Reading Japanese Literature through the Lens of Area Studies
a lecture by Prof Shion Kono, Sophia University
What does it mean to read Japanese literature through the lens of “area studies”? Institutionally, area studies departments (such as Japanese Studies) have played important roles in disseminating cultural knowledge about a particular area, as research and educational hubs. At the same time, “area studies” as a mode of reading – to situate a literary text in the original linguistic, cultural, and social contexts – could help us understand not only the original meaning of the text fully, but also its values in global contexts. Drawing on recent discussion on world literature and his research in the translation of Japanese literature in the early twentieth century and the global reception of Haruki Murakami, Dr. Kono will offer a historical perspective on reading Japanese literature from outside Japan and discuss the opportunities and challenges for area studies for the future.
This lecture is FREE and open to all. The evening will begin with drinks in the Oriental Museum galleries from 5.30pm, followed by the lecture and questions from 6.15pm.
We are grateful to the Japan Foundation for sponsoring this event and bringing Professor Kono from Sophia. The lecture is part of the Celebration of Japan, a two week festival of lectures, workshops, film and music celebrating the relaunch of Japanese Studies at Durham University.