“Power and Identity”: A Cross-Disciplinary Conference

I am happy to announce that the Graduate Program on Global Society, the University of Tokyo, holds its first international conference on the theme of “Power and Identity” in January, 2017. My friend from the program, Jun Nohara and I organize the conference. Below is the conference’s call for papers information. For more details, please visit our webpage in the following link: gspconference2017.

International Conference

“Power and Identity”

The Graduate Program on Global Society (GSP), the University of Tokyo

 Abstract Submission Deadline: September 30, 2016

Abstract Submission: gspconference2017@gmail.com

Monday 9 January, 2017

The Graduate Program on Global Society (GSP), the University of Tokyo, hosts an international conference to explore various issues of power and identity from interdisciplinary perspectives. In today’s globalized world, it is increasingly urgent to examine the way in which power and identity are interrelated with each other, not only politically and economically, but also culturally and ideologically. Both personal and national identities have become more and more unsettled, inscrutable, and even questionable. And yet certain power continues to operate in various dimensions of our life, shaping, disturbing, and refashioning our identities. In the field of international politics, in our mundane social life, and on the discursive level, even in the realm of fiction, the interaction between power and identity continuously serves as a crucial determinant of boundaries, alliances, communication manners, and styles of discourse.

How can individuals approach issues of gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, language, religion and fashion in terms of social and political norms? What are the ways in which regional and global matters, such as security and threat, peace and war, sovereignty or memory, contribute to or are affected by power and identity? Can commerce and media provide us with any solution to these issues? How does literature address the issues of power and identity?

The GSP conference “Power and Identity” calls for papers, which investigate into and elucidate any aspect of the complicated interrelation between power and identity. Possible themes are listed below, but papers are not limited to them:

Possible Themes:
Globalization and Identity
Cultural Interactions and Power
Identity and Power in International Relations
Peace and Identity
Security and Power
State, Power, and National Identity
Memory and Identity
Immigration, Identity, and State Control
Religion, State, and Power
Religion, Identity, and Conflicts
Gender, Identity, and State Power
Women, Identity, and Literature
Rhetoric and Power
Language, Identity, and Power
Race, Ethnicity, and Nationality
Fashion and Identity
Media and Power
Power and City in Literature
Memory, Identity, and Power in Literature
Power and Identity in Postcolonial Literature
Contemporary Society, Power Relations, and Literature

Plenary Lectures
Professor Daisaku HIGASHI, Sophia University, Japan
Professor Crispin Bates, Edinburgh University, Scotland


Takeshi Hiraide’s The Guest Cat

The Guest Cat Review

the guest cattThe Guest Cat by Takashi Hiraide
Published by Picador
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy the Book

It has been awfully long time since I last managed to write in this blog. Although I was able to finish quite a number of books within the last two months thanks to my amazingly long commuting hours to go to the university, somehow I could not write about any of them. It is not because I was extremely busy. I was as busy as I had been before. Yet, with the new semester starting in April, the amount of miscellaneous things I had to do made me feel exhausted at the end of the day and I found myself a bit reluctant to do any sort of writing so long as I did not have to. And on top of petty stuff I had to take care of, there was the nicest sort of distraction at the beginning of May, that is, Golden Week. Golden Week is one of these rare holidays you can have in Japan. Now wanting to miss the chance, I went to Okinawa, yes that famous beautiful tropical island. After spending a week in Okinawa, it was not that easy to go back to reality as you might imagine 🙂

Talking about going back to reality, which can be also regarded as some sort of change of pace and re-adjusting the self to the former conditions, today I want to introduce a less known Japanese poet and writer called Takashi Hiraide. I particularly chose this writer because Hiraide’s novel titled The Guest Cat is also about change or transition the Japanese went through triggered by the new economic conditions while the bubble economy was coming to an end in 1990s. When I came across Takashi Hiraide’s The Guest Cat in Maruzen (a well-known bookstore in Japan) back in early April, in all honesty I first thought it must be one of the cliché cat-craze products. Still intrigued by the cat figure with sparkling green eyes on the cover, I found myself reaching out to the shelf. As soon as I managed to take my eyes off the bewitching eyes, I learned, to my surprise, novel became a The New York Times bestseller. In addition to its fame abroad, I also figured that Takashi Hirade won the Kiyama Shohei Literary award with this very short novel in Japan, so I decided to give it a try and bought the book.  Continue reading

Wonderland Essay

Good and Bad News!

This morning, my “Wonderland Essay” received the formal offer of publication and it will be published in IAFOR’s journal of literature and librarianship in November, 2015. Due to publishing and copyrights, I have to remove the article from this page. As soon as it is published, I will announce it here and provide the links to the article! 🙂

Happy News about an Upcoming Conference

A week ago, I sent an abstract for the 5th Asian Conference on Literature & Librarianship ( http://iafor.org/iafor/conferences/librasia2015/ ) and today, I got the happy news. My topic was accepted for an oral presentation. This will be my first conference after a long while. The conference will be held next year April in Osaka.

I will present a paper on Murakami Haruki’s Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. The theme of the conference is ‘Power’ and I will try to discuss this novel by referring to Jean Baudrillard’s The Consumer Society: Myths and Structures. I particularly chose Baudrillard to argue the conference theme in relation to consumerist and managed societies and their influence on the self. While doing so, I’m also planning to put the novel in its own historical context, roughly 1970s and early 1980s.

Is there any other soul going to this conference? I’m already so excited and looking forward to giving my speech 🙂