Japan

Organized Panel Session

1 - Imperial Literature, Colonial Violence, and the Fantasy of the Multi-Ethnic Japanese Empire: Long Yingzong's Japanese-Language Literature, "the Huang Family", and the Imperialization Policies in Colonial Taiwan

Friday, March 23
10:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Location: Park Tower 8222, Lobby Level

My paper examines the relationship between a state of emergency, the fantastic vision of the multi-ethnic empire, and the function of literature in the Japanese empire. Drawing on Pierre Bourdieu’s notion of symbolic power and Slavoj Žižek’s concept of ideology, I construct the category of “imperial literature,” which belongs neither to Japanese literature (nihon bungaku) nor to Japanese-language literature (nihongo bungaku), to elucidate the contradictory roles of literature and thus rethink the practice of reading. Imperial literature takes part in the physical and symbolic forms of violence (power), which persistently reproduce the imperial epistemic order, while it also makes these forms of violence recognizable. By looking at Taiwanese writer Long Yingzong’s Japanese-language literature “The Huang Family” (Ōke 1940) as an example, I investigate the literary narrative’s complicity in these forms of violence in relation to the imperialization policies (kōmin-ka). The imperialization policies, which were implemented in colonial Taiwan after the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937, served as the brutal process of racial differentiation, dividing the population in colonial Taiwan into three categories: the imperial subjects whose lives are worthy for protection, the anti-colonial resisters whose lives are not recognized as lives, and the colonized subjects whose lives remain precarious and unprotected. Long’s narrative participates in colonial racialization by negating and replacing the racialization process with the fantastic vision of the multi-ethnic empire. Yet, Long’s narrative also makes possible a decolonial reading, which uncovers the mechanisms of colonial violence and power configuring the imperial order and fantasy.

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1 - Imperial Literature, Colonial Violence, and the Fantasy of the Multi-Ethnic Japanese Empire: Long Yingzong's Japanese-Language Literature, "the Huang Family", and the Imperialization Policies in Colonial Taiwan



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Send Email for Imperial Literature, Colonial Violence, and the Fantasy of the Multi-Ethnic Japanese Empire: Long Yingzong's Japanese-Language Literature, "the Huang Family", and the Imperialization Policies in Colonial Taiwan