Publishing about Asia in Academic Journals and Book Series (Roundtable)


Discussant: Mary Knighton, Aoyama Gakuin University



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Discussant: Mary Knighton, Aoyama Gakuin University



Session 7: Room 352

After Digital Humanities: Urban Cartographies of Modern Japan

Organizer/Chair: Christophe Thouny, The University of Tokyo

Recent works in digital humanities have renewed our approach to literary texts and in particular our understanding of the relation among narrative, visuality and cartography. Some scholars have claimed that the use of database and Geographical Positioning Systems have radically altered our experience of place and thus opened new possibilities for reading literary texts. However in many ways the conceptual basis of digital humanities relies on an understanding of place experience and a knowledge of place informed by the very experience of disorientation that has defined urban modernity since at least the 19th century. In engaging with this urban situation, the challenge of urban writing has also always been its resistance to a capture of urban experiences into a national territory and a global space of commodity circulation. In this panel, we propose then to return to literary texts of Japanese modernity and discuss them in terms of cartographic practices that open urban experiences to a movement of affects. Christophe Thouny will discuss the multiple cartographies of urban space at work in Nagai Kafû’s Hiyorigeta and Sumida-gawa. Sarah Frederick and Sayumi Takahashi Harb will then respectively analyze affective cartographies of Kyoto in Natsume Sōseki and tanka’s shifting uses of famous places by modern female poets. In conclusion, Earl Jackson will propose an original reading of Abe Kōbō’s The Box Man and A Ruined Map in terms of recent discussions of social control in media and urban studies.





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