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Technology, Transformation and Japan

Eight Annual Graduate Student Symposium for Japanese Studies, May 12, 2001.

The ubiquitous yet elusive hand of technology grips us from the private to the public arenas, transforming our bodily, temporal, and spatial relations. 2001's Graduate Symposium for Japanese Studies raised questions on the social implications of technology vis-a-vis Japan. What have been Japan's historical roles in the sweeping technological changes in both domestic and world contexts, including those regions over which the Japanese empire ruled until 1945? What have been the effects of various technologies - those in the fields of science, medicine, architecture, transportation, etc. - on the metamporphoses of Japan and its global and self-images? How have these changes affected expressions in Japan's literature, cinema, and art? These were just a few of the questions the symposium addressed. 

Time Panels
Opening Remarks
  • Professor Don McCallum, University of California, Los Angeles
Panel 1: Representations of Technology
  • Maki Fukuoka, University of Chicago
    "Shifting Perspective: Megane-e In Late Tokugawa Japan"
  • Kelly Hansen, University of Hawaii
    "Proto-Genbunitchi: Early Meiji Newspapers and the Development of the Modern Japanese Novel"
  • Miri Nakamura, Stanford University
    "Constructing Fear in Prewar Fiction: The Mechanical Uncanny in Yumeno Kyusaku's Dogura Magura"
  • Professor Christopher Bolton, University of California, Riverside
  • Questions and Answers
Panel 2: Constructions of Science
  • Alexander Bay, Stanford University
    "Translation and Thought-Collectives: The Beriberi Debate and the Making of Meiji Science"
  • Hiromi Mizuno, University of California, Los Angeles
    "Historicizing Science: The Politics of the 'Scientific' in Wartime Japan"
  • Professor James Bartholomew, Ohio State University
  • Questions and Answers
Roundtable Discussion
  • All speakers and discussants
Closing Remarks