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Call for Papers: “East Asia in Performance” at U Chicago

“East Asia in Performance” Graduate Student Conference in East Asian Studies at the University of Chicago

Whether viewed as a discrete sociopolitical sphere of influence or a distinct field of academic inquiry, the putative unity suggested by the term East Asia belies much of the historical and social fluidity that has marked its construction and transformation in time throughout the modern period. Performance, here broadly understood as a process of communication, provides an important lens through which to examine the multiplicity and heterogeneity which mark the emergence of East Asia as both object and subject of discourse. How have disparate semiotic modalities (e.g., ritual, oratory, poetics) aided in the discursive creation of East Asia? What are the mechanisms through which these embodied practices and events are framed? In attempting to address these and other related questions, this conference seeks to provide a forum for discussion of the many ways in which performative practices ≠ from Meiji Buddhist homiletics, colonial magazine culture, to writing practices in Maoist China ≠ have contributed to the creation, negotiation and competition of various figurations of modern East Asia. We thus welcome submissions from graduate students working in all fields related to East Asian studies, including, but not limited to, history, literature, film, art history, religion, anthropology, economics and sociology. We especially encourage papers which are transregional and interdisciplinary in focus.

Keynote Speaker:

Mark Driscoll, Associate Professor Japanese Media and Cultural Studies University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The conference will be held the weekend of April 27-28 at the University of Chicago International House. Limited travelsubsidies are available for selected participants. Lodging and most meals will be provided.

Please send abstracts (approx. 250 wds.) to:

Deadline for submission of abstracts is January 15, 2012.

Any additional questions may be addressed to the conference organizers: John Person ( or Helen Findley (


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