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State and Nation in 20th Century Japan: Toward an Interpretive Framework

May 6, 2009 - 12:00pm
Philippines Conference Room, Encina Hall, 3rd Floor
Kevin Doak, Professor & Nippon Foundation Endowed Chair in Japanese Studies, Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Georgetown University JAPAN STUDIES COLLOQUIUM SERIES, Spring 2009 Organized by Hwa-Ji Shin, Visiting Assistant Professor, FSI Stanford University Limited lunch will be provided. Free and open to the public. This talk will address the problem of nationalism in 20th century Japan from the consideration of the state and the nation as distinct, but interrelated, concepts. Extending beyond the limits of my previous work, which focused exclusively on the nation, I will explore how the state itself was situated in the shifting contexts of nationalism in both prewar and postwar Japan. Key emphasis will be on specific understandings of the state and nation in Japanese interpretations of their own time, rather than merely imposing contemporary assumptions about nation and state backwards onto the Japanese historical experience. Theoretical insights will draw heavily from the work on Tanaka Kotaro, law professor, Chief Justice of Japan's Supreme Court, and a Justice of the International Court at The Hague. Professor Doak specializes in modern Japanese intellectual history, literature, literary theory, ethnicity, race and nationalism. His current research interests include national formation in Meiji Japan; representations of France in Japanese intellectual, legal and political discourse; transnational discourse and postmodernism; and the representations of race, ethnicity and national identity. Recent publications include Dreams of Difference: the Japan Romantic School and the Crisis of Modernity (University of California Press, 1994), translated into Japanese by Yoshiko Kobayashi as Nihon Romanha to Nationalism (Kashiwa Shobo, 1999, 2001); with Kai-Wing Chow and Poshek Fu, eds., Constructing Nationhood in Modern East Asia (University of Michigan, 2001); "Building National Identity through Ethnicity: Ethnology in Wartime Japan and After"; in The Journal of Japanese Studies, 27:1 (2001): 1-39; and "Nationality ni yoru Kindai no Chokoku," in Kato Tatsuhiko et al., eds., Kindai no yume to chisei (Kanrin Shobo, 2000): 309-331. Professor Doak received his doctorate from The University of Chicago in 1989.
Free and Open to the public.
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Center for East Asian Studies
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