Call for Papers: Japan Studies Graduate Conference – UCLA

October 26th, 2012

Critical Frameworks of Transmission in Japan and East Asia


a) the mechanism by which power is constituted and mobilized;

b) the movement of concepts, materials, and bodies; c) that which constitutes the most basic interactivity between people.

This conference seeks to engage the productive sites of inquiry within processes of transmission. What does it mean for something to be transmitted? In the modern period, it is through transmission that semiotic languages of nation, empire, technology, and cosmopolitanism come into being and change. In the premodern period, transmission offers a useful lens for examining genealogies of public and private knowledge, writing and pedagogical practices, and the legitimations of dynastic authority. In both cases, we seek to investigate how identities are created and defined within a spectrum of localuniversal, civilized-barbarian, colonized-colonizer, and so on. Submissions for this conference might engage the circulation and dissemination of material goods, texts, and bodies, the building and curating of archives (private, national, spatial, alternative), and the ways that transmission as an interactive connection between people is always incomplete.

‘Transmission’ indicates the process of addressing objects of study across academic disciplines, yet transmission as a process negotiating voice requires that we think of documents and concepts that span spatial and temporal change. Recent moves in scholarship to better account for agency and subjectivity, inhabited spatiality, and divergent temporalities, all underscore the presence of transmission. In this sense, academic work depends on lineages of knowledge that are in a continuous state of historical reception and structural dissonance. Placing issues related to Japan as a point of departure, we invite current graduate students across East Asia area studies to share their work and engage with a larger ‘undisciplined’ cohort and bring your research and ideas to bear on this burgeoning investigation.

Please send paper proposals of 250 words or less to by July 30th, 2012. Please include a titles, your name and affiliation, and a description of your project. Presentations will be in 15-20 minutes in length and grouped in panels of 3-4.

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of graduate life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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