Cornell University

EAP Japan Studies conference: Order and Disorder: Critical Reflections on Japan Studies

Saturday, October 28, 2017 at 9:30am to 6:00pm

Physcial Sciences Building, 401

A Conference Honoring J. Victor Koschmann with his former students and colleagues presenting work on the writing and uses of Japanese history. 

What are the implications, for Japanese Studies, of the successive breakdowns of the Cold War and neoliberal globalization as “world orders”? How do we re-assess the narratives, tropes, and chronotopes that have situated Japan in the modern world? Our conference intends to take stock of the modes of critical reflexivity that have (or have not) informed the study of Japanese modernity in both North America and Japan.

Such critical reflexivity is premised on an acknowledgement of history’s crucial role in the constitution---or overthrow---of social orders. How, then, have the writing of history and historical agency been linked to one another? How are the production of history and subject/s of history mutually implicated? How might a historiography engage moments of disorder, rupture, discontinuity, and chaos, so often marginalized in the writing, and rewriting, of history?  How do we understand the position and responsibility of the modern historian or intellectual? 

Whether dealing with Mitō ideology, postwar subjectivity, wartime total mobilization, or visions of East Asian regionalism under Japanese imperialism and the Cold War, J. Victor Koschmann’s scholarship has consistently raised these and related questions. In honor of his work, this conference will bring together students and colleagues to present their research on the work of writing Japanese history.