The spatial turn of the 1980s within the cultural and social sciences, initiated through new currents of topographical and topological thinking, mobilized space as a mode of cultural critique. Transforming traditional understandings of the geographic as a static representation of landscape into a shifting field of experience, space became culturally variable and symbolically charged. Among the results of this topological reversal is the rendering of space as method—as an analytic for tracing how space in either symbolic or purely affective registers organizes and enables social networks, personal relationships, power flows, or more general processes of personal and political embodiment. While this mode of critique is most obviously applicable to postcolonial studies, it also finds traction in relatively new objects of analysis such as virtual worlds, informatics and data, urban infrastructure, or the ever-shifting and accelerating global flows of people, capital, and media. Thus far, the possibilities for these novel engagements with space have only been discussed to a limited extent in Japanese studies. This workshop therefore deals with the subject of space in Japanese literature and culture by considering its thematic and methodological value through modern and contemporary Japanese literary texts and other media.
9.30 Welcome & Introduction
10.00 - 12.00 Panel 1
Discussant: Rafael Dernbach (University of Cambridge)
Daniel White (Hosei University): Space as Resonance: Affective Belonging in and through the Literature of Murakami Haruki
Elena Giannoulis (Freie Universität Berlin): Heterotopian Spaces in Contemporary Japanese Literature
13.30 - 15.30 Panel 2
Discussant: Dinah Zank (Freie Universität Berlin)
Janet Walker (Rutgers University): A Japanese Woman in the Colonies: Oei’s Spatial Adventures in Shiga’s "An’ya kōro"
Paul Schalow (Rutgers University): Spatial Dimensions of Trauma in Hibakusha Literature: Takenishi Hiroko's '"Gishiki'" (The Rite)
16.00 - 18.00 Panel 3
Discussant: Niels Bader (Freie Universität Berlin)
Hideto Tsuboi (Nichibunken/International Research Center for Japanese Studies): Inside the Fence: Writing in the Japanese-American Internment Camps
Yumi Hirata(Osaka University): Busan and Yokosuka: Korean War Zones in two Short Stories by Kim Tal-su
18.00 - 19.00 Final Discussion