International Conference: "Modern Japan in the Comparative Imagination" @ Durham University on 9 & 10 May

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Modern Japan in the Comparative Imagination: A Two-Day Conference at Durham University

Thursday 9 May and Friday 10 May – Senate Room, University College, Durham, UK


On May 9th and 10th, scholars of Japanese history, literature, politics, and culture will converge on Durham University to discuss how Japan has 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 Eurocentric 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.


Featuring presentations by Carol Gluck, Harry Harootunian, Hideto Tsuboi and other leading scholars based in Japan, North America, and Europe.


We kindly request that those interested in attending the conference register in advance. To register, please visit:


The latest version of the conference programme is available at:


For more information, please contact Adam Bronson, the conference organizer at


This conference has been made possible with support from the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, and the J Paul Getty Jr Charitable Trust.