Conference Details

Dates: October 18-19, 2013
Location: International House at the University of Chicago, 1414 E. 59th St. Chicago, IL. 60637

Performance offers a concept through which to re-examine our ethical and political engagements with the literary arts. We defined it broadly to include not only conventional theatrical performances or literary representations of such performances, but also more metaphorical and theoretical understandings of the term, including (among others) narration or reading as modes of performance; the performativity of gender, ethnicity, and other modes of identity; linguistic or ritual performance; the social locations of performance; and the activities of literary criticism and publication as performance.

The organizers hoped to encourage reflection on literary scholarship and welcomed presentations that address issues of pedagogy. We envisioned this meeting not only as a venue in which to present research, but also as an opportunity to reconsider current disciplinary boundaries and investments. In this vein, we wanted to provide a forum in which to share best practices for the research and teaching of Japanese literature. We selected paper proposals from scholars of Japanese literature, modern and classical, as well as from kindred genres, including theater and performance studies, film and media studies, and music. Presentations were made in either English or Japanese.

The conference was designed to encourage innovative modes of scholarship as performance. The organizers solicited individual paper proposals (rather than panel proposals) and combined these into panels designed to stimulate productive discussions across boundaries of genre, historical period, and institution.