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Chinese Visions of Progress, 1895 to 1949 offers a panoramic view of reflections on progress in modern China. Since the turn of the twentieth century, the discourses on progress shape Chinese understandings of modernity and its pitfalls. As this in-depth study shows, these discourses play a pivotal role in the fields of politics, society, culture, as well as philosophy, history, and literature. It is therefore no exaggeration to say that the Chinese ideas of progress, their often highly optimistic implications, but also the criticism of modernity they offered, opened the gateway for reflections on China’s past, its position in the present world, and its future course.
Women, Media, and Colonial Modernity in the Interwar Years
The East Asian Modern Girl reports the long-neglected experiences of modern women in East Asia during the interwar period. The edited volume includes original studies on the modern girl in Taiwan, Korea, Manchuria, Japan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, which reveal differentiated forms of colonial modernity, influences of global media and the struggles of women at the time. The advent of the East Asian modern girl is particularly meaningful for it signifies a separation from traditional Confucian influences and progression toward global media and capitalism, which involves high political and economic tension between the East and West. This book presents geo-historical investigations on the multi-force triggered phenomenon and how it eventually contributed to greater post-war transformations.
Okinawa, the only Japanese prefecture invaded by US forces in 1945, was forced to accommodate 146 “military comfort stations” from 1941–45. How did Okinawans view these intrusive spaces and their impact on regional society? Interviews, survivor testimonies, and archival documents show that the Japanese army manipulated comfort stations to isolate local communities, facilitate “spy hunts,” and foster a fear of rape by Americans that induced many Okinawans to choose death over survival. The politics of sex pursued by the US occupation (1945–72) perpetuated that fear of rape into the postwar era. This study of war, sexual violence, and postcolonial memory sees the comfort stations as discursive spaces of remembrance where differing war experiences can be articulated, exchanged, and mutually reassessed.

Winner of the 2017 Best Publication Award of the Year by the Okinawa Times.
This volume of fourteen essays explores Chinese poetic modernism in all its facets, from its origins in the 1920s through 21st century manifestations. Modernisms in the plural reflects the complexity of the ideas and forms which can be associated with this literary-historical term. The volume’s contributors take a variety of focus points, from literary groups such as “9 Leaves” or “Bamboo Hat,” to individuals such as modernist sonneteer Feng Zhi 冯至, or Taiwan experimentalist Xia Yu 夏宇 (Hsia Yü), and Hong Kong modernist Leung Ping-kwan 梁秉钧, to non-biographically oriented chapters concerning modernist language, poetry and visual art, among other issues. Collectively, the volume endeavors to present as complete a picture of modernist practice in Chinese poetry as possible.
Urban Modernities reconsiders Japanese colonialism in Korea and Taiwan through a relational study of modernist literature and urban aesthetics from the late colonial period. By charting intra-Asian and transregional circulations of writers, ideas, and texts, it reevaluates the dominant narrative in current scholarship that presents Korea and Taiwan as having vastly different responses to and experiences of Japanese colonialism. By comparing representations of various colonial spaces ranging from the nation, the streets, department stores, and print spaces to underscore the shared experiences of the quotidian and the poetic, Jina E. Kim shows how the culture of urban modernity enlivened networks of connections between the colonies and destabilized the metropole-colony relationship, thus also contributing to the broader formation of global modernism.
Poetry, Translation, Chineseness
What makes a Chinese poem “Chinese”? Some call modern Chinese poetry insufficiently Chinese, saying it is so influenced by foreign texts that it has lost the essence of Chinese culture as known in premodern poetry. Yet that argument overlooks how premodern regulated verse was itself created in imitation of foreign poetics. Looking at Bian Zhilin and Yang Lian in the twentieth century alongside medieval Chinese poets such as Wang Wei, Du Fu, and Li Shangyin, The Organization of Distance applies the notions of foreignization and nativization to Chinese poetry to argue that the impression of poetic Chineseness has long been a product of translation, from forces both abroad and in the past.

Memory is not an inert container but a dynamic process. It can be structured by ritual, constrained by textual genre, and shaped by communities’ expectations and reception. Urging a particular view of the past on readers is a complex rhetorical act. The collective reception of portrayals of the past often carries weighty implications for the present and future. The essays collected in this volume investigate various aspects of memory in medieval China (ca. 100-900 CE) as performed in various genres of writing, from poetry to anecdotes, from history to tomb epitaphs. They illuminate ways in which the memory of individual persons, events, dynasties, and literary styles was constructed and revised through processes of writing and reading.
Contributors include: Sarah M. Allen, Robert Ashmore, Robert Ford Campany, Jack W. Chen, Alexei Ditter, Meow Hui Goh, Christopher M. B. Nugent, Xiaofei Tian, Wendy Swartz, Ping Wang.
Modes of Urban Representation in the Works of Nagai Kafū (1879-1959)
In A Sense of the City, Gala Maria Follaco examines Nagai Kafū’s (1879-1959) literary construction of urban spatialities from late Meiji through the early Shōwa period. She argues that Kafū’s urban critique was based on his awareness of the cultural sedimentation of the cityscape and of the complex relationship that it bore with the historical framework of modern Japan.

With the overall aim to define Kafū’s position within pre-war Japanese literature, Follaco touches upon key issues such as memory, class difference, and language ideologies; draws connections between his sojourn abroad and strategies of “mapping” the city of Tokyo in his literature; and takes into account works previously understudied, including his biography of Washizu Kidō and his photographs.
Negotiating Identities and Modernity through Literature
This book offers a thorough and thought-provoking study on the impact of Japanese colonialism on Taiwan’s literary production from the 1920s to 1945. It redresses the previous nationalist and Japan-centric interpretations of works from Taiwan’s Japanese period, and eschews a colonizer/colonized dichotomy. Through a highly sensitive textual analysis and contextual reading, this chronologically structured book paints a multi-layered picture of colonial Taiwan’s literature, particularly its multi-styled articulations of identities and diverse visions of modernity. By engaging critically with current scholarship, Lin has written with great sentiment the most complete history of the colonial Taiwanese literary development in English.
In: Reading Japanese Haikai Poetry