January 11, 2019/ 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM

Royce 314

Developing a Paper Empire: Late Meiji Magazines and Modern Japanese Mass Culture

Colloquium with Professor Nathan Shockey, Bard College

The turn of the 20th century was a watershed moment for periodical publishing in Japan, as a highly literate populace began subscribing to magazines in the many thousands. This talk will examine the roles of industrially reproduced photographic images and oral performance genres in the development of mass market-oriented discursive spaces for Japanese literary writing and modern popular culture. The talk will focus on two major publishing companies: Hakubunkan, which revolutionized magazine publishing through war photography and color prints, and Kôdansha, which became Japan’s premier entertainment publisher by popularizing late Meiji forms of oral performance. In this transformative moment, the near-universal status of typographic print as a medium for popular discourse was predicated on the circulation and remediation of non-typographic visual and auditory media.


About the Speaker

Nathan Shockey is Assistant Professor of Japanese at Bard College, where he teaches courses on modern Japanese literature, media, and cultural history. His monograph manuscript, The Typographic Imagination: Reading and Writing in Japan’s Age of Modern Print Media explores how Japan’s modern commercial print revolution transformed ideas and practices of prose, language, philosophy, and politics, via analyses of synchronic subjects ranging from magazine publishing and bibliophilic collecting to linguistic reform, social thought, and beyond.

Download file: 1.11.19-SHOCKEY-FLYER-2-2x-j05.pdf