Donnerstag, 29. April 2021, 18:30 - 20:00 iCal

u:japan lectures #7 Japanese Literary Nationalism

Japanese Literary Nationalism and Brazil, 1908-1941

A virtual u:japan lecture by Edward "Ted" Mack (University of Washington).


Online Event

Japanese Literary Nationalism and Brazil, 1908-1941



In this talk I will present a history of the marketplace for Japanese-language literary texts in Brazil, prior to the Second World War, and an analysis of an award-winning story written there during that period, Sonobe Takeo's "An Age of Speculative Farming" (1932) [園部武夫の「賭博農時代」1932年], after which I will speak briefly about what I think they tell us about “modern Japanese literature.”


The talk will add to a growing discourse on the colonial and minority literary practices that challenges a naturalized conception of a homogeneous ethnic nation-state and an unproblematic national literary culture. This study tries to extend this challenge, by drawing attention to another “marginal” element, that of the migrant, or diasporic, communities in the Americas. Rather than merely making the rubric of national literature more inclusive, or proposing an alternative rubric, however, I will speculate on the necessity and impact of such collective rubrics themselves.



Edward Mack is Associate Professor of Japanese at the University of Washington in Seattle. His first book, Manufacturing Modern Japanese Literature: Publishing, Prizes, and the Ascription of Literary Value (Duke, 2010), combined an empirical study of the literary publishing industry in Japan with a disciplinary critique focused on the notion of literary "purity." His forthcoming book, Acquired Alterity: Migration, Identity, and Literary Nationalism (California, 2021), is structured similarly, combining a history of Japanese-language literary activities in Brazil with a continuation of the disciplinary critique, this time focused on the concept of the nation as it is applied to literary texts.

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Department of East Asian Studies - Japanese Studies & Austria-Japan Study Group for Humanities, Social Sciences and Art (Akademischer Arbeitskreis Japan, AAJ)


Florian Purkarthofer
Department of East Asian Studies