Call for papers “Performance and Japanese Literature”

The theme of the 2013 Association for Japanese Literary Studies Annual Meeting is “Performance and Japanese Literature.” The conference will be held October 18-20 on the campus of the University of Chicago.

Performance offers a concept through which to re-examine our ethical and political engagements with the literary arts. We define it broadly to include not only conventional theatrical performances or literary representations of such performances, but also more metaphorical and theoretical understandings of the term, including (among others) narration or reading as modes of performance; the performativity of gender, ethnicity, and other modes of identity; linguistic or ritual performance; the social locations of performance; and the activities of literary criticism and publication as performance.

The organizers hope in particular to encourage reflection on literary scholarship and welcome presentations that address issues of pedagogy. We envision this meeting not only as a venue in which to present research, but also as an opportunity to reconsider current disciplinary boundaries and investments. In this vein, we hope to provide a forum in which to share best practices for the research and teaching of Japanese literature. We invite paper proposals from scholars of Japanese literature, modern and classical, as well as from kindred genres, including theater and performance studies, film and media studies, and music. Graduate students are especially encouraged to apply. Presentations may be made in either English or Japanese.

The conference will be designed to encourage innovative modes of scholarship as performance. The organizers solicit individual paper proposals (rather than panel proposals) and will combine these into panels designed to stimulate productive discussions across boundaries of genre, historical period, and institution. The deadline for submitting paper proposal abstracts (300 words or less) is May 15, 2013. Please send paper proposals, as well as inquiries, to the program committee at More information will be available on the conference webpage (

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