Fun Link Friday: Photographs of Japan from 1908

I love early photographs of Japan, as one can probably tell from many of our previous Fun Link Fridays. Here’s some shots from 1908, from the Library of Congress’ collection by Arnold Genthe (1869-1942). As My Modern Met describes:

These rare shots of vintage Japan during 1908 are thanks to the acute artistic eye of Arnold Genthe. The German-born American scholar honed his photographic talent on the streets, spending his off-time roaming through his city with a partially hidden camera in attempts of recording memorable moments. This intriguing series was collected during a 6-month visit to Japan, during which Genthe managed to share his perspective of the vivid daily experiences of its local citizens.

 

See more at the original article here and the LoC archive site here!

Happy Friday!

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Call for Papers: World-building in Asian Popular Cultures

call for papers [150-2]MECHADEMIA CONFERENCE ON ASIAN POPULAR CULTURE — MINNEAPOLIS 2016

SGMS 2016 CALL: “World-building in Asian Popular Cultures”

The Call for Mechademia 10 stated: “Japanese popular culture — manga, anime, games, and SF — abound in scenarios in which our contemporary reality appears to be but one possible outcome within an open situation.”

Since Mechademia began, scholars and academics have addressed the way that dark narratives have been used to explore possible outcomes of open situations. Written in the context of Japan’s postwar period and continuing into the present, these dark narratives served as critiques of those conditions. However, within the 21st century, we are seeing alarming new developments that require more than critique, but instead, inspire creative action in response to the darkening turbulence of our cultural present.

For this conference, we propose the challenge of thinking of worldbuilding as a creative act, where narrative practices combine with new technologies to construct images, objects, texts, and performances of alternative worlds. We are not only looking at the dark implications of this moment in world history, but the creative interventions and possibilities that are found in the construction of alternate worlds, for future worlds, for saving worlds.

“Another world is possible” has already become the animating force behind a large body of cultural production within Japanese popular cultures. Examples include the construction of possible worlds, parallel universes, and parallel histories across a multitude of platforms. These practices can be read, not just as warnings, but as examples of how worlds can be, and are being, actively created.

We call for submissions that explore the aesthetic, mediatic, and technological dimension of these possible worlds, with an eye to the construction of inspiration and imagination within its circulation, as well as socio-political possibilities or potentiality. How might these worlds dismantle the rigid boundaries of concepts informing our current reality and reveal the glimmering potential of the unbounded reality that is the stable of such narratives?

We invite contributions that may consider or engage but are not limited by any of the following topics:

  • Popular culture frequently juxtaposes different realities in the form of alternative timelines or bifurcating temporalities. How might imaginative narratives jostling time and space function as axes of a potential alternate world reality?
  • How might worldbuilding address and even transform the dark portend of the Anthropocene?
  • How do new storytelling practices and forms of communication support worldbuilding across alternative locations and temporalities?
  • What is the role language plays in creating alternate worlds? Does one have to change language to create an altered reality?
  • Science fictions often encourage us to approach history and broad societal currents in terms of ‘what if’ scenarios. Such scenarios invite us to understand history through counterfactual narrations.  But rather than dismiss such scenarios as non-factual, we ask: What are potential relationships to be found in the social and political implications of understanding our historical reality in such terms?
  • How do colonialism, social inequality and gender constitute frameworks toward the creation of alternate worlds? In what ways are these factors recontexualized in new fictional worlds?
  • How do musical scores and soundtracks create the affective atmospheres that shape worldbuilding practices in film, anime and gaming?

The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2016
 to mechademia@mcad.edu

We welcome panel submissions as well as individual paper proposals and encourage emerging scholars (undergraduates and advanced high school students) to submit proposals to our Emerging Scholar sessions.All proceedings are held at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, in Minneapolis, Minnesota –September 23-25, 2016.

You have the option of participating remotely via Zoom Room video conferencing if travel to the conference is a hindrance for you. This will enable you to virtually attend the full conference sessions, and to present on a panel.

The Millennium Hotel will probably have conference rates, and as soon as we have confirmation on rates we will publish them.

To register as an attendee, or participant after receiving notification of acceptance, go to:

http://mcad.edu/events-fellowships/schoolgirls-mobilesuits

For Panel Submissions:

-Panel title:

-Panel participant names, email addresses, titles, and 150-200 word abstracts

For Individual Presentation Submissions:

Participant name, email address, title, and 150-200 word abstract

For Emerging Scholar Presentations (High School and Undergraduate Papers):

-Participant name, email address, title, and 150-200 word abstract

Deadline for submission is: Aug. 1, 2016.

