Transculturation and National Signifiers: "Japan" In, After, and Via Diaspora and Return
UCLA Center for Japanese Studies Annual Graduate Student Conference held on April 22nd 2006.
The annual UCLA Graduate Conference on Japanese Studies was held on April 22, 2006 and explored issues pertaining to the margins and ends of "Japan" as an imagined community. Pushing the limits of the term "Japan" as a national and cultural-rather than geographic-signifier, this conference sought to articulate cultural connections across disciplinary, geographic, ethnic, and political divides. As Japan sees the continuance of the legacy of emigration, travel, cultural and educational exchange that solidified in the Twentieth Century, the intersection, influence, and mutual dependence of cultural production both in diasporic communities and in Japan has become an issue of increasing interest. If "Japan" doesn't mean like it used to, how can we understand Japanese cultural production in and outward from zones constructed in various ways as marginal or diasporic? In what ways do emigrant, Nikkei, and 'returnee' arts impact Japanese culture and society? How do they draw on, subvert, and hybridize Japan's traditional cultural heritage? What are the grounds for classifying 日系 (Nikkei) artists as such? Where is the 日? What is the 系? How do critical apparatuses draw on notions of ethnicity and culture in constructing diasporic Japan as such? What critical and theoretical possibilities lie in examining the relation between Nikkei and Japanese art forms? How does this connection reconfigure academic designations such as Asian American Studies and Japanese or Area Studies?
For the full list speakers and participants at the conference, please download the program.
Download File: Transculturation poster 2006.pdf
Published: Thursday, November 03, 2005