Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

(13) Economic Euphoria in East Asia: Visions of Progress and Dystopia

3/22/2018
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Location: Harding, Mezzanine Level

This interdisciplinary panel explores the significance of economic euphoria and the ways in which the social phenomena are represented as a prominent theme and motif in East Asian cultural and literary discourses. Since the late 1980s until today, ephemeral economic booms are ubiquitous in East Asia, above all in the urban regions of China and Japan, having made drastic impacts on the collective perception of money, investment, labor, consumption, and so forth. According to economist John K. Galbraith, economic euphoria is triggered by collective infatuations with investments and expectations of high return, and it can be largely attributed to psychological factors such as excessive optimism and ungrounded confidence pervading in contemporary society, resonating with people’s changing lifestyles and tastes during economic booms.

The panel inquires far-reaching effects of such a perennial and yet short-lived economic condition that leads to both positive and negative consequences. While an economic boom can advance a sustainable development of certain locality or industry, for example, the collapse of economic bubble as experienced by 1980s Japan could devastate and result in a dystopian aftermath. Our investigation delves into the cases of economic momentum, shedding light upon cultural/literary practice as a viable response diagnosing the collective economic interest during Japan’s economic boom in the 1980s and its ongoing counterpart in China. Focusing on the vanguard role played by various platforms (criticism, literature, film), our papers explicate how they digest the economic reality and provide a prognosis to it, while intervening the mass infatuation with money and materialism.

Presentations:

Ikuho Amano

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska

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Ikuho Amano

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska

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Ikuho Amano

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Nebraska

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Xuguan Chen

Peking University, Not Applicable, China

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Yoshihiro Yasuhara

Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania

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Yun Zhu

Temple University, Pennsylvania

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Yoshihiro Yasuhara

Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania

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