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

Newsletter 15

Eleventh Annual Meeting


OCTOBER 4-6, 2002 Purdue University

Call for Papers

Last year at Boston, we had a wonderful tenth annual meeting, in which we explored dialogues with Japanese American writers and native Japanese writers who live and work abroad. This association has always had the type of innovativeness that is ready to try new and different approaches to understand and ponder over Japanese literature, Japan, and literature itself. Without contradicting this spirit, we would like to return, this time, to the basics of our interests in Japanese literature in such a way as to stress the beginning of our next ten years. We will come back to Purdue, a location where our activities started, and will feature the theme,"Japanese Poeticity and Narrativity Revisited," which recaptures the topics of our first and second meetings. We will examine the old and basic topics from new and different standpoints and approaches.

Three keynote speakers from Japan have accepted our invitation: Professor Mizuta Noriko, a leading feminist critic and Josai International University President; Mr. Yoshimasu Gozo, a poet who authors Ogonshihen (Golden poems), Okoku (Kingdom), and many other books of poems and essays; and Professor Kojima Naoko, a productive researcher on the studies of heian monogatari from Rikkyo University. They will provide us with broad and insightful ideas and perspectives in order to stimulate our discussions on this year's theme.

Any papers dealing with Japanese poetic and narrative tradition/characteristics are welcome. We are particularly interested in discussing Japanese poetry and narrative in relationship with topics that have been less elaborated so far. Let us propose the following topics to consider: 1) Issue of translation: Japanese literature/culture has established itself largely internalizing mainstream foreign literatures/cultures through translation. What kind of new and different awareness/understandings of poeticity and narrativity have been added by translation practices? 2) Issue of comedic/playful literary tradition: While the mainstream literary values are centered around the tragic and/or melancholic quality of mononoaware and mujo, another tradition coexists in Japanese literature--Sei Shonagon's okashi, Haikai's karomi, gesaku spirit's satirical/parodic humor, and modern humor from Soseki through Inoue Hisashi, via Ibuse, Yasuoka, and others. What are critical impacts of these comedic and playful factors in the overall formation of Japanese poeticity/narrativity? 3) Examination of critical tradition: Japanese literature includes a variety of critical writings--classical theories of poetry by Tsurayuki and others, Zeami's theatrical theory, hermaneutical practices in Edo by Jinsai, Sorai, Norinaga, and others, and modern criticism by Kobayashi, Eto, Yoshimoto, Karatani, and Hasumi. What can we learn from these writings on poetry, monogatari, and literature? 4) Finally, the fundamental and general issue of literature: What are differences and commonalities of Japanese poeticity and narrativity, especially in terms of understanding the relationships between literary writing and visuality and between literature's fictionality/virtuality and reality?

Proposal Deadline: May 1, 2002
  • Panel proposals and individual ones are equally considered.

  • Only the members of the AJLS are eligible.

  • Papers selected for the conference will be published in our "Proceedings."

Send your proposals to:

Eiji Sekine, AJLS, Purdue University, 1359 Stanley Coulter Hall, West Lafayette, 47907, USA
Tel: 765.496.2258
Fax: 765.496.1700

2001 Meeting Report

The Tenth Annual AJLS Meeting, "Japan from Somewhere Else," was held November 9-11, 2001, at Tufts University and Wellesley College. Eight guest creative artists provided us with enjoyable, moving, and thought-provoking reading/lecture sessions. Three conventional panels discussing elsewhere-ness of Japanese literature completed this innovative conference. The first attempt to dialogue with Japanese/Asian American artists proved to be particularly inspiring. This tenth anniversary conference was meticulously organized by the Conference Co-Chairs, Professors Hosea Hirata, Charles Shiro Inouye, and Eve Zimmerman, and their staff members from Tufts University and Wellesley College. All participants and audience members truly appreciated their thoughtful and generous efforts for this successful gathering.

AJLS Activities

Annual Meeting

An annual meeting is organized by an elected Conference Chair(s) and held at the Chair(s)'s institution. A call for papers is announced in the spring issue of the AJLS Newsletter. A program of the meeting is published in the fall issue of the Newsletter.

PAJLS Publication

All papers presented during the annual meeting can be included in an officially registered serial titled PAJLS (Proceedings of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies).


The annual fee is $25.00 for regular, student, and institution members ($35.00 for overseas members outside North America. Membership for 2002-2003 provides you with:

  • Panel participation for the 2002 meeting to be held at Purdue University (if your proposal is selected).
  • Two newsletters
  • One copy of the proceedings of the year 2001 Meeting to be published in Fall, 2002.
  • One free copy of a back or additional current issue of the proceedings if you are a student member.

Our publication activities depend on your membership support. If you have not yet joined us, please do so this time. Inquiries and orders (with checks payable to AJLS) should be sent to: AJLS, Purdue University, 1359 Stanley Coulter Hall, W. Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.

UCLA for the 2003 Conference

Professor Michele Marra will host our 2003 conference at UCLA. If you are interested in hosting the AJLS meeting for the year 2004 or later, contact Professor Ann Sherif at: or 440.775.8827 (Tel).

Japanese Literature Mailing List

For subscription, send a message, "subscribe jlit-l" to: After being confirmed, you can send your messages to:

New Proceedings

A 2000 conference proceedings, "Acts of Writing," PAJLS, vol.2, has been published. See its table of contents on our web site:

Back Issues

Back issues of the proceedings are available. Each copy is $10.00 for AJLS members and $15.00 for non-members. Orders should be sent to the AJLS office. (Add $10 for mailing if you order from outside the North American area.)

  • Poetics of Japanese Literature: vi + 207pp, 1993. Nine essays and addresses by Kawamoto Koji and Watanabe Kenji.
  • Desire for Monogatari: vi + 133 pp, 1994. [out of print]
  • Japanese Theatricality and Performance, PMAJLS , vol. 1: v + 218 pp, 1995. Eleven essays and address by Donald Richie.
  • Revisionism in Japanese Literary Studies, PMAJLS, vol. 2: vi + 336pp, 1996. Ten essays and addresses by Earl Miner and Takahashi Toru.
  • Ga/Zoku Dynamics in Japanese Literature, PMAJLS, vol. 3: vii + 458 pp, 1997. [out of print]
  • The New Historicism and Japanese Literary Studies, PMAJLS, vol. 4: xxiii + 432 pp, 1998. Twenty-four essays and addresses by Karatani Kôjin and Komori Yôichi, with an introduction by Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen.
  • Love and Sexuality in Japanese Literature, PMAJLS, vol.5: vi + 352 pp, 1999. Twenty-seven essays and addresses by Saeki Junko and Inaga Shigemi.
  • Issues of Canonicity and Canon Formation in Japanese Literary Studies, PAJLS, vol. 1: vi + 532 pp, 2000. Thirty-one essays and addresses by Kubota Jun, Takahashi Mutsuo, and Suzuki Sadami.
  • Acts of Writing, PAJLS, vol. 2: ix + 428 pp, 2001. Twenty-two essays and addresses by Zdenka Avarcova and Ohsawa Yoshihiro.

AJLS Newsletter Sponsor: SLC, Purdue University

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Japanese Poeticity and Narrativity Revisited





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Please attach a 250-words proposal to this form and send to: Eiji Sekine, AJLS, Purdue University, 1359 Stanley Coulter Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.

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