The 27th annual conference of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies will be held at Emory University in Atlanta, GA on January 24–25, 2020 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel. This year’s main theme is Inclusivity and Exclusivity in Japanese Literature. We welcome papers that approach this topic from a broad range of perspectives: as a textual theme, as a component of literary scholarship, and as a question relevant to the discipline and its practitioners.

From Prince Shōtoku’s seventeen-article constitution to the present era of Reiwa, the figure of “harmony” has often been invoked in Japanese literary and cultural history. At the same time, estrangement from the collective has been an equally prevalent theme: experienced by both the exiled courtiers of ancient myths and by the alienated protagonists of modern novels. How has the dynamic of inclusivity and exclusivity functioned as an enduring focus of literary texts? How might we relate the processes of inclusion and exclusion to other questions of interest in literary study such as canonicity, periodization, and identity formation (including national, gender and sexuality, and ethnicity)? What are the stakes involved in drawing boundaries and forging definitions for categories such as center and periphery, or ga/high culture and zoku/popular culture? How might we extend these questions into more meta-level issues such as interdisciplinary and cross-regional studies, definitions of Japanese literature, forms engagement with diverse communities, and accessibility of research materials and other resources?

Conference Program
Transportation and Travel to the Conference Site

Inquiries about the conference can be addressed to the program committee at ccrowle [at] emory.edu or ajls2020Emory [at] gmail.com.


Emory Center for Faculty Development and Excellence
Emory East Asian Studies Program
Emory Department of Russian and East Asian Studies
Emory Hightower Fund

Image: Children from a fishing village near Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture, ca. 1896.  From W. P. Turner Collection, Pitts Theological Library, Emory University.