NASSR supernumerary conference on "Romantic Connections", University of Tokyo, 13-15 June 2014

full name / name of organization: 
North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR)

We invite proposals for an international Romanticism conference, to be held at the University of Tokyo on June 13–15, 2014. This unique event will bring together four scholarly societies from three continents: it is a supernumerary conference of the North American Society for the Study of Romanticism (NASSR), also supported by the British Association for Romantic Studies (BARS), the German Society for English Romanticism (GER), and the Japan Association of English Romanticism (JAER).

Over the last two decades, there has been sustained scholarly interest in the connections between European Romanticism and the peoples, cultures, and literatures of the rest of the world. While our approach will be informed by the legacy of Saidian "Orientalism," we are particularly interested in models of intercultural connection which refine or challenge totalising models of domination and subordination. We welcome papers that shed light upon the question of "connection" from the broadest range of perspectives: imaginative, linguistic, material, social, sexual, scientific, economic, and political.

Drawing on our location in Tokyo, we will use this conference to consider the broader task of forging connections between Eastern and Western literature and scholarship. In a Japanese context, the idea of interpersonal "connection" (kizuna) takes on a different resonance, because of its close connection to the project of recovery (saisei) following the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami. This conference wishes to explore how such acts of cross-cultural translation offer the possibility of reciprocal transformations of meaning.

We welcome explorations of the reception of European Romanticism in Asia and other regions of the world, as well as discussions of the future status of Romanticism studies in a geographically diverse and technologically connected scholarly world.



Plenary speakers:

Christoph Bode (LMU Munich)
James Chandler (University of Chicago)
Angela Esterhammer (University of Toronto)
Peter Kitson (University of East Anglia)
Jonathan Lamb (Vanderbilt University)
Kiyoshi Nishiyama (Waseda University)

Topics for papers may include:
• Romantic and Romantic-period representations of Asia, Africa, or South America
• material, scholarly, scientific, and literary exchanges between European and non-European cultures
• trade and travel accounts
• connections with past civilizations or imaginary worlds
• sympathetic, imaginative, and psychological models of interpersonal or intercultural "connection"
• sociability, civility, ritual, and diplomacy
• intimacy, romance, sexuality, and gender
• bodily encounters, disease, and medicine
• race, colonialism, and slavery
• refugees, renegades, migrants, and exiles
• transatlantic, expatriate, or transcultural identities
• trade routes, technology, infrastructure, and modes of transport
• language, translation, interpretation, and linguistic barriers
• cosmopolitanism and the creation of a "global consciousness"
• pessimism, skepticism, and resistance to metropolitan or colonial narratives
• culture shock and challenges to national or personal identity
• comparative models of connection (such as Japanese ideas of kizuna, or bonds)
• Romantic reception and afterlives in different regions of the world
• the future of Romanticism studies in a global university context
• advances in technology, critical theory, and pedagogy