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Appel -Narratives of Empire : Relating the Past to the Present

Third Annual Graduate Symposium on East Asia Lucy Ellis Lounge, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Call for paper

Narratives of Empire : Relating the Past to the Present

Third Annual Graduate Symposium on East Asia Lucy Ellis Lounge, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Keynote Speaker : Dr. Laura Hostetler, University of Illinois at Chicago

Submissions are due by March 13, 2015 http://goo.gl/forms/R2E9lp4qB1

Presentation

Stories are a ubiquitous feature of human society. “A story is how we construct our experiences,” in the words of Doris Lessing, but the process of constructing those experiences is highly contentious. Storytelling is often framed as an innocuous activity, but in certain hands narrative may serve the needs of expansionary empires ; Nicholas Thomas notes that even the political and economic processes of colonialism “have been mediated and enframed by structures of meaning.”

From Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historian to Satoru Mizushima’s The Truth About Nanjing, narrative has manifestly served power in East Asia for thousands of years—but it has also fostered resistance to power. At this year’s symposium we are seeking a truly interdisciplinary discussion on the dynamic between narrative and empire, and particularly on the way that these narratives structure the relationship between the past and the present.

“Empire” in our reckoning is not limited to formal empires. Imperialist politics continue characterize much of what happens in China, Japan and Korea. We thus welcome papers addressing all times periods and regions within East Asia, as well as papers that challenge conventional periodizations or the notion of “East Asia” itself. Papers need not adhere perfectly to the chosen theme, but examples of relevant topics include :

  • National and imperial historiography
  • Custom and tradition
  • Ethnography and cartography
  • Biography
  • Colonial and post-colonial fiction and travel writing
  • Broadcast and print journalism
  • New media and the state
  • Linguistic structures of power and resistance
  • Historical dramas and historical fiction
  • East Asia as narrative

Proposals for individual papers (20 minutes maximum) should be no more than 300 words in length and may be submitted using this online form. We also welcome proposals for integrated panels ; those wishing to propose a panel are invited to email me directly. A panel should consist of no more than three papers, each twenty minutes in length. The deadline for submissions is March 13, 2015.


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