21 Sep 2011

Birkbeck College, University of London and LAPCSF (London Asia Pacific Cultural Studies Forum) present

International Symposium

Friday, 28 October 2011 – Sunday, 30 October 2011

Birkbeck College, 43 Gordon Square, WC1H, London
Birkbeck College, Main Building, Malet Street, WC1E 7HX, London

Discussion Themes and Focus

Inspired by Nishiyama Yuji’s documentary film “The Right to Philosophy”, comprised of his interviews with those associated with “International College of Philosophy” founded in Paris by Jaques Derrida and Francois Chatelet in 1983, this small-scale international symposium, will try to address issues surrounding the past, present and future of Humanities education and research in the age of crisis. This “crisis” particularly resonates with the natural disasters on March 11, 2011 in Japan, and the following calamitous events centered on the nuclear power-plant’s meltdown at Fukushima.

What could be the roles and responsibilities of Humanities scholars facing this crisis? Can University education stand up to the multiple challenges posed by the now increasingly technologically sophisticated neoliberal/capitalist politics? What could be the viable relationship between Cultural Studies and Philosophy education? And is it too vulgar to talk about Art and Literature after “Fukushima”?

This gathering will tackle these questions from various and broad perspectives in a kind of intellectual exchange particularly among those who are concerned with the relevant issues in the present geopolitical contexts in Japan and Britain. Although the Symposium is based on the traditional format consisting of several panels with keynote speeches and commentaries, its atmosphere will be definitely friendly, non-hierarchical and improvisational, and we hope that the participants will enjoy the intellectual exchanges at their very best forms during the three days.

Schedule and Guest Speakers

*Keynote speech is 30~45 minutes, commentary 15~20 minutes.

*Participation in the symposium is free of charge, but please pay £20 for food and drinks if you would like to attend the Reception on Friday 28th and the Farewell Party on Sunday 30th (£10 for attending only one of the two; the Keynote speakers and Commentators are free)

Friday 28th October

17:00~20:00 Panel 1: “Cultural Studies and Philosophy Education in Asia” (Room G16, Malet St)
Keynote 1: Koichi Iwabuchi (Waseda University)
Keynote 2: Fabian Schäfer (Leipzig University)
Comment1: Angus Lockyer (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London)
Comment 2: Ted Motohashi (Birkbeck College, University of London)


20:00~21:00 Reception (Room G16, Malet St)

Saturday 29th October

11:00~14:00 Film showing: “The Right to Philosophy” (Birkbeck Cinema, Gordon Sq)
Keynote: Yuji Nishiyama (Tokyo Metropolitan University)
Comment: Yusuke Miyazaki (University of Niigata)


15:00~18:00 Panel 2: “Roles and Responsibilities of Intellectuals in the Age of Neoliberal Politics” (Room 416, Malet St)
Keynote1: Sabu Kohso (New York, Artist/Activist)
Keynote 2: Jun Hirose (Ryukoku University)
Comment 1: Angela McRobbie (Goldsmiths College, University of London)
Comment 2: Jeremy Gilbert (University of East London)


Sunday 30th October

~13:00 Panel 3: “Humanities After Crisis” (Room B04, Gordon Sq)
Keynote 1: Ryuta Imafuku (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
Keynote 2: Chih-Ming Wang (Institute of European and American Studies, Academia Sinica, Taiwan)
Comment 1: Esther Leslie (Birkbeck College, University of London)
Comment 2: Michael Gardiner (University of Warwick)


~17:00 Panel 4: “The Present Conditions and Future Prospects of Humanities Education in Universities” (Room B04, Gordon Sq)
Keynote 1: Naoki Sakai (Cornell University)
Keynote 2: Gauri Viswanathan (Columbia University)
Comment 1: Costas Douzinas (Birkbeck College, University of London)
Comment 2: John Hutnyk (Goldsmiths College, University of London)      


17:00~18:30 Summary Panel (Room B04, Gordon Sq)
All the Keynote Speakers’ and Commentators’ final remarks (5 minutes each)

~21:00 Farewell Party (Room B03, Gordon Sq)

With Financial Help from Japan Foundation
Moderated by Ted Motohashi and Shinji Oyama
With Lyle De Souza, Maria Filisch, Simon Turner, Oliver Dew, Novella Gremigni and Dario Lolli as Executive Committee Members

13 Apr 2011

SOAS Centre of Taiwan Studies Seminar TODAY: Framing Sociology in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore

Framing Sociology in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore: Geopolitics, State and its Practitioners

Albert Tzeng (University of Warwick)

Date: 13 April 2011

Time: 6:00-7:30 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: 116

This project aims to map and compare how sociology as an institutionalized discipline of teaching and research had been developed in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore since its introduction in 1950s-60s, and to interpret the observed trajectories and patterns in light of social-historical contexts. The three cases share some similarities in their colonial past, Chinese-populated demography, and development trajectories as ‘Asian tigers,’ but demonstrate sharp contrast in post-war politics (geopolitics, state- politics, and identity politics). Three levels of analytical categories are involved in the analysis: regional geopolitical, state-institutional, and (collective) practitioner-level. On the one hand, this project attempt to look beyond the national container and bring various trans-border factors (e.g. scholarly migration, foreign funding and knowledge flow) into analytical scope under the conceptual framework ‘world system of knowledge network.’ On the other hand, the explanation sought is to be grounded on a sympathetic understanding of the actors from their psychological perspective. The analyze comparatively how sociology were institutionalized in the three places, the outlook of their scholarship, their negotiation with the Western paradigm, the interface with the public, and the varied consequence and responses in face of the recent managerialist higher education reform. Data used include literature and archive material, bibliographic and demographic dataset, interview with sociologists stratified by bibliographical factors, and some ethnographic observation in the field study.