See our Facebook Page for details:

https://www.facebook.com/SGMSatMCAD

Contact Info:
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Free online course: Japanese Culture Through Rare Books

A free online course on Japanese rare books will soon be available through Keio University! Click the link below to sign up and read more about it! Some information from the website is reproduced below.

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https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/japanese-rare-books-culture

This is an introductory course and is open to anyone with an interest in the history of Japanese books. A basic knowledge of the history of Japan and Japanese literature will be helpful but is not required. The course makes use of a number of visual resources which may unfortunately make some of the activities not accessible to learners with visual impairment.

Course videos will be in Japanese with English subtitles.

ABOUT THE COURSE

A book is a tool for preserving words and images. Through books, an abundance of information, including the knowledge and experiences of the people of the past, has been handed down to the present. But books are more than records of words and images. Their form, appearance, and even the scripts and styles used tell us about the fashions and technologies of the times that produced them. By studying old books, we can learn a great deal about the geographical areas in which they were made, the historical background, and the individuals and groups involved in their making.

While displaying remarkable similarities with books produced in other areas of the Sinitic cultural sphere, Japanese books also possess some unique features, starting with their sheer diversity of form and appearance. Using a wealth of multimedia content, we will take a journey through the wonderful world of traditional Japanese books.

ABOUT THE COURSE

A book is a tool for preserving words and images. Through books, an abundance of information, including the knowledge and experiences of the people of the past, has been handed down to the present. But books are more than records of words and images. Their form, appearance, and even the scripts and styles used tell us about the fashions and technologies of the times that produced them. By studying old books, we can learn a great deal about the geographical areas in which they were made, the historical background, and the individuals and groups involved in their making.

While displaying remarkable similarities with books produced in other areas of the Sinitic cultural sphere, Japanese books also possess some unique features, starting with their sheer diversity of form and appearance. Using a wealth of multimedia content, we will take a journey through the wonderful world of traditional Japanese books.

Keio University’s Book Collection

Keio University’s Institute of Oriental Classics is a unique institution specialized in rare East Asian books. The Institute’s extensive collection comprises 163,000 items, and is open to the public as a specialized library. In this course we will make use of this rich collection and rely on the expertise of specialists and researchers who have been working for the preservation and study of these resources. Using state of the art media resources, you will familiarize yourself with not only the content of traditional East Asian books, but also with their physical appearance, format, binding method, script, and cover style.

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Job Opening: Visiting Assistant Professor in Japanese Literature

job opening - 5The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures in the School of Global and International Studies (SGIS) at Indiana University Bloomington (http://sgis.indiana.edu) invites applications for a 2016-2017 (August – July) Visiting Assistant Professorship in Japanese literature or cultural studies. Depending on performance evaluations and departmental needs, the position is potentially renewable for an additional year (2017-18). Preference will be given to candidates who can offer courses in modern literature or cultural studies; candidates with a specialization in premodern literature or cultural studies will also be considered. Responsibilities will include teaching three courses per academic year, including undergraduate courses in English translation as well as classes in Japanese-language texts at the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels.

Qualified candidates are expected to have a Ph.D. in hand by date of appointment.

To apply, please submit cover letter, current curriculum vitae, statement of teaching philosophy, teaching evaluations (if available), sample syllabi or course proposals and three letters of recommendation.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until position is filled.

The Visiting Assistant Professor will receive a competitive salary, research support, and benefits.

Please submit applications to Marsha Wright, EALC Departmental Administrator at msuwrigh@indiana.edu.  Questions about the position should be directed to Professor Michiko Suzuki, chair of the selection committee at micsuzuk@indiana.edu.

Indiana University is a national leader in area studies and the study of East Asia. Indiana University is an equal employment and affirmative action employer and a provider of ADA services. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ethnicity, color, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation or identity, marital status, national origin, disability status or protected veteran status. Indiana University’s non-discrimination statement is found in policy UA-01 at http://www.policies.iu.edu.

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Funding: Stanford East Asia Library Travel Grants

money [150-2]2016-17 Stanford East Asia Library Travel Grants

The East Asia Library at Stanford University is now accepting applications for its 2016-17 library travel grants. The purpose of these grants is to assist scholars from outside the greater San Francisco Bay Area in accessing the Stanford East Asia Library collections for research. Funded by the Department of Education Title VI program, the Stanford Center for East Asian Studies will award up to six grants on a competitive basis to help defray the cost of travel and lodging for scholars of East Asia at other institutions who wish to utilize the collections at the Stanford East Asia Library. The grants will be paid as reimbursements of expenses in compliance with University travel guidelines. The Stanford East Asia Library collection includes roughly 770,000 volumes in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and western languages. Further information about the library collections is available athttps://library.stanford.edu/eal.

