Friday, May 20, 3-5 p.m. in CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)
William Feeney, “Smiles and Scars”
William Feeney will present a work-in-progress version of one of his dissertation chapters. He summarizes the chapter as follows.
‘Smiles and Scars’ considers the potential for complaints about television to link comedic vulgarity with ijime (bullying) in schools. Ijime emerged as a serious social concern in Japan in the 1980’s and since that time comedy and variety television has been periodically identified as a source of problematic vulgar contagion. This paper opens by exploring oft cited features of ijime before turning to the communicative norms, ideological grounds and social anxieties that render links with comedy television plausible. I argue that inherent difficulty of distinguishing alienating ijime from inclusive teasing among intimates stand as a principle loci of concern that can be tapped to effectively formulate and circulate such links.
A draft of William’s chapter is available at this link. If you have not received the password for the post, or if you have concerns about accessibility, please feel free to contact David Krolikoski at davidkroli at uchicago.edu or Brian White at bmwhite at uchicago.edu.
Friday, May 6, 2-4 p.m. in CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)
Junko Yamazaki, “Reorienting Jidaigeki: Matsumoto Toshio’s Shura (1971)”
Junko Yamazaki, a PhD candidate in Cinema and Media Studies and East Asian Languages and Civilizations will present a work-in-progress version of one of her dissertation chapters. She summarizes the chapter as follows. The workshop will begin and end an hour earlier than normal to accommodate other talks later in the day.
Once hailed as one of the most important and beautiful films made in Japan since Kurosawa’s prime by film critic Noël Burch, experimental filmmaker, video artist Matusmoto Toshio’s “dark” film Shura (1971) has remained relatively unknown compared to its more playful and lively “white” counterpart, Funeral Parade of Roses (1969). Shot entirely in black-and-white—except for the opening shot—Shura casts its drama on the verge of pitch blackness and invisibility. By offering a genealogy of the relationship between jidaigeki and Japanese avant-garde practices of the 1960s, this chapter challenges the view of the film as Matsumoto’s “turn” from politically engaged avant-garde film to politically disengaged, if not reactionary, jidaigeki (period) film. I argue that Shura’s anachronism is better understood as a hermeneutic challenge than as a political or aesthetic compromise. I will highlight Shura’s engagement with the “modern present” through a discussion of Matsumoto’s conception of spectatorship, and of his interpretation of the kabuki play on which the film is based: Tsuruya Nanboku’s recently revived The Lover’s Pledge. On the formal register, I will highlight Matsumoto’s preference for destabilization over the rejection of narrative as an avant-garde filmmaking strategy, and analyze his deliberate play on spectatorship through the constant reconfiguration of the viewer’s assigned position and orientation within the spatial coordinates of the image. This will enable us to see that Shura is a sophisticated effort to confront the spectator to her hermeneutical situation rather than a reactionary recoil into the “premodern past.”
A draft of Junko’s chapter will be available soon. If you have not received the password for the post, or if you have concerns about accessibility, please feel free to contact David Krolikoski at davidkroli at uchicago.edu or Brian White at bmwhite at uchicago.edu.
Michiyoshi Satō, February 9, 5:00 PM-6:30 PM in CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St.)
Please join us Tuesday, February 9 from 5:00 PM-6:30 PM for a conversation with Michiyoshi Satō, a contemporary Tsugaru-jamisen performer. This event follows Satō’s performance on the previous day, which will be held at Bond Chapel at 6:00 p.m. Catering will be provided at the workshop.
Annotated lyrics in Japanese and English are available via this link. Please do not circulate or cite the lyrics without the permission of Michiyoshi Sato and Joshua Soloman. If you have not received the password for the post, or if you have concerns about accessibility for this meeting, please do not hesitate to email David Krolikoski at davidkroli at uchicago.edu or Brian White at bmwhite at uchicago.edu.
Friday, January 29, 4:30-6:30 PM in CWAC 153 (5550 S. Greenwood Ave.)
