AJLS 2016 at Penn State
The AJLS (Association of Japanese Literary Studies) conference theme for the 2016 conference to be held at the Pennsylvania State University October 27-30, 2016 is “word/image/japan."
This conference encourages papers linking Visual and Cultural Studies, broadly conceived, with Japanese literary studies. From the early adoption of the Sinographic script to the cultivation of e-maki, or from classical calligraphic traditions that meld textual form with visual aesthetics to the global popularity of manga and animation today, the long history of association between word and image in Japan renders Japanese cultural material a key case for bringing to light the intertwined roles of linguistic and visual aesthetics in signification. Signification is not simply about the meaning making that occurs between producer and receiver, but also about the complex ways in which visual and textual materials transform cultural interactions, sculpt world views, and provide material locales for the formation of individual identity and of social groups.
The changing scope of "Japan" as concept, critical method, generative matrix, identitarian site, and material locale is today an object of vital scholarly concern. For this reason, as something of a departure from AJLS's historical focus on Japanese literature from Japan, we would also like to invite submissions from colleagues working on word/image relations in Japanese immigrant and diasporic cultures, in addition to Japan-specific scholarship.
The material forms of play between word and image abound. A short list of forms might include film, scrolls, manga, anime, photography, video games, oil painting, prints (hanga/shunga), emaki, akahon, nishiki-e, interlingual translation, and so on. Word and image interplay can also be a core component of less material forms, such as music, drama, advertising, protest, and the performances of everyday life (as in performances of race, ethnicty, gender, class, or religion.)
The organizers solicit individual paper proposals as well as panel proposals designed to stimulate productive discussions across boundaries of medium, historical period, and institution. And we encourage innovative modes of scholarly presentation. (Though the traditional 3 speakers at 20 minutes each followed by discussion format is just fine, if you have an idea for a different format you would like to try, please contact the members of the organizing committee.)
The deadline for submitting paper and panel proposal abstracts is May 15, 2016. Individual paper abstracts should be no more than 300 words in length. Likewise panel proposals should limit the panel description to 300 words (with paper abstracts for the panel limited to 300 words.)
Please send paper proposals, as well as inquiries, to the program committee at AJLS2016@psu.edu. More information will be available on the conference webpage: http://asian.la.psu.edu/news-alumni/ajls-2016-at-penn-state.