RIJS People Postdoctoral Fellows 2012-13
Molly Des Jardin
Ph.D. Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan 2012
Dr. Molly Des Jardin earned her Ph.D. in Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Michigan in 2012, and MSI in Library and Information Science from the University of Michigan School of Information in 2011. Prior to her doctoral work, she attended the University of Pittsburgh (BA History, BS Computer Science, 2003) and completed an MA at the University of Michigan (Asian Languages and Cultures, 2007).
Dr. Des Jardin's research engages the history of the book and concepts of authorship in late 19th-century Japan, approaching the study of literary anthologies from the perspectives of archival science and social memory as well as literary theory. Her project, which focuses on the inception and development of individual authors' anthologies in the 1890s-1910s, combines the fields of Asian studies and information science to establish an innovative approach to thinking about the relationship between authorship and the organization of knowledge.
Her dissertation, Editing Identity: Literary Anthologies and the Construction of the Author in Meiji Japan, is an inquiry into concepts and practices of authorship as they existed in the 1880s and 1890s, and how those ideas changed in over time into the early 20th century. It focuses on the case of individual authors' anthologies, or kojin zenshū, which are now a ubiquitous genre of reference work but came into existence in their modern form only in 1894 with Kōtei Saikaku zenshū, a "complete" compendium of Ihara Saikaku's work. Kojin zenshū enjoyed a boom of popularity after the appearance of this volume and, in particular, served as both access points and guides to contemporary authors such as Higuchi Ichiyō, Kitamura Tōkoku, Kawakami Bizan, and Ozaki Kōyō. All of these writers' anthologies were published within several years after their deaths - in the case of Ichiyō, only several months - and served not only as authoritative compendia, but also as objects of mourning and social memory as groups of writers remembered and memorialized their deceased colleagues through creating literary archives.
Ultimately, Dr. Des Jardin argues that the appearance and function of kojin zensū in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Japan both reflected and influenced a newly emerging idea of the author as a single individual, with a single name coextensive with his or her oeuvre as contained within an authoritative anthology. Such an anthology contains not just the complete works of an author, but the "complete" author as well, through the inclusion of memorializing prefaces, biographies, photographs, and reproductions of writers' handwritten manuscripts. They obscure a gap between actual practices of writing - multiple, collaborative, and anonymous - in the late 19th century, and the representation of singular authorship from the 1890s forward.
As a postdoctoral fellow at the Reischauer Institute, Dr. Des Jardin plans to revise and expand her dissertation for publication as a book, focusing in particular on celebrity authorship at the turn of the 20th century and the function of anthologies as objects of memory and mourning. At the same time, she will serve as the Archive Development Manager for the Digital Archive of Japan's 2011 Disasters.
Ph.D. International History, Harvard University 2011
Ph.D. Art History, University of Kansas 2011
Dr. Halle O’Neal earned her Ph.D. from the Kress Foundation Department of Art History at the University of Kansas in 2011 with a specialization in medieval Japanese Buddhist art. Prior to that, Dr. O’Neal received her M.A. in art history from the University of Kansas and her B.A. in art history from the University of Georgia. As part of her doctoral research, she also studied at Kobe University in Japan. Dr. O’Neal’s dissertation, Written Stūpa, Painted Sūtra: Relationships of Text and Image in the Construction of Meaning in the Japanese Jeweled-Stūpa Mandalas, focuses on the connections between the manipulation and enshrinement of relics and the roles played by word and picture in the expression of meaning. The mandalas, whose central reliquary is constructed not of conventional linework but from the sacred characters of Buddhist scriptures, offer a fascinating vantage on Buddhist notions of body and relic as conveyed through complex negotiations of text and image. The dissertation contends that the indivisibility of scripture, reliquary, relic, and body in the paintings visually manifests the conflated nature of these seemingly independent concepts in religious practice and doctrine. Dr. O’Neal offers a reading of the mandalas through a ‘salvific matrix of text and body’ that highlights how sūtra characters, in constructing the central reliquary, spark innovative relationships between text and image, expand the visual treatises on body and relic, and engender role reversals of text and image that challenge conventional understandings of word and picture in Buddhist visual culture. As a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. O’Neal plans to develop her dissertation into an article manuscript and a book project. She will also pursue further research into the topic of personal letters upon which sacred Buddhist scriptures were transcribed (shōsokukyō). In the fall, she teaches a course on the visual and material culture of Buddhist relics and reliquaries.
Academic Year 2011-2012: Course by Dr. Halle O'Neal:
East Asian Studies 106. Art of Buddhist Relic and Reliquary: Conference Course
Fall, M., at 1. Exam Group: 6, 7
This course analyzes the veneration of Buddhist relics and the construction of reliquaries from a visual perspective. The overarching focus of the course will be on the art, ritual, and devotion to relics and reliquaries as manifested in the material and visual cultures of Asia. Connections will be drawn between the varying forms and functions of relic worship and reliquary construction across India, China, Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia.
