2 Sep 2010

Second LAPCSF seminar on "Cultural Studies and the Questions of 'Race' in the Postimperial Era"

Date:  Wednesday 8th September, 6:00~9:00pm

Chair: Oliver Dew (Birkbeck)

6:00~6:45  A keynote from Paul Gilroy (LSE)
Shameful history: postimperial melancholia and contested cosmopolitanism

6:45~7:15  Comments from Toshiya Ueno (Wako), followed by discussion
7:15~7:45  Paper 1: Masayoshi Kosugi (Goldsmiths), 
Cultural Studies, Multiplicity and the Question of 'Race'

7:45~8:15  Paper 2: Seigo Kayanoki (Kobe)
"Seasick, yet still docked”: reconsidering the recent domestic revival of Kani Kosen in Japan"

8:15~8:30  Comments from Ueno Toshiya
8:30~9:00  General discussion


The venue: Room 415 (Birkbeck College's main building at Malet Street)

*****************************************
(1)  Masayoshi Kosugi, "Cultural Studies, Multiplicity and the Question of 'Race'"

Abstract:
Entering into the discussion through Prof. Stuart Hall's 'The West and The Rest: Discourses and Power' (1992) among other seminal Cultural Studies texts, I would like to critically examine the political, socio-cultural and ethical utility of the so-called 'non-Dualist' dialectics developed by Henri Bergson and the surrounding cultural critiques that are influenced by it.  In particular, the discussion will be explicitly framed in order to relate to the question of temporality under the schema of neo-liberal capital, and its impact upon the contemporary politics of culture induced by technological and economic variables. Most importantly, I would like to move the discussion towards a debate over 'race' and its construction through the above clues and elements.

(2) Seigo Kayanoki, “Seasick, yet still docked”: reconsidering the recent domestic revival of Kani Kosen in Japan"

In 2008, Japanese society witnessed an utterly (un)anticipated revival of the classic of prewar proletarian literature. Kani Kosen (Crab Cannery Boat), written by Kobayashi Takiji in 1929, deals with the harsh working condition of crews on board a ship catching and processing crab off the Hokkaido coast and their failed attempt to strike against capitalist exploitation. The founding that the hardships depicted in the near 80 years old proletarian novella has the anachronistic similarity with precarious lives of today’s working poor has generated the widespread readership. Fueled by the boom, many scholars have revaluated the actuality of the work in today’s Japanese context. However, it seems that there are many important issues left unquestioned. It is this problem space in which this paper will attempt to intervene. Firstly, it will be pointed out that the resurgence of interest in Kani Kosen has not been sufficiently connected with the ongoing debate on Japanese imperial past. Secondly, the paper will discuss that enough importance has not been placed on why the novel characterized by Takiji as “a page of history of capitalist intrusion in colony” was set in a boat at sea. In a manner reminiscent of Foucault’s thought on heterotopia, Takiji represents a ship as an autonomous space both of violence and resistance. In sum, what this paper will try to do is to “seajack” this boom as an opportunity for rethinking Japanese (post)colonial modernity, instead of diminishing it as being manufactured by a few trend-settlers and media’s commercial appetite.



1 Sep 2010

What is LAPCSF

London Asia Pacific Cultural Studies Forum 



Contextual Histories
In June 1997, Ted Motohashi, then a visiting fellow at University of Essex, organized a postgraduate conference at Essex on the theme of “Pacific Asia Cultural Studies”, with the help from people like Stuart Hall, Catherine Hall, Peter Hulme, Paul Gilroy, Kuan-hsing Chen and Naoki Sakai.  After that conference, in which a number of postgraduate students coming to London from Asian countries or those researching subjects related to Asia who are interested in Cultural Studies in various ways participated, there arose a voluntary network of students/lecturers who thought that a continuation of the “bottom-up” initiatives materialized in that conference would be vital in reinvigorating cultural studies in London.  Since then, several postgraduate students took leads in organizing regular, biweekly or monthly, seminars and annual international conferences mostly at Goldsmiths College.  That network was later succeeded and developed by Chris Berry of Goldsmiths and then by Shinji Oyama at Birkbeck from 2010 onward.  


Institutional Basis
"London Asia Pacific Cultural Studies Forum (LAPCSF)" is now housed at the Centre for Media, Culture and Creative Practice, Birkbeck College, London with the support from Birkbeck’s Media and Cultural Studies Department, although this forum by definition being a cross London network of people who share common interests and incentives could occasionally have seminars/meetings at some other venues.


Overall Aims and Themes 

We aim to provide those postgraduate students across London who are interested in Cultural Studies with opportunities of developing their own research topics and working their fellow students in a friendly and cooperative environment through presenting their own papers and attending the workshops.