*PLEASE NOTE THE TIME AND LOCATION OF THIS TALK*
Miriam Wattles, “Defining Manga Anew in 1928: Ippei, a Book, and History”
Please join us this Friday, January 29, as we welcome Miriam Wattles (Associate Professor, History of Art and Architecture, UCSB). A description of Professor Wattles’s talk follows. No paper will be pre-circulated.
It wasn’t until the explosion of mass media in the 1920s that the word “manga” began to be used for comics and cartoons in Japan. Reformulations of the past were integral to the redefinition of the word. Okamoto Ippei (1886-1948), hugely popular with the public and head of a newly formed manga circle, wove a new historical sensibility into his prescriptions for the future of manga in his book Shin manga no kakikata (How To Make New Manga, 1928). The larger genus he employed was “minshūga,” or “pictures of the people.” In proposing this term at this particular historical moment, Ippei was responding to deep underlying tensions between elite and popular culture, individualism and collectivism, and nationalism and cosmopolitanism. This talk counters present amnesia around Ippei and his definition of manga and gives a surprising history of public ownership of one particular copy of Shin manga no kakikata.
This talk is supported by the Visual and Material Perspectives in East Asia Workshop, the Center for East Asian Studies, and Professor Chelsea Foxwell.
Catering will be provided after the talk.
If you have concerns about accessibility for this meeting, please do not hesitate to contact David Krolikoski at davidkroli at uchicago.edu, Brian White at bmwhite at uchicago.edu, or Xi Zhang at xizh at uchicago.edu.
Friday, December 4, 3:00-5:00PM in CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)
William Caroll, “Suzuki Seijun and the Redemption of Cinephilia”
On Friday, December 4, please join us in welcoming William Caroll, who will present a work-in-progress version of his dissertation proposal. As William explains, “The goal of my dissertation is to look at the relationship between the late Nikkatsu films of Suzuki Seijun and the writings of this group of cinephiles who emerged in the late 1960s and would later to go on to dominate both critical and academic discussions of film in Japan in the 1970s and 1980s. I will be arguing that Seijun’s films are foundational to understanding the cinephiles’ theory of cinema, and that their writings have in turn shaped our understanding of Seijun as a filmmaker.”
A draft of William’s paper is available at this link. If you have not received the password for the post, or if you have concerns about accessibility, please feel free to contact David Krolikoski at davidkroli at uchicago.edu or Brian White at bmwhite at uchicago.edu.
Friday, October 30, 3:00-5:00PM in CEAS 319 (1155 E 60th St)
Carly Buxton, “Performing Japaneseness: American Nisei Moving and Thinking as Imperial Subjects in Wartime Japan”
On Friday, October 30, please join us in welcoming Carly Buxton, who will present a work-in-progress version of her dissertation chapter. As Carly explains, “In this chapter, I examine the ways in which the physical environment and social discourse surrounding American Nisei (second generation Japanese) in wartime Japan stimulated Nisei to stifle their American traits and perform the roles expected of Japanese citizens. Nisei were fused into the imperial populace via the same channels of the physical body through which they were severed from the American populace; their speech, thought, physical appearance, and bodily movement were not only directed away from the concept of America, but were redirected toward the Japanese imperial cause. To demonstrate this process in the lives of Nisei in wartime Japan, I begin with a broad historical sketch of assimilation policies adopted by the imperialist Japanese administration, and I consider the place of Nisei as subjects of Japan’s imperial dominion. I then examine elements of the physical environment in wartime Japan designed to unite the populace through public mediation of individual emotions such as anxiety, fear, and grief. I conclude by considering the body in motion—Nisei performing work for the imperial cause as soldiers, students, volunteers, and government employees.”
A draft of Carly’s paper is available at this link. If you have not received the password for the post, or if you have concerns about accessibility, please feel free to contact David Krolikoski at davidkroli at uchicago.edu or Brian White at bmwhite at uchicago.edu.