The 2016 conference of the Japan Studies Association of Canada to be held at UBC is entitled “Globalizing Japan” to bring attention to the significant roles that Japan has played within the world in the past, its current state of influence, and possible future directions.
Recent scholarship has considered Japan from a global perspective across time. These efforts range from defining Japan within “global medievalisms” to considering the reverberations of new forms of media across cultural contexts. From early contributions to literary culture and the production of the world’s first novel, through to current forms of “soft-power” such as manga, anime, and video games, Japan’s influence has transformed through time and been enabled through a broad range of means.
The conference will take up the past, present, and future representations of a “global” Japan and consider what this has traditionally meant and what implications this holds for the future. What can we learn by situating premodern, modern, and contemporary case studies of Japan in a global context? What can Japan’s current contributions to fashion, food, economy, business, technology tell us about future directions? What can Japanese Studies contribute to global debates about understanding our discipline?
The conference will feature 2 keynote speakers and some 100 presenters and attracts about 40 non-presenting participants in addition to presenters. With a total of more than 25 panels, the conference organizer anticipates that there will be panels on such diverse topics for all participants to enjoy the conference.
In order to focus on a central theme—“Globalizing Japan,” we especially hope to hold various sessions at least in the following different groups:
Group 1 Visual, Literary, and Historical Representations of Global Japan
Group 2 Popular Culture and the Future of Japan
Group 3 Japan in the World of Technology and Business
Group 4 Social and Political Issues and the Place of Japan
We also plan to hold at least one session for graduate students to present their researches in order to provide them opportunities to receive comments on their work from other researchers. This session will be tremendously helpful for young graduate students who have not finished their thesis or who are still trying to give a finishing touch on their thesis. This is also a very useful for JSAC to raise the future leaders in Japanese Studies.