School of Languages and CulturesAssociation for Japanese Literary StudiesCollege of Liberal Arts

Seventh Annual Meeting


November 6-8, 1998 Purdue University

Call for Papers

The Midwest Association for Japanese Literary Studies will hold its seventh annual conference November 6-8, 1998, at Purdue University-West Lafayette. This year, the conference will focus on the theme LOVE AND SEXUALITY IN JAPANESE LITERATURE. We invite paper and panel proposals that examine these issues which thematically permeate all aspects of Japanese literature throughout its history. Possible topics would include: examinations of traditional notions of love and sexuality associated with terms such as "koi" and "irogonomi" in Heian court literature; "tsuµ" and "iki" in Edo literature; examinations of eroticism and erotic other in both classical and modern texts; questions related to the politics of sexuality in conjunction with the construction of self, gender, and national identities, in conjunction also with family, mother, and father; questions pertaining to the issues of body and visuality in texts, in particular, in film, theater, manga, etc.; and questions in terms of our theme's religious, mythological, aesthetic, and ethical implications. This theme would also invite examinations and applications of a variety of theoretical approaches including psychoanalysis, semiotics, feminism, queer theory, deconstructive reading, new historicism, and others. Interdisciplinary and comparative literary/cultural approaches are strongly sollicited as well. We also invite participants for a pedagogy forum on the teaching of Japanese literature with an emphasis on love, sexuality, and other related topics.

Deadline for Paper/Panel Proposals: May 15, 1998

A 1-2 page proposal, together with the form in this newsletter, should be sent to the Conference Chair. All inquiries related to the call for papers, as well as the annual meeting, should also be addressed to him. Please note that he will be at Rikkyo University in Tokyo from February through July, 1998: Correspondence during that period should be addressed to the following address:

Eiji Sekine, Conference Chair
Visiting Research Fellow, Japanese Literature Department, Rikkyo University
3-34-1 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku

Tokyo, JAPAN 171
Tel: 03.3985.2503
Fax: 03.3985.4790

1997 Meeting Report

The "New Historicism" conference was held at the University of Michigan on October 24-26, 1997. A wide range of papers were presented so as to reexamine literary production in relationship with its socio-historical contexts. Professors Karatani Koµjin presented his keynote address in which he examined, in a thought-provoking fashion, the hybridity of Japanese script as an ambiguous system of values/powers. Professor Komori Yoµichi also provided a stimulating keynote speech in which he discussed the issue of war responsibility among literary intellectuals within the current historical context. Besides the keynote speakers, we had 26 panel presenters, including 5 invited speakers from Japan (Professors Tsurusaki Hiroo, Kawazoe Fusae, Suzuki Jun, Itoµ Moriyuki, and author, Mizumura Minae). The three-day meeting was dynamic, insightful, and informative. A thoroughly prepared organization of the meeting by Professor Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen and her staff members was truly appreciated by all conference participants and audience members.

MAJLS Activities

Office and Officers

Address: MAJLS, 1359 Stanley Coulter Hall, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907; tel 765.496.2258; fax 765.496.1700;

Secretary/Editor: Eiji Sekine

Conference Chair for 1998:

Eiji Sekine

Steering Committee: James O'Brien (University of Wisconsin), Edith Sarra (Indiana University), Eiji Sekine (Purdue University), Ann Sherif (Oberlin College), Roger Thomas (Illinois State University), Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen (Consultant, University of Michigan)

Annual Meeting

An annual meeting is organized by an elected Conference Chair and held at the Chair's institution. A call for papers is announced in the Spring issue of the MAJLS Newsletter. A program of the meeting is published in the Fall issue of the Newsletter.

PMAJLS Publication

All papers presented during the annual meeting can be included in an officially registered serial titled PMAJLS (Proceedings of the Midwest Association for Japanese Literary Studies). "New Historicism in Japanese Literary Studies," PMAJLS, vol. 4, is scheduled to be published in summer, 1998, by the University of Michigan.


The annual fee is $20.00 for regular, student, and institution members ($30.00 for overseas members outside North America). Membership for 1998-99 provides you with:

    panel participation for the 1998 meeting to be held at Purdue University (if your proposal is selected) two newsletters--the Fall 1998 issue and Spring 1999 issue. a copy of the proceedings of the '97 Meeting to be published in Summer, 1998. one free copy of a back or additional current issue of the proceedings if you are a student member.

Currently, we have 135 members. If you have not yet joined us, please do so this time. Those who joined, please renew your membership annually. Inquiries and orders (with checks payable to MAJLS) should be addressed to the MAJLS office. Your comments and suggestions regarding the MAJLS activities and the association's future direction are always welcome and should also be addressed to our office.

Hosts through the Year 2000

We have host institutions in line through the year 2000: University of Colorado for 1999 (Professor Stephen Miller, Chair), and University of Notre Dame for 2000 (Professor Eileen Mikals-Adachi, Chair). If you are interested in hosting the MAJLS meeting for 2001 or later, please contact the MAJLS office.

Japanese Literature Listserv

A listservice for Japanese literature has been created and is now running. In order to subscribe to this list, send to a short message that says: sub JLIT-L xyxy (put your own name in place of xyxy). You will immediately receive a confirmation and can participate in this network by sending your messages to:

Subscription is free. Please join other netters from all over the world and exchange various topics and information related to Japanese literature/culture. Currently, we have around 250 subscribers. MAJLS activities are also regularly reported on this network.

Back Issues

Back issues of the proceedings are available. Each copy is $7.00 for MAJLS members and $10.00 for non-members. Orders should be sent to the MAJLS office.

    Poetics of Japanese Literature
    Edited by Roger Thomas and published in 1993: vi + 207p. Includes keynote addresses by Kawamoto Koµji and Watanabe Kenji, and nine more essays, plus the round table discussion report.
    The Desire for Monogatari
    Edited by Eiji Sekine and published in 1994: vi + 133p. Includes a keynote address by Mizuta Noriko and eleven more essays.
    Japanese Theatricality and Performance
    PMAJLS, vol.1, edited by Eiji Sekine and published in 1995: v + 218 p. Includes a keynote address by Donald Richie and eleven other essays, plus a report on the round table discussion.
    Revisionism in Japanese Literary Studies
    PMAJLS, vol. 2, edited by Eiji Sekine and published in 1996: vi + 336p. Includes a keynote address by Earl Miner, major address by Takahashi Toµru and ten other essays, plus commentaries by panel discussants.
    Ga/Zoku Dynamics in Japanese Literature
    PMAJLS, vol.3, edited by Eiji Sekine and published in 1997: vii + 458p. Includes a keynote address by Ueno Chizuko, major addresses by Watanabe Kenji, Ibi Takashi, and Kigoshi Osamu, and ninteen other essays.

MAJLS Newsletter Sponsor: SLC , Purdue University

MAJLS Membership Form




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DEADLINE: MAY 15, 1998

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Please attach a 1-2 page proposal to this form and send to Eiji Sekine, Japanese Literature Department, Rikkyo University, 3-34-1 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN 171.

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907 (765) 494-4600

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