Individuality in an Age of Reproduction

May 9, 2011 (All day)

Paul Atkins
Asian Languages & Literature

Utagawa Toyokuni and the Actor’s Image in Nineteenth-Century Japan
Jonathan Zwicker
Asian Languages and Cultures
University of Michigan

3:30 - 5:00 pm
Monday, May 9th
Thomson 317

Using a variety of printed materials, this lecture examines the status of the individual visage in Japan during the first quarter of the nineteenth century. The opening decades of that century were a moment of emerging tension between an epistemology of reproducibility and assorted discourses of individuality. The present talk situates the mass reproduction of the actor’s image in prints and novels within a framework bounded on one end by technologies of reproduction and on the other by an increasing anxiety over the status of the unique and the authentic.

Jonathan Zwicker is Associate Professor of Japanese Literature in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan. He received his PhD in Japanese literature from Columbia University in 2002 and was a fellow in the Michigan Society of Fellows from 2002-2005.

Sponsored by the Department of Asian Languages and Literature, the East Asia Center at the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies and the UW Japan Studies Program