International Symposium "Culturally Mediated Environmental Issues: Ecological Connectedness in East Asia”

Hideaki Fujiki's picture
July 30, 2016 to July 31, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Asian History / Studies, Environmental History / Studies, Japanese History / Studies

International Symposium
"Culturally Mediated Environmental Issues: Ecological Connectedness in East Asia”

Dates: July 30-31, 2016
Venue: Conference Hall, 7 Fl. Integrated Research Bldg. for Humanities & Social Sciences, Nagoya University (B4-4)
Organized by: Japan-in-Asia Cultural Research Center (JACRC), Graduate School of Letters, Nagoya University, and Zhejiang University
Sponsored by: Harvard-Yenching Institute
Language: Japanese-English simultaneous interpretation
Admission Free, No Registration Required


    How have environmental issues been felt, imagined, and coped with? How can we understand global ecological connectedness in the age of the Anthropocene—the complex human mediation of nature—from the vantage point of East Asia?
    Notably, environmental issues such as global warming, air pollution, waste, chemically modified food, land development, species extinction, and radiation are a pressing problem for any creature on the earth, encompassing both humans and nonhumans. These issues have been emerging in every corner of the world and have been spreading globally beyond national borders. Moreover, such environmental issues have imposed a paradox on us in that while they have been permeating and affecting our everyday lives, it is often difficult to be aware of them without global and scientific representation through media. Here, not only economics, politics, and natural science, but also culture is crucial because it involves how we recognize or fail to recognize the environmental issues in and through our cultural practices including our contact with mass media, social media, and creative arts, as well as our everyday activities and/or activism.
    Defining culture in these broad terms, this symposium will discuss how environmental issues have been felt, imagined, recognized, and coped with in East Asia, and how we can understand global ecological connectedness on the basis of the case studies presented. In so doing, its ultimate aim is to explore new approaches to environmental issues and further the discussions that have grown increasingly necessary not only in the natural sciences, but also in the humanities and social sciences.  

@July 30 (Sat.)
09:50-10:00  Remark by Director of JACRC

●  New Generation Panel: Symbiosis and Conflicts
Organized by:YASUI Mihiro (Nagoya University) and KASHIMA Masahiro (Nagoya University)
    How do we humans engage with the things that surround us? Ecocriticism has raised questions about the relationship between nature and society. While humans have treated nature as awe-inspiring, even god-like, at times, they have also used technologies to exploit its trees and land and to cultivate food and build homes. In a similar way, society can be regarded as a surrounding environment for each of us, providing a means of living, but it can also restrict us. Many breakthroughs in natural science and technology have made it possible for contemporary humans to obtain energies that can sustain megalopolises. However, the ongoing conflicts with ecology reveal the fact that we are not in full control of these energies. In this age of contradiction, it is necessary for us to confront these ecological issues and establish an appropriate relationship of coexistence. In this panel, young researchers will address the problem of how humans have negotiated with their given environment and discuss the meaning of the environment in the contemporary society from a variety of perspectives and academic fields, including literature, horticulture, film studies and environmental studies.

Christoph RUPPRECHT (Research Institute for Humanity and Nature) 
“Depopulation in East Asia: An Opportunity to Rethink Long-Term Human-Nature Relationships”

TAKASE Yui (JSPS, Chiba University) 
“Citizens’ Green Conservation Movement and Symbiosis with Nature: Changing Values on Nature over Time”

KASHIMA Masahiro (Nagoya University) 
“Imagination on the Great East Japan Earthquake and Disaster in Japanese Contemporary Literature”

NAKANE Wakae (Nagoya University) 
“Representing Nature: Female Bodies and Ecology in Kawase Naoimi’s Films”

Discussant: KANAI Keiko (Waseda University)
Chair: YASUI Mihiro (Nagoya University)

13:30-13:45  Opening remarks
●  Session 1: Eco-Imagination in Literature and Cinema
KINA Ikue (University of the Ryukyus)
“Women Sustaining and Transforming Island Communities: Tami Sakiyama’s Literary Imagination and a Sense of Place”

CHU Kiu-wai (Zurich University) 
“The Cultural Imagination of Eco-Disasters: East Asian Cinema and Art in the Anthropocene”

FUJIKI Hideaki (Nagoya University) 
“De-/Naturalizing the Anthropocene: Documentaries on the Post-3.11 Nuclear Disaster”

17:00–18:00   Discussion
Discussant: YUKI Masami (Kanazawa University)
Chair: IIDA Yuko (Nagoya University)

@July 31 (Sun.)
●  Session 2: Negotiating Eco-Society
Simon AVENELL (Australian National University) 
“Japan’s Human-centered Environmentalism and the Global Environmental Movement”

YUN Sun-Jin (Seoul National University)
“Post-Nuclear Movements in South Korea: Before and After the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster”

CHUANG Ya-Chung (National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan) 
“Much Ado About Nothing?: Alley Life, Dwelling Ethics, and Urban Environmentalism in Taiwan ”

14:30–15:30   Discussion
Discussant: AOKI Soko (Nagoya University)
Chair: KAMIMURA Yasuhiro (Nagoya University)

15:45–17:55  General Roundtable Discussion      
Chair: FUJIKI Hideaki (Nagoya University)
17:55–18:00 Closing Remarks 

Contact Info: 

Woojeong Joo
Assistant Professor
Graduate School of Letters, Nagoya University


Contact Email: