Speaker: Satoru Hashimoto, University of Maryland
In this talk, I explore culture as an essential medium of imperial power within the Japanese empire (1895-1945). Like any imperial formation, Japanese imperialism mobilized culture to mediate its power to the colonies, but this usage of culture inevitably opened the working of imperial power to critique by colonial writers and intellectuals through discursive and other representational means. Underlying this dialectical structure was an invented tradition of the “shared culture” of East Asia, which Japanese imperialism made use of to facilitate its cultural politics––a distinct aspect of the Japanese empire. In this talk, I discuss works by Japanese, Korean, Taiwanese, and Manchukuo writers to interrogate how their writings functioned to dislocate imperial cultural politics across the shifting and often ambiguous boundaries between acquiescence and resistance.
Satoru Hashimoto currently teaches Chinese and Sinophone literatures and cultures at the University of Maryland, College Park. His first book, Afterlives of Letters: The Transnational Origins of Modern Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Literatures, examines how modern literature in East Asia was produced within the contexts of the region’s closely interrelated literary traditions.