Call for Papers: Japan on the Jesuit Stage, Vienna

Call for Papers: Japan on the Jesuit Stage

The members of a joint Austrian-Japanese project on the enduring and transforming memory of the Jesuit Japan mission (16th–17th c.), as depicted on the early-modern European theatrical stage, invite proposals for papers and panels to be presented at a conference in Vienna (Alte Burse, Sonnenfelsgasse 19, A-1010 Wien), from 28–29 June 2018.
With the support of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), this project has focused especially on the images of Japan found in Latin-language theatrical performances given at Jesuit schools in the German-speaking world. Several previously-unstudied plays are being edited and analysed conceptually.

Project website:
The purpose of the conference is to expand this research to encompass the pan-European circulation and production of ‘knowledge’ about Japan through the Jesuit theatre. We especially encourage proposals dealing with early modern theatrical depictions of Japan in a variety of geographic and institutional contexts. In addition to case studies of relevant plays and performances, contributions may address broader questions such as:

  • In which regions were Japanese topics depicted more or less often, and which Japanese figures were popular where?
  • How are Japan and the Japanese people, Christian and non-Christian, presented in terms of contemporaneous discourses of civilisation, enlightenment, virtue, etc?
  • How might stories of Japanese Christians have functioned, both in intended and unintended ways, as models of conduct, for various kinds of viewers?
  • What institutional or political purposes did Japan plays serve for the Jesuits?
  • What thematic, stylistic, or other peculiarities did Japan plays exhibit, and what work did these features do?
  • How was Japan presented in theatrical performances outside the Jesuit order?
  • How and why did particular features of Japan plays influence Neo-Latin or vernacular plays on other subjects?

Please send abstracts (max. 200 words) along with name and affiliation.
Deadline: 31 January 2018
Contact email:

 Papers will be given in English.

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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