Critical Frameworks of Transmission in Japan and East Asia

Call for Papers-Please Circulate Widely
2012-13 Japan Studies Graduate Conference@UCLA
October 26th, 2012

Critical Frameworks of Transmission
in Japan and East Asia

Transmission: a) the mechanism by which power is constituted and mobilized;
b) the movement of concepts, materials, and bodies; c) that which constitutes the most
basic interactivity between people.

This conference seeks to engage the productive sites of inquiry within processes of
transmission. What does it mean for something to be transmitted? In the modern period,
it is through transmission that semiotic languages of nation, empire, technology, and
cosmopolitanism come into being and change. In the premodern period, transmission
offers a useful lens for examining genealogies of public and private knowledge, writing
and pedagogical practices, and the legitimations of dynastic authority. In both cases, we
seek to investigate how identities are created and defined within a spectrum of localuniversal,
civilized-barbarian, colonized-colonizer, and so on. Submissions for this
conference might engage the circulation and dissemination of material goods, texts, and
bodies, the building and curating of archives (private, national, spatial, alternative), and
the ways that transmission as an interactive connection between people is always
incomplete.
‘Transmission’ indicates the process of addressing objects of study across academic
disciplines, yet transmission as a process negotiating voice requires that we think of
documents and concepts that span spatial and temporal change. Recent moves in
scholarship to better account for agency and subjectivity, inhabited spatiality, and
divergent temporalities, all underscore the presence of transmission. In this sense,
academic work depends on lineages of knowledge that are in a continuous state of
historical reception and structural dissonance.
Placing issues related to Japan as a point of departure, we invite current graduate
students across East Asia area studies to share their work and engage with a larger
‘undisciplined’ cohort and bring your research and ideas to bear on this burgeoning
investigation.
Please send paper proposals of 250 words or less to kenneth.shima@ucla.edu by July
30th, 2012. Please include a titles, your name and affiliation, and a description of your
project. Presentations will be in 15-20 minutes in length and grouped in panels of 3-4.
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