CFP: "Japanese Cultural Expressions after Hirohito," MLA 2021 (Toronto, 7-10)

Joanne Bernardi's picture

CFP for a guaranteed panel at the Modern Languages Association 2021 annual convention (Toronto, CA, January 7-10, 2021) sponsored by the MLA Forum "Japanese since 1900." Panel abstract: The passing of Emperor Hirohito in 1989 brought Japan’s long postwar period to an end, at least symbolically. While older Japanese may have felt a sense of closure with his death, those growing up in the years that followed knew a cultural landscape determined not by imperialism, war, or economic growth (as a panacea for the Emperor himself), but rather geological rupture, domestic terrorism, and economic collapse. That is, the loss of the symbolic father seemingly ushered in an era of instability, benchmarked by the Great Hanshin Earthquake, the Aum Shinrikyō gas attacks, and the recession that endures today, to name just a few hallmark moments. The LLC Japanese since 1900 MLA Forum invites abstract proposals for a guaranteed panel interrogating and indexing the ways in which Japanese cultural expressions have changed and developed in the post-Showa era. The events of the 1990s did much to inform Japanese subjectively. As Japan scholars have demonstrated, the postwar pillars of academic credentialism, corporate loyalty, and familialism came under intense scrutiny during "the lost decade(s)," In this panel, we are interested in how artists (working in a wide range of media), filmmakers, and musicians have found creativity during these times.  Questions we are interested in include:

  • How do these individuals give representation to the end of an era and/ or the start of a new one?
  • What are the concerns, anxieties, and/or desires of a new generation?

Send abstract proposals of 250 words and brief bio to David Holloway ( by March 15, 2020.