The John Howes Lecture in Japanese Studies

The 2016 John Howes lecture in Japanese Studies

Postwar Tokyo: Capital of a Ruined Empire

2016-john-howes-thumbnail

A lecture by Dr. Seiji M. Lippit (University of California, Los Angeles).

Thursday, November 17, 2016
5pm Reception with refreshments
6pm Lecture
Auditorium, Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall, Vancouver

Free & open to the public – registration required. 

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The 2015 John Howes lecture in Japanese Studies

With guest speaker Dr. Norma Field, Professor of Japanese Studies Emerita at the University of Chicago.

Five Long, Short Years: Our World, Our Fukushima Banner

Monday, January 18th, 2016
5PM Reception with refreshments
6PM Lecture
Auditorium, Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall, Vancouver
Free & open to the public.

Lecture: Five Long, Short Years: Our World, Our Fukushima

Watch the full lecture online:

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Abstract:

March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the triple disaster, the Great East Japan Earthquake that brought with it a tsunami and nuclear catastrophe. In 2013 Prime Minister Abe won the 2020 Olympics for Tokyo by declaring the spread of radioactively contaminated waters "under control," to widespread disbelief back home. And yet, that declaration has been steadily converted into truth through the collaboration, witting and unwitting, of bureaucratic mandate and citizen need-to-forget. The process is aided and abetted by the accelerated redefinition of the character of the postwar Japanese nation.

Still, to provide a merely dystopian account would be to commit a falsehood and an injustice. Let us, rather, consider the efforts being made, with intuitive or disciplined suspension of disbelief, and in defiance of the multifarious tentacles of the late Mrs. Thatcher's dictum, to struggle for an alternative world. Those efforts take on especially precarious, contradictory, and determined form in Fukushima, and it is to them that the heart of this talk will be dedicated.

Speaker Bio:

Norma FieldThe Robert S. Ingersoll Professor of Japanese Studies Emerita at the University of Chicago, Norma Field was born and educated in American schools in Tokyo, Japan. Her publications include In the Realm of a Dying Emperor: Japan at Century's End; Kobayashi Takiji: 21seiki ni do yomu ka (Reading Kobayashi Takiji for the 21st Century); Fukushima Radiation: Do You Still Say No Crime Was Committed (co-translator); and For Dignity, Justice, and Revolution: An Anthology of Japanese Proletarian Literature (co-editor).


The 2014 John Howes Lecture in Japanese Studies

Howes Lecture Front Page

With Guest Speaker Professor Laurel Rodd (University of Colorado)

Friday, December 5th, 2014
6:00 PM Reception
7:00 PM Lecture
Auditorium, Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall 

What does it mean to translate and how can it be done? And how can we as contemporary readers understand the writings of poets of the distant past from distant cultures?  In this talk, Professor Rodd will explore aspects of traditional Japanese poetry as exemplified in the Kokinshū and Shinkokinshū, and link them to approaches to the transmission of and translation of poetry.  She will offer examples of the “experiential learning” of later travelers—ranging from Bashō to her own students—as they sought  to understand poetry by returning to the scene of earlier compositions.

 Full Lecture:

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Poster:

2014 John Howes Lecture Poster Final (revised)

The 2013 John Howes Lecture in Japanese Studies

Howes lecture Front Page Slide

With Guest Speaker Professor Hardacre (Harvard University)

Thursday, November 21st, 2013
6:30 PM Reception
7:00 PM Lecture
Auditorium, Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall (map)
Free and open to the public – registration required

Full Lecture

helen hardacreIn this talk Professor Hardacre will address the debate in Japan today regarding religion’s contribution to the public good and how Shinto fits into it. This debate includes proposals to tax religious organizations, court cases regarding shrines and local government, and positions taken by the Association of Shinto Shrines on constitutional revision. Professor Hardacre will also examine Shinto in the popular imagination, works of contemporary literature, and popular culture.

 

 2014 Poster:

Howes Lecture Poster

The 2012 John Howes Lecture in Japanese Studies

Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons: Nature, Literature, and the Arts

Haruo Shirane

Shinchō Professor of Japanese Literature and Culture at Columbia University

November 22, 2012

6:30pm Registration; 7:00 pm Lecture

Asian Centre Auditorium, 1871 West Mall

Elegant representations of nature and the four seasons populate a wide range of Japanese genres and media—from poetry and screen paintings to tea ceremony, flower arrangement, and annual observances. Dr. Haruo Shirane will show how, when, and why this practice developed and explicate the richly encoded social, religious, and literary meanings of this imagery.

On November 22, 2012, the Department of Asian Studies welcomed more than 140 alumni, professor emeriti, current students, faculty, and members of the community to the inaugural John Howes Lecture in Japanese Studies. The lecture series was proposed and funded by past students and colleagues of Dr. Howes, an intellectual historian of Japan who contributed to our Department through teaching, research, and development for more than three decades. This year’s speaker was Dr. Haruo Shirane, Shinchō Professor of Japanese Literature and Culture at Columbia University. He offered an in-depth perspective into the seasons as a changing motif woven into Japanese history and culture through his lecture, “Japan and the Culture of the Four Seasons: Nature, Literature, and the Arts.” A lively reception followed in the new foyer of the Asian Center. The Department is grateful to everyone who made this new lecture series possible.