About Albert Tzeng

Albert Tzeng is currently sociology PhD student in University of Warwick. He studied chemistry and psychology in National Taiwan University and holds MSc in sociology from LSE. Prior to academic pursuit, he had worked as book editor, marketing professional, parliamentary assistant and election campaign manager in Taiwan. He had published a book about his earlier journeys in Western China.


15 Mar 2011

NEW ROOM NUMBER FOR Prof Yomota and Dr Kinsella on Kawaii and Aging

PLEASE NOTE THE NEW ROOM NUMBER FOR THE EVENT "Matureness and Unmatureness in Contemporary Japanese Art and Culture: Aging and Kawaii":

Room 541
Birkbeck College Main Building
Torrington Square (Malet Street)
London WC1E 7HX
Building number 1 on this map

6pm Friday 25th March

10 Mar 2011

[NEW VENUE] Prof. Inuhiko Yomota and Dr. Sharon Kinsella on Aging and Kawaii

Matureness and Unmatureness in Contemporary Japanese Art and Culture: Aging and Kawaii
A talk by Prof. Inuhiko Yomota
Respondent: Dr. Sharon Kinsella

6pm Friday 25th March

Room 541
Birkbeck College Main Building
Torrington Square (Malet Street)
London WC1E 7HX
Building number 1 on this map

but booking is essential, please email lapcsf@gmail.com

In this special event for LAPCSF, celebrated critic Inuhiko Yomota will contrast the culture of kawaii—so prevalent in manga, anime, and East Asian pop culture in general—with the aesthetics of aging within Butoh dance and other performing arts. Traversing from the figure of the girl warrior in the anime Sailor Moon and Henry Darger’s Vivian Girls, to the “immortality” of legendary Butoh performer Kazuo Ohno, this talk promises to be a tour de force from a unique voice in cultural criticism.

Prof. Inuhiko Yomota’s publications range over film history, literature, manga, and even food culture. His One Hundred Years of Japanese Cinema has been translated into German, Italian, Korean, and Chinese, while his books on kawaii and manga have been published in Chinese and Korean translations. Among the prizes he has been awarded for his writing are the Kodansha Essay Prize, the Kuwabara Prize, and the Saito Ryoku’u prize. He has also translated works by Paul Bowles, Edward Said, Pier Paulo Pasolini, and Mahmoud Darwish into Japanese. He is Professor of Motion Picture History and Comparative Literature at Meiji Gakuin University, and he has been a visiting professor at Konguk University, Columbia University, the University of Bologna, and Tel Aviv University, among others.

Dr. Sharon Kinsella is author of Adult Manga: Culture and power in postwar Japanese society and Girls as Energy: Fantasies of rejuvenation in contemporary Japan. She is lecturer in Japanese Visual Culture at the University of Manchester, and has previously held positions at the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, MIT, and Yale.

Dr Lisa Leung on East Asian Media Circulation

We are pleased to announce the latest meeting of the London Asia Pacific Cultural Studies Forum with Dr Lisa Leung from Lingnan University in Hong Kong. In this informal meeting, Dr Leung will initiate the discussion by sharing some of her most recent thoughts, yet to be published in a full paper, on East Asian Pop Culture. She will talk about the ‘different layers of appropriation' that complicate the critical rethinking of East Asian media circulation, between Hong Kong, China, Korea and Japan. She will also combine this with the challenges of doing audience consumption research on the internet, something which is more current to her research. Please let us know (lapcsf@gmail.com) if you would like to attend. Drinks afterwards, as always!
Whither is the transnational? Some tentative thoughts about the challenges of East Asian TV dramas reception studies

Lisa Leung, Department of Cultural Studies, Lingnan University

Date: Friday March 18th (6:00 to 8:00 PM)
Room 629, Birkbeck Main Building (Torrington Square) 

Scholarship around the transnational reception of East Asian media and cultural products has epitomized the challenges of popular culture research, which has been attempting to capture the interplay between globalized consumerist culture, cultural negotiations as well as geo-political tensions in the region. After a decade of research and publications on the topic, Dr Lisa Leung shares about her critical evaluations of the contributions of, as well as the challenges, facing East Asian media reception studies, in terms of its conceptualizations as well as methodologies. How will the ‘layers of appropriation’ of transnational audience to the media products interplay with the shifting geo-political dynamics in the East Asian region? How can the internet, which has transformed (transnational) viewing landscape pose new challenges to the research methodologies surrounding reception studies?

Bio: Dr Lisa Leung has researched and published extensively on the transnational circulation of Japanese and Korean media and cultural products. While her specialty is in audience studies, she has also researched and published on the interplay between (global) popular culture and social movements. Her more recent interests include creative industries, ethnic minorities and multiculturalism, as well as community media.

21 Feb 2011

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