Call For Papers: Anthropology of Japan in Japan (AJJ) 10th Annual Conference

Deadline for Proposals (Panels/Individuals)
September 1, 2007

Proposals Should Be Submitted to
Mary Reisel (

About Anthropology of Japan in Japan (AJJ)

Anthropology of Japan in Japan (AJJ) 10th Annual Conference

November 17-18, 2007
Temple University, Japan Campus (Access)
TUJ Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies
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Theme: Power, Identities and Relationships in Contemporary Japan

Identities and relationships in contemporary Japan, whether personal or professional, are negotiated vis-à-vis authoritarian structures and institutions of power. Individual choices of friends, family, professions and lifestyles are constantly reshaped by changing political realities social movements and a flux of images that shape self perception under the gaze of global media. Changes in the concept of the self as well as new forms of societal organization reflect complexities of power and new forms of acceptable behavior that govern our modes of identity.

The most recent example can be seen in the diffusion of a new discourse regarding "individuality" into the Japanese ideology and the attempts to adopt the concept in a way that would fit the Japanese sense of self. Still within its formation, different conceptions of individuality are evolving, and the social/political reactions surrounding it are attempting to make sense of individual modes of identity and their relations to mediating institutions, political ideology and social control.

Power can be exercised and consciously manipulated through institutions that acquire specialized knowledge and have the ability to influence the existing discourses, according to Foucault; it can be seen a constantly changing project of a self that is aware and self-reflexive, as Giddens understand it; or it can be a product of society that is beyond the control and awareness of the individual, according to Judith Butler. In other words, the discourses of power can be accepted, resisted, challenged and even changed by the subject's position and the relationships between the two.

The 2007 AJJ conference invites papers, poster presentations and panel proposals that offer ethnographically based critical discussions of the intersections of power in the ongoing construction of identities and negotiation of relationships in contemporary Japanese culture and society. The conference is open to papers on issues in related fields of studies, and encourages discussions (including conflicts and contradictions) presenting and analyzing different practices and performances that may be complexly located at the spaces of the past, present and future, and of the intimate, the local, and the (trans)national.

About ICJS

The Institute of Contemporary Japanese Studies (ICJS) is an organization dedicated to fostering study and research on various topics related to contemporary Japan and Asia.