Eligibility

Scholars (faculty and advanced graduate students) of East Asia at other U.S. institutions who wish to utilize the collection at the Stanford East Asia Library between August 15, 2016 and August 14, 2017. Priority consideration will be given to those at institutions where there are no or few library resources in the East Asian languages, and no major East Asian library collections are available nearby. Please note that award travel must be completed and receipts submitted for reimbursement before August 14, 2017.

Applicants do not have to be US citizens, but travel should originate and terminate in the US; no international tickets are allowed.

Amount

Up to $750 per trip.

Application Procedures

Please submit your applications here:

* A brief statement (not to exceed 250 words) describing your research, the need to use the East Asia Library collections, and proposed travel dates

* A list of resources you would like to access (applicants must check availability of these resources in the Library’s online catalog or by contacting the relevant area librarian prior to submitting applications)

* An estimated budget

* A current curriculum vita

Deadline

Applications are due by May 31, 2016

For questions regarding eligibility or travel restrictions, please contact John Groschwitz, Associate Director, Center for East Asian Studies

Phone: 650.736.1759

Email: jgroschwitz@stanford.edu

For questions regarding Stanford East Asia Library collections, please contact relevant area librarian to be found at: https://library.stanford.edu/eal/staff-directory

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Book Announcement: Perfumed Sleeves and Tangled Hair: Body, Woman, and Desire in Medieval Japanese Narratives

psPerfumed Sleeves and Tangled Hair: Body, Woman, and Desire in Medieval Japanese Narratives
Rajyashree Pandey
University of Hawaii Press, 2016.

Pandey suggests that “woman” in medieval Japanese narratives does not constitute a self-evident and distinct category, and that there is little in these works to indicate that the sexed body was the single most important and overarching site of difference between men and women. She argues that the body in classical and medieval texts is not understood as something constituted through flesh, blood, and bones, or as divorced from the mind, and that in the Tale of Genji it becomes intelligible not as an anatomical entity but rather as something apprehended through robes and hair. Pandey provocatively claims that “woman” is a fluid and malleable category, one that often functions as a topos or figural site for staging debates not about real life women, but rather about delusion, attachment, and enlightenment, issues of the utmost importance to the Buddhist medieval world.

Pandey’s book challenges many of the assumptions that have become commonplace in academic writings on women and Buddhism in medieval Japan. She questions the validity of speaking of Buddhism’s misogyny, women’s oppression, passivity, or proto-feminism, and points to the anachronistic readings that result when fundamentally modern questions and concerns are transposed unreflexively onto medieval Japanese texts. Engaging widely with literature, religious studies, feminism across medieval texts and genres, Pandey boldly throws down the gauntlet, challenging some of the sacred cows of contemporary scholarship on medieval Japanese women and Buddhism.

http://www.uhpress.hawaii.edu/p-9539-9780824853549.aspx

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Call for Papers: Journal of Transnational Asian Studies (JTAS)

call for papers [150-2]The Journal of Transnational Asian Studies (JTAS) editorial committee calls for submissions for its inaugural issue to be published in Fall 2016.

The Journal of Transnational Asian Studies (JTAS) envisions Asia in transnational time and space. Interdisciplinary, transhistorical, and transnational in approach, the JTAS publishes scholarship that challenges traditional understandings of Asia, moving beyond the confines of area studies and national-state focus, and capturing the emergent forms of Asia-related, Asia-inspired, and Asia-driven themes and sites of inquiry in the world today.

The Asian and the global are increasingly overlapping, to the extent that it renders the boundaries between Asian Studies and Asian American Studies artificial. Intensifying flows of people, goods, ideas, and culture within Asia and between Asia and the rest of the world attest to that. We do not hold a utopic view about national-state boundaries: they do exist, and disputes over and about them involve concerns over sovereignty and nationalism, often resulting in immense human and environmental disasters. At the same time, we now live in an age where human movements across national borders are happening in an unprecedented scale, delivering new conflict, new tragedy, and new anxieties, but also new knowledge, new forms of life, and new communities. The journal aims to address this complexity, working around and against and, yet at the same time, critically dealing with national boundaries, in order to capture transnational Asia and beyond precisely.

The JTAS stands on a multidisciplinary premise, encouraging scholars in broad humanistic and social scientific disciplines to submit their work of about 5,000 to 8,000 words. All main articles will be peer-reviewed. The inclusion of visual and audio-visual materials is particularly welcome.

Submission deadline: June 1, 2016

Inquiries and contact: jtas@rice.edu

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