Ph.D. Asian Languages and Cultures, Univeristy of California, Los Angeles 2011
Dr. Franz Prichard’s interdisciplinary research and teaching explores the dynamic relationships between social historical transformation and cultural practice through Japanese literary and visual media. In his dissertation, Ruined Maps: The Urban Revolution in Japanese Fiction, Documentary, and Photography of the 1960s and 1970s, Dr. Prichard explored the rapid urbanization of the Japanese archipelago depicted by critical media which radically questioned the role of cultural practice amidst Japan’s integration within an emergent worldwide Cold War order. Charting pivotal transformations in the relation between Japan’s urbanized social spaces and cultural practice, his dissertation examined the explosion of critical perspectives and practices which traversed discrete media of representation to provide a renewed look at the shifting locus of politics during a historical period characterized by the “failure” of oppositional political movements. Dr. Prichard’s dissertation revealed the ways dynamic forms of transmedia critique, such as those found in the works of Abe Kōbō, Tsuchimoto Noriaki, Nakahira Takuma and others, offer vivid perspectives on the enduring transformative possibilities, contradictions and crises of Cold War urbanization which continue to shape Japan’s regional and global relationships.
As a postdoctoral fellow at the Reischauer Institute, Dr. Prichard plans to complete a book manuscript based on his dissertation while continuing an ongoing project translating the critical essays of photographer Nakahira Takuma. Moreover, Dr. Prichard will develop a second book project on transmedia critique and Cold War culture in Japan and East Asia by examining documentary media from the late 1950s and early 1960s in relationship to contemporary critical media practices. At Harvard, Dr. Prichard will teach a course on Japanese documentary media that explores how writers, filmmakers, artists and critics mobilize documentary media to contest and question the fossilized forms of thought, perception and sentiment which govern historical and contemporary social worlds.
Born and raised in Eugene Oregon, Dr. Prichard’s interest in Japanese studies began at Lewis and Clark College where he received a BA in East Asian Studies. Following a year in Japan on the JET program, Dr. Prichard pursued his graduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. A Fulbright-Hays Fellowship brought him to Waseda University from 2008 to 2009 to conduct his dissertation research. He received his PhD from the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the UCLA in 2011. During 2011-12, Dr. Prichard was a Lecturer at UCLA teaching courses in modern Japanese literature, postwar Japanese film and culture, and Japanese civilization. In Fall 2013, Dr. Prichard will be Assistant Professor of Japanese at the Department of Languages and Culture Studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
Academic Year 2012-2013: Course by Dr. Franz Prichard:
East Asian Film and Media Studies 120. Critical Exposures: Documentary Media in Postwar Japanese Fiction, Film and Photography
Catalog Number: 55056
Fall term. Tu., 1-4. EXAM GROUP: 15, 16, 17
This course examines the social, historical, political and cultural responses to Japan's rapid economic growth through the lens of Japanese documentary media from the postwar to the present. We will explore major Japanese documentary works that critically engaged issues of cultural identity, community, environmental devastation, regional solidarity, memory, and representation to raise questions about the past, present and future direction(s) of postwar Japanese society. This course will introduce the history and development of diverse literary and visual forms of documentary media with a focus on their stylistic issues and changing methods. The ultimate objective of the course is to foster a critical understanding of the role played by documentary media in exposing the profound crises that shaped Japan's experience of rapid growth and its aftermath. Note: All films are subtitled in English.
Jeremy A. Yellen
Ph.D. History, Harvard University 2012
Dr. Jeremy A. Yellen, a historian of modern Japan, earned his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University in 2012. His research focuses primarily on Japanese diplomatic, political, and transnational history. Prior to his doctoral work, he studied at Northwestern University (B.A., History) and the University of Washington (M.A., International Studies).
His dissertation, The Two Pacific Wars: Visions of Order and Independence in Japan, Burma, and the Philippines, 1940-1945, examines the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, Japan’s ambitious attempt to create a new order in East Asia. It discusses the Japanese effort to envision a postwar world, and at the same time shows how Japan’s new order was mobilized and co-opted by nationalist leaders in the Philippines and Burma. He argues that the Co-Prosperity Sphere was neither a mere euphemism for Japanese imperialism nor a sincere project to liberate Asia. Instead, the Co-Prosperity Sphere is better understood as a process or contest of beliefs, one that could not be controlled by any single group or invading force. This process took shape as an effort—in Japan and across Asia—to envision a postwar world while in the midst of war. Moreover, his dissertation unpacks the significance of the Japanese interregnum in Southeast Asia. Whether through extended participation in government or through state building measures, Southeast Asian leaders made conscious use of the Japanese Empire to prepare for postwar independence.
Dr. Yellen has numerous research interests, from political and diplomatic history to broader issues of empire, decolonization, international order, and war termination. He has a forthcoming article in The International History Review, entitled "The Specter of Revolution: Reconsidering Japan's Decision to Surrender." During his time as a postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Yellen plans to revise his dissertation for publication and will teach a course on World War II in Asia.
Academic Year 2012-2013: Course by Dr. Jeremy Yellen:
History 1625. Japan and World War II in Asia
Spring term. Tu & Th., at 10, and a weekly section to be arranged. EXAM GROUP: 12
World War II was many wars. Fought on multiple fronts on three continents, the war witnessed a complex mesh of ideologies and war aims. It wrought unparalleled destruction, targeted civilians to an unprecedented degree, and led to the fall of global empires. This course focuses on Japan’s World War II in the Asia-Pacific. It explores the war’s origins, impact on people’s lives across the region, and postwar legacies in Japan and throughout Asia.