2021-22 – dates TBD
The symposium “Co-Productions: Literature, Media and Diaspora in the Japanese Transpacific” is a two-day event of panels, roundtable discussions and engagement with local historic sites involving scholars from Japan and the UC system in Spring 2021. This international symposium builds on the intellectual and community-building work of transpacific working groups (TPWG) active at UCLA and UCI. The theme of “coproduction” derives from cinema studies, and in Asian Studies has been used to show how cinematic co-productions have produced a new transpacific regional identity–that traverses Asia and North America–based on interlocking labor practices, investments, representational codes, and distribution.
This symposium adapts “co-production” in four senses to articulate transpacific connections between Japan and North America that began with nineteenth-century migration. First is the organization shared between four departments: Comparative Literature and Languages (John Kim and Anne McKnight); Media and Cultural Studies (Setsu Shigematsu); English (Traise Yamamoto); and History (Catherine Gudis). This co-production allows us to newly engage the fields of Japanese diaspora and Japanese American Studies in recognition of the co-figuration of regional and racialized identities. We define co-production in a second, broader sense as the material, epistemological and social dimensions of exchange across the Pacific, including the colonial conditions that precipitate migration and displacement. Third, we envision co-production between researchers and community organizations that preserve local historic sites such as the Harada House. The last mode of co-production is graduate student involvement facilitating guided tours, panels and roundtables that will address human-machine-labor-technology assemblages in the transpacific; diasporic literature, media co-productions, and the co-production of legal and philosophical discourses.
Papers will be pre-circulated and assigned to commentators, including graduate students facilitating dialogue with scholars from Japan and other UC campuses. Details and calls for papers are forthcoming.
*Due to the impacts on travel and in-person meetings caused by COVID-19, conference dates are tentative and TBA.
Sponsored by the Center for Ideas and Society and the Office of the President Multi-campus Research Programs and Initiative Funding through a grant from the UC Humanities Research Institute.
Organizers (in alphabetical order):
Catherine Gudis, History
John Kim, Comparative Literature and Languages
Anne McKnight, Comparative Literature and Languages
Setsu Shigematsu, Media & Cultural Studies
Traise Yamamoto, English