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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Kevin Schumacher

Kevin Schumacher
Japanese Studies, Art History, Literary Studies
Since May 2019

Illustrating Sōseki
Picture-text correlations in the works of Natsume Sōseki in the context of the Fin de Siècle (~1880–1919)

No other Japanese author is that strongly associated with the cultural and social chances of the Fin de Siècle, and the ambivalences of Modernity as Natsume Sōseki 夏目漱石 (1867–1916). His Oeuvre is in terms of content and formal style various and offers different possibilities to connect with discourses such as Modernity and Globalization, hence with ongoing relevance.

Even though the first publications of Sōseki’s works were illustrated and had a visual component, the main research focus on Sōseki lies mostly, with few exceptions, just on the text. Nevertheless, my key assumption is that his works show a Gesamtkunstwerk – an artistic symbiosis – created through a picture-text correlation, and an artistic correspondence between author and artists. Furthermore, we can use the illustrations as indicators for the historical background as well as for the cultural flows between Europe and Japan.

My research project grounds methodical on an art historical basis, which takes the genesis of the motif, the signifier, and the picture into account. Moreover, I try to contextualise the illustrations in an historical art discourse. Therefore, my main goal is to break down and explain the picture-text correlation, to classify the picture topoi and motifs, and give Sōseki also a visual standing in the discourse about Modernity and the Fin de Siècle.

Selected Publications


„V Education and Schooling“ (226–230), „XI Government and Municipal Administration“ (262–266), „X Military“ (272–276)
In: Lepik, Andres; Bäumler, Katrin (Ed.) The Architecture under King Ludwig II – Palaces and Factories. Exhibition catalogue. Basel: AM München.

Curriculum Vitae

05.2019 – 02.2020
Research scholarship at the German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo

since 04.2019
Doctoral scholarship from the German Academic Scholarship Foundation

since 04.2018
PhD Candidate | Japanese Studies (Prof. Dr. Evelyn Schulz) | Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich (LMU)

02.2016 – 06.2016
Study Abroad | Yonsei University Seoul, South Korea | with PROSALMU and Yonsei-EU J. M. Centre of Excellence Award

10.2015 – 03.2018
Master of Arts | Japanese Studies | LMU Munich

04.2015 – 07.2017
Master of Arts | Art History | LMU Munich

10.2013 – 09.2014
Study Abroad | Kyūshū University Fukuoka, Japan | with JASSO scholarship

10.2010 – 03.2018
Student scholarship from the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom

10.2010 – 01.2015
Bachelor of Arts | Japanese Studies, and Art, Music, Theatre (minor) | LMU Munich

11.2011 – 31.03.2019
Research Assistant | Architekturmuseum der Technischen Universität München

09.2009 – 05.2010
Voluntary Social Year | Kaori Kindergarten Kai, Japan