Can the Subaltern Bark? Canines, Japan, and the Making of the Modern Imperial World

Aaron Skabelund , Assistant Professor, Brigham Young University

This talk uses Spivak’s famous query to explore human-animal relations in at least three ways.  First, from an epistemological perspective, it considers why researchers in the social sciences and the humanities have directed their attention almost entirely to human affairs, relegating the study of the non-human world to the natural sciences. Second, it argues that two modern technologies—photography and taxidermy—allow some animals to “speak.” And third, it highlights the tremendous transformation of certain dogs in the imperial world from the nineteenth century to the present, especially in Japan. To explore these three issues, the talk focuses in on two moments of human-canine relations in Japan: the latter half of the nineteenth century when Japan was the object of Western imperialism, and the 1930s when Japan become a major imperial power in its own right.  

Thursday, February 28, 2013 | 4:15 pm — 5:30 pm | RSVP
Building 200 - Room 307, Main Quad

Center for East Asian Studies