The West in Japanese Imagination/ Japan in Western Imagination: 150 Years to the Meiji Restoration

Ayelet Zohar's picture
Call for Papers
December 18, 2018 to December 20, 2018
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Japanese History / Studies, Modern European History / Studies, Political Science

Confirmed keynote speakers:

Professor Michio Hayashi, Sophia University, Tokyo

Professor Michael Lucken, INALCO, Paris

The Thematic Conference of the Israeli Association of Japanese Studies (IAJS) will be held at The Faculty of the Arts, Tel Aviv University, 18–20 December 2018. Celebrating 150 years to the Meiji Restoration in 2018 is a good opportunity to contemplate on the major changes Japan has embarked on in 1868. Through this important moment in Japanese history we would like to reflect on Japan’s relations with the West, on the actual and imaginary levels, from its first encounters with Jesuit missionaries, to contemporary life and images. To complement this line, we would like to expand the discussion on what is Japan’s role in Western imagination – culturally, artistically, economically, and politically. Focusing on the Meiji era as a turning point in Japan’s history, the conference aims at creating an outline for a retrospective on the artistic, cultural, historical, social, economic and political developments in Japan. We especially welcome interdisciplinary studies from those involved in the research of the arts, as well as the social, political and cultural developments.

We invite proposals for papers and/or panels on any of the following themes (but not limited to):

  • Hybridity of styles and Western attitudes/ models/ technologies in Japan
  • Racial and racist images in Japan/ racist portrayal of Asia in Western cultures
  • Actors and networks in cultural migrations between Japan and the West
  • Wars and their (mutual) images, Japan and the West
  • Cities as the centre of mutual, Western and Japanese exchanges
  • Portuguese, Dutch, English and American depictions of Japan before Meiji
  • Western nationalist models, and their images and practice in Japan
  • Yellow Peril” / fear of Japan in Western media, literature and visual culture
  • The West as a Desire Object in Japan/ Fetishization of Japan in Western
  • Discourses: Exoticism, Japonisme, Orientalism and Occidentalism
  • Representations of Western culture in Japanese literature, arts, and media, Meiji to Present/ Western representations of Japan
  • Western technologies in Japan: adaption, depiction, alteration
  • Japan as the ideal model of Postmodernism

Other themes and topics are welcome to take part.

Proposals for papers, as well as further enquiries, should be sent by email to the conference secretariat ( Proposals should include:

  1. Title of the presentation
  2. Abstract (150-200 words)
  3. Bio-note (150-200 words) with details of affiliation, education, and major relevant publications.

The deadline for submitting proposals is 15 August 2018.  Accepted proposals will be notified by 15 September 2018.

We plan to publish an edited volume based on the conference papers. Presenters whose proposals will be accepted for publication (based on the abstract and previous publications), will be assisted in covering partial conference travel cost – including flight and accommodation.

The conference will be conducted in English. It is open to the public and participation is free of charge. Please distribute this call for papers among your colleagues. Save the dates!                                                                          

This Conference is supported by the Embassy of Japan in Israel and the Japan Foundation

Contact Info: 

The Steering Committee

Dr. Ayelet ZOHAR Art History, Tel Aviv University, Chair of Conference

Dr. Sigal BEN-RAFAEL GALANTI Social Studies and Civics, Beit Berl College, Chair of IAJS

Prof. Ofra GOLDSTEIN GIDEONI Anthropology + East-Asian Studies, Tel Aviv University

Prof. Assaf PINKUS Art History, Tel Aviv University

Dr. Alon LEVKOVITZ Social Studies and Civics, Beit Berl College

Dr. Erez GOLANI SOLOMON Architecture, Bezalel Academy + Keio University, Tokyo  

Dr. Dalit BLOCH East-Asian Studies + Cultural Research, Tel Aviv University

Ms. Nurit SHAMIR Art History, Tel Aviv University