East Asian Text and Culture 

text and culture

Cluster description

This research cluster unites the School’s scholars who work on the societies and cultures of East Asia through their texts. We can be found searching archives, attending film premieres and shows, visiting historical, cultural and mnemonic sites, engaged in interviewing or translation, and exploring the content and the social uses of those texts. Our interests cover a broad chronological sweep from the sixth century to the twenty-first and are self-consciously polydisciplinary: we share a fascination with the use of oral, written, visual and material artefacts by the nations, peoples and individuals of East Asia to represent themselves and others.

Research Keywords
Text, Culture, Representation, Interpretation, Visual, Image, Translation, Power, Media, Language, Script, Archive, Writing, Popular/Literary, Criticism, Theory/Method, East Asia, History, Literature, Linguistics, Cultural Studies, Film, Media

Current research topics

Dr Lily Chen is currently working on a series of papers which are using the methods of critical discourse analysis to build a model for the systematic analysis of written newspaper texts that enables the social and political factors affecting the way such texts are written to be unpicked.

Prof Hugo Dobson: International relations, multilateral organisations and global governance, especially the G8 and G20 and Japan’s role therein. The role of images in shaping our understanding of international relations and Japan’s role in the world, from postage stamps and logos to TV programmes such as The Simpsons.

Dr Marjorie Dryburgh: Patterns of conflict, cohabitation and collaboration between China and Japan. This draws in questions such as the development of Japanese civilian communities in north China, the impact of Japanese presences and activities outside major urban centres such as Beijing and Tianjin, and the contentious question of collaboration between Chinese groups and the Japanese authorities.

Dr Thomas McAuley: The judgements in classical poetry competitions with a view to analysing how they functioned as criticism and their role in the construction of mediaeval Japanese poetics. Botanical gardens in Japan which display the plants mentioned in the poetry of the eighth century poetry anthology, the Man’yōshū, to determine how they function as both botanical and literary tourism facilities.

Dr Mark Pendleton: Remembering Political Violence in Postwar Japan; Ruins and Ruination in 20th century Japanese culture; Queer/LGBT* Encounters in and with Japan

Dr Kate Taylor-Jones: The cinema of Imperial Japan and its legacy; Popular Culture and Imperialism in East Asia; Representations of East Asian girlhood in film and media; Representation of prostitution and sex work in East Asian visual culture; Contemporary Media systems in East Asia

Dr Nicolas Tranter: comparative, contrastive and contact/historical linguistics of East Asia, considering both changes in the phonology, grammar and script of individual languages and the nature and effects of contact between the major and minor languages of the region.