Call for Papers: IAJS Conference: The Heisei Era in Retrospect

(reposted from H-Net)

The Third Biennial IAJS Conference

Call for proposals for an international conference on:

The Heisei Era in Retrospect: Major Trends in Post-Industrial and Post-Consumer Japan

Where: The University of Haifa and Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem
When: 11–13 June 2017
Deadline: 31 December 2016

The Biennial Conference of the Israeli Association of Japanese Studies will be held at the University of Haifa and the Bezalel Academy of Arts, Jerusalem on 11–13 June 2017.

In this conference we wish to reflect on the Heisei era as this era approaches its thirtieth anniversary and may even draw to a close soon. Focusing on this relatively short but eventful era, this conference aims at creating an outline for a retrospective on the historical, social, economic, political and cultural developments in Heisei Japan. We especially welcome interdisciplinary studies of the creative industries within their social or economic contexts.

We invite proposals for papers and/or panels on any of the following themes (but not limited to):
*Major developments in Japanese society, culture, politics, economy, science, education and international relations during the Heisei era.
*New social and cultural patterns of life in post-industrial Japan.
*The turning of Japan into a model-state (in certain aspects) during the Heisei era.
*The demise of the Japanese miracle? Drawbacks during the Heisei era and their possible solutions.
*New trends in aesthetics, visual culture, creative industries, arts and design (see below).

Proposals, as well as further inquiries, should be sent by email to the conference secretariat:

Proposals should include:

* Name and affiliation and contact details of presenter in the case of individual paper; and organizer, chair or chair/discussant, and panelists in the case of a panel
* Name of the theme (see above) the paper is applicable
* Title and a short abstract (150-200 words)
* Bio note (100-150 words) or brief CV (1-3 pages)

The deadline for submitting proposals is 31 December 2016.

Accepted proposals will be notified by 31 January 2017.

The conference will be conducted in English. It is open to the public and participation is free of charge. Panels will normally last for 90-120 minutes, allowing for 15 to 20 minutes plus 10 minutes of discussion per paper. The organizers will seek to publish selected number of papers in a book form.

Contingent on funding, the IAJS will offer support for international flights for a selected number of participants.


Conference Special Focus – New Trends in Aesthetics, Visual Culture, Creative Industries, Arts and Design during the Heisei Era

Beginning in 1989, during the peak of the economic bubble, Japan developed post-modern social and economic structures and values as well as post-modern aesthetics and visual culture. These new paradigms, which evolved in Japan alongside the United States and Europe, owe much to the critique directed during the 1960s towards the restrictive structures and institutions of modern society. The bubble economy that marked the beginning of Heisei era gave room for a rise of late capitalism and post-consumer culture—ideologies that stand at the background of many post-modern social practices of the era.

The new consumer culture and its related practices became intertwined with art, design and popular culture, and established the dominant form of Japanese culture during 1980s and 1990s. This new visual culture, which included artists, architects, animators, fashion designers, industrial designers and graphic designers, supported new and innovative creative industries in Japan at the time. Nonetheless, the burst of the bubble together with global processes (such as the third industrial revolution) as well as local events (the 2011 triple disaster) positioned Heisei Japan in a very different place. With its focus on the Heisei era, this conference aims to widen the horizon of visual culture history approaches relying on interdisciplinary perspectives.

About Travis

I am a scholar of Japanese & Okinawan history with a particular interest in the history of arts and culture, and inter-Asia interactions, in the early modern period. I have been fortunate to enjoy the opportunity to live in Okinawa for six months in 2016-17, and in mainland Japan on multiple occasions, including from Sept 2019 to now.
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