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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Event Series

Environmental Humanities talk on ‘Cultural Specificity and Planetary Thinking’

Ishimure Michiko is best known for her writing on mercury poisoning of the Shiranui Sea in and around Minamata in Southern Japan. Yet, in her later years she became increasingly invested in the concept of the planetary. In this talk, we will examine this shift in her writing and the complicated role that cultural forms play in writing that is especially invested in planetary health. Marran will introduce the concept of the “biotrope” as a tool for analyzing Ishimure’s attention to cultural and material elements in the discussion of Ishimure’s final work “Hana no okudo e” (2014). We will conclude our discussion by addressing the ways that area studies may or may not be compatible with particular forms of ecocriticism. This talk is part of the DIJ Environmental Humanities in East Asia lecture series and takes place online on May 25. Details and registration here

Christine L. Marran, University of Minnesota