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9 February 2021

Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences Seminar:
From Edo to Sōseki: Emotion, Desire, and the Making of the Novel in Nineteenth-Century Japan

Dr. Daniel Poch
Department of Japanese Studies
The University of Hong Kong

Date & Time: 9 February 2021 | 12:00 nn – 1:00 pm (HK Time)

Interdisciplinary Lunchtime Seminar via Zoom as follows:

Registration: https://hkuems1.hku.hk/hkuems/ec_hdetail.aspx?guest=Y&ueid=73270
(Registration deadline: 12:00 nn on 8 February 2021. Successful registrants will receive zoom information after the deadline.)

Why did Natsume Sōseki, today canonized as one of Japan’s most important novelists, start writing novels in the early twentieth century despite his suspicion, if not dislike, of the genre? The talk explores the clash between premodern and modern conceptions of “literature” within Sōseki’s novels, asking what consequences the intersection of the modern novel with older, didactic conceptions of literature held for his representation of love, desire, and emotion. It also contextualizes the contradictions inherent in Sōseki’s literary project within the broader contentions surrounding “human emotion” (ninjō) in the medium of the novel in nineteenth-century Japan, across the historical fissures of the early modern-modern transition — the subject of my recently published book Licentious Fictions (Columbia UP, 2020).

About the Speaker
Daniel Poch is an Associate Professor in Japanese Studies at the University of Hong Kong, specializing in early modern and modern Japanese literature. He earned his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 2014. His first book, Licentious Fictions: Ninjō and the Nineteenth-Century Japanese Novel, was published by Columbia University Press in 2020. Other recent publications include articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Monumenta Nipponica, Japanese Language and Literature, and Japan Forum, as well as book chapters published in Japanese and Spanish.

About the Series
This series aims to introduce a wide range of cutting-edge research in various disciplines and areas. If you have any questions about this seminar, would be interested in giving a talk, or would like to be removed from this mailing list, please contact Dr. Jonathan Hui (jyhhui@hku.hk) or Dr. Ghassan Moazzin (gmoazzin@hku.hk).


Japanese Studies HKU