` Modern Japan in the Comparative Imagination

Modern Japan in the Comparative Imagination

This conference considers how modern Japanese history, literature, and art have been shaped by and understood through comparisons across national and cultural boundaries. Social scientists and humanists have long compared Japan with other countries in order to test the validity of supposedly universal concepts and theories that originated in Europe and the United States. These paradigms have been subject to much criticism over the past four decades, spurring a search for new comparative frameworks within which to situate Japan and defamiliarize Asia and the West. This international and interdisciplinary gathering is intended to contribute to this search through a consideration of Japan’s past, present, and future in the comparative imagination. It features major scholars of Japanese history, literature, art, and culture based in Japan, Europe, and North America who will participate in a series of three research panels, three lecture events, and a final round-table discussion.

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