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Censoring the Imagination?: "Fukushima," Literature, and the End of the World

Rachel DiNitto

Friday, October 11, 2013 - 5:00pm
Savery Hall 130

Rachel DiNitto, College of William & Mary

Sponsored by the UW Japan Studies Program

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 The horrors of the 3.11 triple disaster in Japan—the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear catastrophe of March 11, 2011—continue to unfold in headlines around the world. Although this disaster was said to be beyond imagination, 3.11 literature connects to a lineage of post-apocalyptic representations in Japan (in manga, anime, film and literature), as well as to the cultural products of a global “end of the world” genre. 3.11 literature offers its own versions of the world post-3.11, ranging from the mundane everydayness of a world that didn’t end to that of a post-human existence. DiNitto examines the role literature plays in a world where we have already imagined our annihilation and are in many ways indifferent to it.

Rachel DiNitto is an associate professor of Japanese Studies at the College of William & Mary, and the author of Uchida Hyakken: A Critique of Modernity and Militarism in Prewar Japan (2008). She has researched and published on the literary and cultural studies of Japan's prewar (1910s-1930s) and post-bubble eras (1990s-2000s). This talk is part of a new book project on the literature written in the wake of the March 11, 2011 Fukushima disaster in Japan.