CFPs: Rocky Mountain MLA 2010 - Albuquerque!

ryan.cook at ryan.cook at
Tue Feb 9 22:56:40 EST 2010

Dear KineJapaners,

I am "alternate chairing" two panels on Japanese Film/Literature at the 2010
Rocky Mountain MLA conference in Albuquerque, NM and would like to encourage
interested parties to submit paper proposals.  I attended the 2009 RMMLA in
Snowbird, UT and found it to be an intimate and engaging atmosphere in which to
rehearse ideas.  There is a growing East Asian studies presence at this
conference, and your submission would lend momentum to this trend.  See below
for details about the two panels, and please note the March 1 deadline.

-Ryan Cook

Call for Papers: "Limning the Contemporary in Postwar Japanese Fiction
and Film" panel at RMMLA Oct. 2010

Panel chair: Peter Tillack, Assistant Professor of Japanese
Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Montana State University
(406)994-6441, Email: tillack at

This panel is designed to appeal to a wide spectrum of approaches from scholars
of modern Japan. Although conceived of as "area-focused," the issue of the
nature and timing of "the contemporary" in modern Japan resonates with debates
on the nature of postmodernity in the West. Proposals for papers concerning the
nature of "the contemporary" and/or of "modernity" and its relationship to
"postmodernity" in Japan as it relates to literature, film or criticism are

The Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association conference takes place October
14-16, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. For information on the conference, please

In order to present their papers, all panel members must be members of the RMMLA
by April 1, 2010. Please see for

The deadline for proposal submissions is March 1, 2010. Please include the
following in your proposal:

institutional affiliation
area of study
e-mail contact
paper title
abstract of 250-500 words
AV requirements

Proposed Session Title
Spectral Bodies in Modern Japanese Fiction and Film

Session Chair
Miri Nakamura, Assistant Professor of Japanese, Department of Asian Languages
and Literatures, Wesleyan University, mnakamura at, 860-685-3453.

Alternate Chair
Ryan Cook, PhD Candidate, Departments of East Asian Languages & Literatures and
Film Studies, Yale University, ryan.cook at, 646-549-1053.

Panel Description
Modern Japanese literature and fiction have constantly addressed the limits of
representation in the literary and visual mediums with spectral bodily
metaphors--ghostly manifestations that trick the eyes of the beholders,
uncanny bodies on screen that become more real than the actual actors,
translucent bodies torn apart by the atomic bomb.  As Gilles Deleuze has
claimed, a subject is always a phantasm, for one constructs one$B!G(Bs identity by
projecting a bodily surface that moves between surfaces as a multiple, divisible
ego.  Scholars in visual and cultural studies have recently begun to address how
texts try to represent this phantasmagoric aspect of the human body, how one may
represent the invisible and the unrepresentable.  Peggy Phelan, for example, has
declared that representation is never totalizing and fails to reproduce the
real.  It always conveys more than it intends via supplemental excess, making
multiple readings possible and produces gaps.  Akira Lippit, similarly, has
offered an innovative analysis of how postwar film captured the transparent
quality of atomic light.  Spectral bodies--bodies lacking physical
substance--offers a space to explore the paradox of trying to capture the
avisual (transparency, interiority, psyche, the supernatural) in either the
literary or the visual medium.  This panel aims to open up a critical line of
inquiry about how the fields of literary and film studies may participate in
discussing the phantasmagoric aspect of the human body and go beyond
representation in their textual analyses.

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