Orange Alert

Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics to host “Japan Today” Symposium

Interdisciplinary symposium to examine Japanese literature, film, history, and language

Sept. 2, 2014, by Sarah Scalese

Japan Today Flyer
Japan Today Flyer

The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Linguistics (LLL) in Syracuse University’s College of Arts and Sciences will welcome scholars from Cornell University, Columbia University, and Hamilton College for “Japan Today,” an interdisciplinary symposium that will examine Japanese literature, film, history, and language. The all-day event, scheduled for Saturday, September 13 will run from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in 500 Hall of Languages. It is free and open to the public.

“We have a terrific lineup for this symposium and I have no doubt faculty, staff, students, and community members alike will learn a lot from our distinguished speakers,” says Gail Bulman, LLL chair and associate professor.  

The symposium, funded by a $5,000 Japan Foundation grant, comes on the heels of two successful lectures – one last fall with Dr. Kristina Vassil of Colgate University and the other last March, with Dr. Seiichi Makino of Princeton University. The Japan Foundation also supported Dr. Makino’s lecture. 

“We are very grateful for the Japan Foundation’s support of our events. Last year’s lectures were very well received; in fact, more than four times the number of people we normally see for departmental and interdisciplinary lectures. The successful events resulted in the development of an ambitious plan aimed at establishing new collaborations and increasing communications about Japanese studies among several regional institutions,” says Bulman.

The schedule for the “Japan Today” symposium is as follows:

9:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.: Breakfast and Welcome Remarks

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.: “Learning to Learn Japanese: Prioritizing Prosody as a L2 Learner’s Tool” presented by Dr. Masaaki Kamiya, Associate Professor of Japanese and Japanese Linguistics at Hamilton College

10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.: Coffee Break

11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: “Four Questions Everyone Asks about Modern Japanese History – and the Answers” presented by Dr. Carol Gluck, George Sansom Professor of Japanese History, Columbia University

12:15 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.: Lunch Break

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.:Usher Unsilenced: Benshi Performance, Modern Japanese Film Cultures, and Global Modernity” presented by Kyoko Omori, Associate Professor of Japanese, Director of Asian Students, and Acting Chair, East Asian Languages and Literatures at Hamilton College

3:00 pm.: Coffee Break

3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: “Image, Narrative, History: Teaching Kurosawa’s Stray Dog (Norainu, 1948) and Rashōmon (1950)” presented by Dr. Brett de Bary, Professor of Modern Japanese Literature and Film at Cornell University

4:30 p.m.: Closing Remarks and Reception

Syracuse University professors Tej Bhatia, Amanda Brown, Margarita Estevez-Abe, and Meera Lee, will lead the discussion and open a question and answer period following each speaker’s presentation.

The "Japan Today" symposium is also sponsored by the Central New York Humanities Corridor, from an award by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the East Asia Program of the Moynihan Institute, and Syracuse University’s Department of History.

For more information or to arrange parking, please contact Chris Palmer in LLL at  

Media Contact

Sarah Scalese