井の中の蛙

4/23/2009

A bounty of medieval symposia

Filed under: — Morgan Pitelka @ 9:40 pm Print

Premodernists, particularly those who focus on history, sometimes feel gloomy about the state of premodern Japanese studies in the U.S., where a number of large graduate programs have shrunk, disappeared, or fundamentally changed in emphasis in the past two decades. Some of us have even been known to eulogize the field, as if the heart of our collective endeavors had already stopped beating. Is the field more like a rotting corpse, or perhaps a mummified one? Have we been subject to cremation, leaving behind only bone fragments to be buried in an urn? Or was the corpse of the field left lying on the banks of the river, food for the crows and source of anxiety for locals, known as “wind burial”? (Thanks, PMJS!)

Two upcoming events prove that the rumors of the death of medieval Japanese studies were greatly exaggerated.

This weekend, Princeton University is hosting “Pieces of Sengoku: Interpreting Historical Sources and Objects from Japan’s Long Sixteenth Century”

202 Jones Hall, Princeton University

***April 25th (Saturday)***

9:00am – 9:30am   Registration and Breakfast

9:30am – 12:00pm   Session I

Opening Remarks by David L. Howell (Princeton University)

Special Remarks by Andrew M. Watsky (Princeton University) Re-assembling the “Pieces of Sengoku”

【黒印状】 Tomoko Kitagawa (Princeton University) Who Owned the Black-Seal?: The Black-Seal Letter Issued (not) by Kusu

【書札礼】 Taizo Noda (Kyoto Kōka Women’s University) Hierarchy in the Manners of Writing: The Letters from the Uesugi Collection

【御置目】 David Eason (SUNY, University at Albany) Affective Law in the Long Sixteenth Century: The Rokkaku-shi Shikimoku Revealed

12:00pm   Lunch 1:00pm – 2:30pm   Session II

【西笑承兌】 Masatoshi Harada (Kansai University) Monks of the Five Mountains and the Unification of Japan: Excerpts from Seishō Oshō Bun’an

【西笑承兌】Nam-lin Hur (University of British Columbia) Truce Negotiations in the Final Phase of the Toyotomi Regime’s Invasion of Korea

2:30pm – 3:00pm   Break 3:00pm – 4:30pm   Session III

【禁制】 David Spafford (University of Washington) Violators Will Be Punished: Kinzei Placards and the Performance of Local Authority

【過所旗】 Peter Shapinsky (University of Illinois at Springfield) Japanese ‘Jolly Roger’: The Functions and Symbolism of ‘Pirate’ Flags in Sixteenth-Century Japan

4:30pm – 5:00pm   Break 5:00pm – 6:30pm   Session IV

【肖像画】Hiroshi Kitagawa (Osaka Castle Museum) Deification and the Political History of the Sengoku Period: The Portraits of Toyotomi Hideyoshi

【御道具帳】Morgan Pitelka (Occidental College) The Social Life of Ieyasu’s Things: Tokugawa Probate in the Long Sixteenth Century
***April 26th (Sunday)***

11:00am – 1:30pm     Round Table Discussion and Lunch

Then, May 8-10 – Text and Context: New Directions in Medieval Japanese Literary and Historical Studies

A Colby Bates and Bowdoin (CBB) Initiative, to be held at Bowdoin College on May 8-10, 2009.

Organized by Thomas Conlan, Vyjayanthi Selinger, Roberta Strippoli

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Presentations (diacritics-free version)

Soundscapes: Music and Ritual in The Tale of the Heike and other Medieval Texts – David Bialock University of Southern California

Sovereign Authority and the Medieval Japanese State – Thomas Conlan Bowdoin College

Why’d They Do That & How d’ya Know?:  Some Thoughts on Reconstructing Early Medieval Warfare – Karl Friday University of Georgia

Warriors and Illness – Andrew Goble University of Oregon

Ghosts Along the Road: The Kaidoki and the Jokyu Rebellion – Elizabeth Oyler University of Illinois

Analyzing Japan’s Early Medieval Economy – Ethan Segal Harvard University

The Heike monogatari and Manuscript Textuality – Vyjayanthi Selinger Bowdoin College

Gio’s Temples, Landmarks, and Documents: When Literature Becomes “History” – Roberta Strippoli Bates College

Seppuku: A Methodological Problem – Hitomi Tonomura University of Michigan

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The symposium is open to the public, but space is limited.  Those who plan to attend should get in touch with Roberta Strippoli  (rstrippo@bates.edu) to reserve a seat.  Roberta will also provide a   more detailed program.

Sponsored by CBB and the Luce Foundation

One Response to “A bounty of medieval symposia”

  1. Boy, that looks like fun…. I can’t wait for the conference volumes! (Please tell me there’ll be conference volumes!)

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