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  • Alex Watson

“Masks and Screens”: Meiji University-Edinburgh University Collaboration Symposium

“Masks and Screens”: Meiji University-Edinburgh University Collaboration Symposium will be held at Meiji University on December 17.

The aim of this conference on “Masks and Screens” is to investigate the intermedial nature of early modern, modern and contemporary literary and theatrical forms in Japan and the West from a comparative perspective. Prompting to an exchange of ideas between specialists of Japan and Western Europe, with an emphasis on British literature and drama, the conference will address the following questions: how have masks been portrayed across the centuries, and what has been their role in human exchanges on stage but also in images and texts? What intermedial strategies have been employed to address the problematic ‘readability’ of masks and of the emotions and (social, cultural) significations they convey? How have screens contributed to dialectics of exhibition, mediation and concealment, in relation more specifically to representations of the body and its environment? What commonalities can be found between ancient uses of screens and contemporary technologies mediating our relation to the world and that are often used on stage nowadays? Works considered will range from Noh and Kabuki plays to 20th and 21st century performances, and from classics of Japanese and European literature to more recent works such as the novels The Face of Another (1964) by Kōbō Abe and Masks (1958) by Fumiko Enchi.

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