21 Aug 2010

Contact

Dr. Shinji Oyama (Director, Centre for Media, Culture and Creative Practices, Birkbeck)
s.oyama(at)bbk(dot)ac(dot)uk

12 Aug 2010

1st Meeting

London Asia Pacific Cultural Studies Forum (LAPCSF) the First Meeting


Monday, July 26th, 
17:30~20:00, Room 633, Malet Street, Birkbeck College, University of  London


After several years of collective endeavours, cultural studies in London with a focus on Asia and Pacific seem to have met new challenges.  Can cultural studies and their practitioners based in London, particularly those from Asian countries, and those whose main research interests are related to Asia, still be vibrant and vital forces and sources of inspiration?  What can they offer to those whose main areas of studies are not Asia Pacific?  What kind of relationships can we envisage between Cultural Studies and Area Studies in general after the transformations of cultural studies over the years?  What are the inherent issues and practical problems those graduate students from Asian countries facing who have been the lynchpin of internationalised cultural studies in London?   In order to address these questions among others through regular meetings which will consist of seminars on various themes organised by graduate students, we are setting up a network called "London Asia Pacific Cultural Studies Forum" (LAPCSF), based on Birkbeck College, University of London. We aim to build up personal and practical network of people through these meetings starting from September 2010, which should culminate in an international conference in November 2011, also at Birkbeck.


The first preparatory meeting on 26th July will be an important opportunity to meet one another who share common concerns, and to exchange our views on our future directions.  We have two main speakers, Hiroki and Chris, who have been behind among others the development of Asian cultural studies in London.  


We would invite all those postgraduate students and teachers across London who work and research in various cross-cultural fields to come to this joyful and important occasion.


Chair: Ted Motohashi (Tokyo University of Economics; Birkbeck College)


1) Hiroki Ogasawara (Kobe University, Japan), "Studying Cultural Studies in London: Trajectories of PACSF in the 21st Century"


2) Chris Berry (Goldsmiths College), "The Perils and Pitfalls of Promoting Asian Cultural Studies in London”             


3) Discussion


4) Reception



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1 Aug 2010

2011 Conference

A provisional proposal for Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies Conference at Birkbeck College, London


1. Organising Committee:
LAPCSF Graduate Students Conference Organising Committee


2. Dates:
Friday 25th to Sunday 27th, November 2011


3. Title and Overall Theme:
“Transition and Transformation of Cultural Studies in Asia Pacific: Crossroads of Philosophy, Literature and Economics”


4. Basic Schedule:
1) Friday evening  -  Plenary Symposium I “Crises of Humanities and Institutionalisation of Cultural Studies”  followed by a welcome reception
2) Saturday morning  -  Plenary Symposium II “Translation and Comparatism in Cultural Studies”
3) Saturday afternoon  -  Parallel paper panels
4) Saturday evening  -  Plenary Symposium III “Archipelagic Imagination in Asia Pacific”
5) Sunday morning  -  Plenary Symposium IV “Cultural Studies and New Social Economy”
6) Sunday afternoon  -  Parallel paper panels and a final plenary discussion
7) Sunday evening  -  Farewell party


5. Plenary speakers to be invited will include (to be confirmed):
Gayatri Spivak (Columbia University)
Naoki Sakai (Cornell University)
Rey Chow (Brown University)
Toshiya Ueno (Wako University, Tokyo)
Ryuta Imafuku (Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
Kwan-Hsing Chen (National Chiao Yung University)
Tessa Morris-Suzuki (Australian National University)
Paul Gilroy (London School of Economics)
Peter Hulme (Essex University)


6. Finance:
To be discussed. 

Call for the 1st Preliminary Meeting

"London Asia Pacific Cultural Studies Forum" (LAPCSF), the First Meeting


July 26th, 17:30~20:00, Room 633, Malet Street, Birkbeck College, University of  London


After several years of collective endeavours, cultural studies in London with a focus on Asia Pacific seem to have met new challenges.  Can cultural studies and their practitioners based in London, particularly those from Asian countries, and those whose main reseach interests are related to Asia, still be vibrant and vital forces and sources of inspiration?  What can they offer to those whose main areas of studies are not Asia Pacific?  What kind of relationships can we envisage between Cultural Studies and Area Studies in general after the transformations of cultural studeis over the years?  What are the inherent issues and practical problems those graduate students from Asian countries facing who have been the lynchpin of internationalised cultural studies in London?  


In order to address these questions among others through regular meetings which will consist of seminars on various themes organised by graduate students, we are setting up a network called "London Asia Pacific Cultural Studies Forum" (LAPCSF), based on Birkbeck College, University of London. We aim to build up personal and practical network of people through these meetings starting from September 2010, which should culminate in an international conference in November 2011, also at Birkbeck.


The first preparatory meeting on 26th July will be an important opportunity to meet one another who share common concerns, and to exchange our views on our future directions.


We have two main speakers, Hiroki and Chris, who have been behind among others the development of Asian cultural studies in London.    


Chair: Ted Motohashi (Tokyo University of Economics; Birkbeck College)


1) Hiroki Ogawawara (Kobe University, Japan), "Studying Cultural Studies in London: Trajectories of PACSF from the millenium"


2) Chirs Berry (Goldsmiths College), "The Perils and Pitfalls of Promoting Asian Cultural Studies in London"


3) Discussion


4) Party: food and drinks will be provided.


The attendance is of course free, but some contributions as to food/drink cost will be welcome. 


All welcome!


Hurriedly with best wishes,


Ted Motohashi