Organized Panel Session
Debates are generative phenomena, not only because they structure objects of knowledge in new ways, but also because they possibly disrupt the integrity of what is being structured and reveal fissures in discourses. This panel asks how objects of knowledge come into being through rhetorical contestation, and at the same time espace from the very site of contestation. Does each debate ultimately contribute to objects’ formation? Are there moments in debates that allow for new or even digressive discourses to branch out from old ones, potentially eluding the order by which objects are structured? This panel intends to identify these fleeting moments and explore their consequences in religious, political, literary, and feminist discourses that emerged during late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Japan. Drawing on and yet simultaneously complicating classical sociological notions of the field formation, this panel seeks alternative ways to conceptualize historically-conditioned, yet discursively-fugitive transformations that took place during the radical socio-cultural changes in turn-of-the-century Japan.