CFP: 4th ENOJP Conference on Japanese Philosophy

CFP
Call for Papers: 4th ENOJP Conference on Japanese Philosophy *** The 4th European Network of Japanese Philosophy (ENOJP) Conference at University of Hildesheim​, Germany​ (Sept 5–8 2018)  ​​Übergänge – Transitions – 移り渉り: Crossing the Boundaries in Japanese Philosophy *** We encourage applicants to send in proposals for individual presentations or group proposals of 3 presenters to collaborate on a panel together. Papers dealing with the conference theme “Übergänge – Transitions – 移り渉り” are particularly welcome, but papers on other aspects related to Comparative & Japanese Philosophy will also be considered. It is not necessary to adjust your presentation to the general theme in a very strict manner – we want to use the topic in a thought provoking rather than restrictive way! Please feel free to interpret the theme creatively.…
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Japan Guidebook

Books
The Research Institute for Japanese Studies at Kanda University of International Studies has just published Japan Guidebook, the second edition. (You can find the official press release here.)  The guidebook consists of 20 parts with more than 100 short, dictionary-like entries that cover a variety of topics and themes, from basic information about the geographical characteristics of the country to articles focusing on history, art, literature, education, economy, politics, popular culture, etc. It also includes 20 one-page essays that present the topics from a more general, comprehensive perspective. All the entries and essays are bilingual (Japanese / English). The book is the result of a collective effort - all the researchers associated with the Institute contributed - not only articles, but also time, ideas, and energy. It was not always…
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Book review: “Japanese Environmental Philosophy”

reviews
J. Baird Callicott, James McRae, eds. Japanese Environmental Philosophy. New York Oxford University Press, 2017. xxiii + 310 pp. $45.00 (paper), ISBN 978-0-19-045633-7. The Oxford University Press website describes Japanese Environmental Philosophy as "an anthology that responds to the environmental problems of the 21st century by drawing from Japanese philosophical traditions to investigate our relationships with other humans, nonhuman animals, and the environment." This is a fairly accurate description, and if I were to change only one word in it, it would probably be the word "response," as the book does not offer a unitary "response" to the environmental crisis - there is no red thread connecting the essays to combine them in a single, undivided entity (this is not to say that there should be such a red thread).…
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The future is bleak

Education
Finally, Romania has a new government. It's actually the third one since the coalition between PSD (Social Democratic Party) and their junior partner ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats) came into power in December 2016, which is very telling as to the (in)stability of the country's political system. I will just note that both governments so far, even though initially supported by the ruling coalition, were actually ousted when the leaders of the two parties realized that the prime minister's actions had veered away from their own personal agenda. An agenda which prioritizes, for instance, a so-called "reform" of the justice system which would make it almost impossible for corruption cases to make it to court, as well as an increasingly anti-European discourse in which institutions like the European Parliament…
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CFP: Asian Philosophical Texts

CFP
My friends and fellow researchers Takeshi and Pierre are organizing a conference on Asian Philosophical Texts in Brussels in October next year. They have just sent out the call for papers, so I paste it below. You can also find the details on the conference's PhilEvents page. *** Call for papers A Conference on Asian Philosophical Texts October 25–27 2018, Brussels This conference aims at providing a platform for scholars in the field of Asian Studies and world philosophies to both discuss and perform the task of translating Asian philosophical texts into western languages. Any papers on the philosophy of translation, critical analyses of existing translations, or ongoing translation projects are welcome. Submission deadline: August 15, 2017 Submission guidelines: Please submit abstracts or papers to Takeshi.Morisato[at]ulb.ac.be or Pierre.Bonneels[at]ulb.ac.be. The abstract…
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Presentation at ENOJP 2 (Brussels)

Conferences
Exactly one year ago, in December 2016, I was in Brussels for the 2nd Conference of the European Network of Japanese Philosophy, talking about Andō Shōeki and his vision of the human being in the shihōsei, the "world of the private law". The presentation was a sequel to the one I did in Barcelona in 2015, about the creative use of language and the coinage of new philosophical concepts. The ENOJP members behind the scenes did a great job and edited the video of the presentation, including the slides I used at the time. I really have a strange feeling when I see myself on video, and one year later (and wiser) I would change many things in the slides and in the way I present, but I think sharing…
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CFP: Japan in the World, the World in Japan

CFP
Three very dear friends of mine are involved in organizing a conference focusing on the methodology of teaching (in) Japan - they just announced the call for papers for the next iteration of the conference and, with their permission, I pasted it here. (I also uploaded the pdf file here to make it easier to circulate the announcement.) *** Call for Papers We are pleased to announce the third “Japan in the World and the World in Japan: A Methodological Approach” annual symposium. This year’s event will be held at the Center for Japanese Language and Culture, Osaka University (Minoh Campus), on March 3rd and 4th, 2018. The symposium focuses on the secondary and tertiary level instruction of subjects related to Japan (history, culture, literature, etc) in a cosmopolitan way…
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ENOJP 3 in Paris

Conferences
The 3rd ENOJP conference in Paris just ended a few days ago, but I didn't get around to write about it until now. I am still a bit jet lagged after a week in Europe, and concentrating on teaching and on the interaction with the students when your body is telling you to go to sleep is no easy task... Plus, I wanted to let everything sink in, so I can ruminate on things quietly and thoroughly - the three days of the conference were full to the brim with intellectual stimuli and my brain needed a rest to absorb and process all the information. Not to mention that we were at the INALCO and at the Sorbonne! I listened to several insightful presentations, and I attended the best keynote…
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A New Theory of the Earth

Philosophy
As I was working on my presentation on Yamagata Bantō's philosophical discourse for the ENOJP conference in Paris, I started to look more thoroughly into the various influences that informed his Yume no shiro 夢の代, the encyclopedic work he finished in 1820. And this is how I came across an extremely interesting text from 1696, William Whiston's A New Theory of the Earth - apparently, the text was translated in Japanese as 『西洋天話』 by Hashimoto Sōkichi, one of the most prominent rangaku scholars in early 19th century Osaka. Bantō read it, was fascinated with the model of the solar system that Whiston proposed (cometary catastrophism included) and then later used as a basis for his own model. But the most fascinating thing about Whiston's book is probably the full title: A New Theory…
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Shouldn’t we talk about this?

Education
Yesterday, I read an article about how Cambridge University students got trigger warnings related to the content of some the works they were supposed to read and discuss in class. Apparently, one of the persons in charge of the English lectures flagged any session containing material that could be deemed "upsetting" with a red triangle and an exclamation mark - including Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, among others. (The full article is here, on the BBC website.) I read Titus Andronicus a long time ago and my memory is a bit fuzzy - I do remember some sexual violence in the play, but it's about so much more than that. Power, control, politics, intrigues, plots... so much more. And even if it were about sexual violence, shouldn't we talk about this? Isn't that…
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