November 12, 2020/ 2:45 PM - 6:00 PM

25th Annual Japan Studies Graduate Conference At UCLA


Aftermath: Critical Approaches to Temporality, Memory, and Subjectivity in Japan

This conference seeks to explore the idea of “aftermath” and its ontological implications across Japanese history and culture. Aftermath is not simply what follows an event, but rather constitutes a potentially generative instant of both rupture and continuity. The aftermath of events can be thought of as representative of a temporal slippage or moment of anachronism, in which a newly Janus-faced present reorients itself toward both the past and the future. Indeed, the creation of new memories and presentiments, as well as their intertwining, begets new socio-political subjectivities and reconfigures lived experiences. The form that aftermaths take is never, however, predetermined: the aftermath of events is marked by uncertainty and ruled by contingency. As such, aftermath is perhaps best thought of as not simply what did happen but what could have happened or should have happened; in other words, aftermath is not an element of causality but rather a complexity of possibilities, losses, and formations.

We pursue to creatively apply such an approach to a variety of aftermaths across time. The ramifications of an event can manifest in a variety of ways, including legally, scientifically or medically, religiously, artistically, and affectively, while the traces of aftermath are evident in a variety of loci, such as place, social organization, population, and narrative. Some catalyzing events could include, but are not limited to, natural and man-made disaster, pandemic, cultural reform, economic collapse, war, empire, and revolution and could take place in pre-modern or modern times.



Day 1: November 12th 2:50 pm- 6:00 pm PST

2:50 pm – 3:00 pm Opening Remarks
3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Keynote Speech by Professor Gennifer Weisenfeld (Duke University)
4:00 pm – 4:10 pm Break
4:10 pm – 5:00 pm Panel 1
5:00 pm – 5:10 pm Break
5:10 pm – 6:00 pm Panel 2

Day 2: November 13th 3:00 pm- 4:40 pm PST

3:00 pm – 3:05 pm Recap
3:05 pm – 3:45 pm Panel 3
3:45 pm – 3:55 pm Break
3:55 pm – 4:35 pm Panel 4
4:35 pm – 4:40 pm Conclusion

Panel Details

Panel 1: Continuity and Disruption in Modern Artistic Consciousness (Discussant: Yuki Ishida, Columbia)

 Melissa Li (Columbia) “Momijigari” and Matsubame-mono: The Meiji Theatre Reform of Mokuami and Danjūrō IX”
Kristin Schreiner (UCLA) "Base town literature: Racial and sexual tensions in the aftermath of Japan’s defeat"
Shunichiro Oka (University of Tokyo) “Torn Between Internationalism and Japanese Tradition: Raising Consciousness of International Contemporaneity and Tōno Yoshiaki’s Struggle in Postwar Art Criticism”

Panel 2: National Legacies and Peripheral Narratives (Discussant: Yasmine Krings, UCLA)

Sophie Hasuo (Michigan) “Aftermaths of Internment: Legacies of Resistance Behind Barbed Wire”
Adam Manfredi (Washington University in St. Louis) “1968 from1987”
Chiara Pavone (UCLA) “On the Temporality of 'Looking On': Queer Futurities in post-3.11 literature”

Panel 3: Liberation and Punishment in Buddhist Theology (Discussant: Yue Eric Tojimnara, UCLA)

Kentaro Ide (Princeton) “The Aftermath of The Extinction of The Dharma: Hōnen and Non-causal Theory of Liberation in Medieval Japan”
Pow Camacho-Lemus (UCLA) “Beyond Divine Punishment: Theodicies of Post-Disaster Japan”

Panel 4: Art and Intimacy in Premodern Statecraft (Discussant: Danica Truscott, UCLA)

Dario Minguzzi (Sapienza University of Rome) “Poetizing Ministers: The Identity of the Sugawara House Through the Rise and Fall of Institutionalized Poetry Banquets in Early Heian Period (ca 800-950)”
Deborah Price (UCLA) “Poetic Alliance: The Contexts and Spaces of Poetry Exchange in Kagerō nikki”


Webinar Registration is required to attend this event.

Register to attend here.

Due to the online format, the conference will focus on discussions, and the presenters will only be giving a short summary of their paper. The papers will be pre-circulated no later than two weeks before the conference, so please make sure to read them ahead of time.

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