This initiative brings together academics whose work intersects with Japan in order to jointly conceive new paradigms for the study of the Japanese Arts (broadly conceived to include the fields of literature, comparative literature, anthropology, film, print and other media, performance, aesthetics, art, archeology, spatial studies, and the history of art and architecture) in relationship to Asia, America, and the World. Collectively, we aim to initiate a series of new exchanges. This collaborative work will ultimately redefine our approach to the study, teaching, and frameworks for Japanese, Asian, and Asian American Studies within the UC system and better integrate Japan into other disciplines.
“Japan” provides a thematic and discursive coherence, but we approach “Japan” in intercultural terms (a node in multilateral networks) and comparative terms (resonance with cultural phenomena geographically and temporally elsewhere). We take the “global” vantage seriously and anticipate a broad range of problems for critical interventions and problematics, such as migration, travel-writing, enemy images, diaspora, comparativism, exhibitions, overseas study, and translation. Our periods of focus include the pre-modern, early modern, and modern. This inclusive periodization permits focus on present conditions and formative stages of globality, alternative early modes of globality, while also inviting questions about ancient precursors and their modern invocations. Dialogue between Japanese studies scholars and individuals based in other fields, as well between scholars in the US and abroad, are fostered at every opportunity. We work to provide a number of opportunities for UC faculty and graduate students.