boot, Leiden University.


“In Search of the Absolute Origin: Ogyū Sorai (1666-1728) or the Shadow of the Ancients,” Aiko Okamoto MacPhail, Indiana University.


Discussant: Mark Meli, Kansai University.



Keynote Speaker

William R. LaFleur, University of Pennsylvania.

“Good Karma, Bad Karma, Words, and Deeds”



Dinner (hosted by Fred G. Notehelfer, Director, UCLA Center for Japanese Studies)



Sunday, November 23, 2003


Coffee and Pastries



Panel 13--How to Discuss Artistic Inspiration: New Methodologies on Studying Modern Japan


“The Uses and Abuses of History for Butō-writing: The Literary Activities of Hijikata Tatsumi,” Bruce Baird, University of Pennsylvania.

“Japanese Detective Fiction and the Question of Authenticity: Discussing Intercultural Influences,” Sari Kawana, University of Pennsylvania.


“Writing the Political not Just the Personal in Tamura’s Shōwa Period Fiction,” Anne Sokolsky, University of Southern California.


Discussant: Alan Tansman, University of California, Berkeley.



Keynote Speaker

Muroi Hisashi, Yokohama National University.

“Problems of Interpretation in the Age of Database”



Panel 14--The Ins and Outs of Publishing: Plumbing Archives for Japanese Literary Histories


“In Search of the Japanese Novel in Nineteenth-Century America: Book History and the New Literary Hermeneutics,” Jonathan Zwicker, University of Michigan.


“Archiving the Forbidden: War Responsibilities and Censored Literature,” Jonathan Abel, Princeton University.



Panel 15—Art and Psychoanalysis


“The Historical Horizons of True Art: Kafū and Okakura at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair,” Miya Lippit, Getty Center.


Psyche as Soma: Four Modern Japanese Texts,Andra Alvis, Indiana University.


“Konaka’s Mirror Stage: Alice, Anime, and the End of Psychoanalysis,” Margherita Long, University of California, Riverside.



Closing Remarks by Michael F. Marra



Cost: Free

For more information please contact

Michael Marra
Tel: 310) 794-8941

Sponsor(s): Terasaki Center for Japanese Studies, The Japan Foundation, Toshiba International Foundation

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