Emergent Forms of Engagement and Activism in Japan: Politics, Cultures and Technologies

Interesting line up. Gets me thinking about maybe organizing a conference in the future on cultural politics and activism in Korea.

ICAS Event – Academic Conference – Emergent Forms of Engagement and Activism in Japan: Politics, Cultures and Technologies

0611This conference brings together an international, multi-disciplinary group of scholars seeking to document and understand emergent forms of political activism, social engagement and cultural resistance among youth in Japan. From street politics to new forms of socialities, from creative representation to active resistance, our goal is to develop a critical language that captures the range of alternatives to what was once considered political. Through the heritage of post-war student and citizens’ movements, popular culture shifts during 1970‚ affluence, and post-bubble recessionary disenfranchisement, we will explore these alternative currents right into our post-3.11 moment.Date: June 11th, 2011 (13:00 – 18:00) / June 12th, 2011 (13:00 – 19:00)
Venue: TUJ Azabu Hall, room 212
Access: Maps and Directions
Webpage: Event Webpage

Kyle Cleveland, Temple University Japan
David H. Slater, Sophia University
Love Kindstrand, Sophia University

Admission: General: 1,000 yen (Sat & Sun inclusive) / Student: Free with student ID
Language: English & Japanese (simultaneous translation is not available.)
RSVP: Open to all / RSVP not required

Saturday, June 11

Opening Remarks: David H. Slater, Sophia University. Emergent Politics in Japan Today


Tomiko Yoda, Japanese Literature and Media Studies, Harvard University
Between Pop and Radical: Feminism and Media Culture in Early 70s Japan

Sharon Hayashi, Cinema and Media Studies, York University
From Exploitation to Playful Exploits

Patrick W. Galbraith, Information Studies, University of Tokyo
Train Man, Radiowave Man, Underground Man: Revisiting the Politics of Pleasure after the Akihabara Incident

Discussants: Anne Allison, Duke University and Yoshitaka Mouri, Tokyo University of the Arts


Yoshitaka Mouri, Tokyo University of the Arts (Tokyo Geijutsu Daigaku)
Reconsidering Cultural-Political Movements in Japan in the Age of “Freeter”

Higuchi Takuro, Social Movement Studies
A Prehistory of the Alterglobalisation Movement in Japan: Subterranean Autonomous Networks
Since the ‘90s

Robin O’Day, Cultural Anthropology, University of British Columbia
Union is Hope: The Role of Networks and Digital Media in Organizing Japan’s Young Irregular Workers

Love Kindstrand, Cultural Anthropology, Sophia University
Tactical Currents, Spatial Framings: the Movement Against Nike-ification of Miyashita Park and Beyond

Discussants: Patricia Steinhoff, University of Hawaii and Daishiro Nomiya, Sophia University

June 11 is a global day of action organized by the Japanese movement against nuclear power. After the final panel on Saturday we will leave together for a gathering held in central Shinjuku. Anyone who is interested in attending is more than welcome to join. More details are available at http://nonukes.jp

Sunday, June 12


Ikuo J. Gonoï, Political Theory, Rikkyo University
The World’s End: The Cognitive Turn from “Sekai” to “Shakai”

Patricia Steinhoff, Sociology, University of Hawaii
Transforming Invisible Civil Society into Alternative Politics

Mizukoshi Shin, Media Studies, University of Tokyo
Communal Storytellings in A Regimented Society: Critical Media Practice on People’s Media Literacy and Expression

Anne Allison, Cultural Anthropology, Duke University
Stopping Death and Organizing Around Life: a Politics of Survival

Shibuya Nozomu, Cultural Sociology, Chiba University
Radioactive Contamination and the Common

Discussants: Tomiko Yoda, Harvard University and Sharon Hayashi, York University

17.00-18.00: ROUND TABLE:


Since the Tohoku earthquake on March 11, Japan has seen a renewed sense of national and political crisis, and an intensification of nationalistic narratives. Perhaps more importantly, there has been a reawakened political subjectivity that goes beyond existing anti-capitalist or anti-nuclear alternatives, which suggests a broader and more lasting repoliticization of everyday life. Demonstrations in Tokyo have been some of the largest since the Anpo era, but this is only one aspect of a post-3.11 critique of key institutions at the heart of the Japan, Inc. power structure. In this round-table discussion our presenters will attempt to make sense of the events since 3.11, and explore their implications for our own scholarship.

Chair: Kyle Cleveland, Temple University Japan

18.00: RECEPTION (light food and drinks will be served)
Hosted by TEMPLE UNIVERSITY JAPAN: Wakai Project

Please visit the conference website for full presentation abstracts.