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Utopia: Here and There at Age of Comparison?

March 28, 2008, 15:00-17:00
Deutsches Haus, Conference Room, New York University (42 Washington Mews)

Utopia: Here and There

The subtitle of our panel, inspired by Jean-Luc Godard’s film Ici et ailleurs, reveals an approach to “utopia” not so much as an ideal non-existing place, but rather as the tension, generated by the perpetuation of a repetitive movement towards an ever-shifting target. Our papers will address various instances where comparison and repetition put similarities in relief, and where similarities, on the other hand, function in a variety of methodological ways. We will see how in the works of Godard the superposition of images could be seen as a utopian gesture of “filmic salvation”. Then we will shift to Modern Asia and pursue narratological complications caused by the clash of violence and salvation, history and literature in several works that enter in a dialogue through the phrase “Save the Children”. The Chinese context will be brought into sharper focus from the perspective of utopia in its connection to history and globalization. The complications of the dialogue between Western and non-Western cultures, functioning on the metalevel of anthropological discourse, will be considered through the case of Captain James Cook’s apotheosis in Hawaii. An analysis of the creation of extraordinary spaces by means of gilded folding screens will decorate our panel, extending the scope of our problematic not only beyond the West, but beyond modernity as well.


Kei Hirakura (UTCP), “Utopia through Likeness: Godard's Logic of Similarity”
Dennitza Gabrakova (UTCP), “Reverberations of a Utopian Utterance: Lu Xun, Kenzaburō Ōe, Masahiko Shimada”
Satoru Hashimoto (Harvard University), "Call for Comparison: 'Chinese Modernity' in Modern Chinese Aesthetics"
Kei Yoshida (UTCP), “Comparing and Explaining Different Cultures: The Case of Captain James Cook”
Misato Ido (UTCP), “Gilded Spaces: Creating Spaces with Gilded Folding Screens”

This is a panel for the conference "Age of Comparison?"

Thursday, March 27, 2008
6:30-8:30pm, Opening remarks
Reception to follow

Friday, March 28
10am-11:30pm, Panel
12-1:30pm, Panel
1:30-3pm, Lunch
3-5pm, Panel

Saturday, March 29
10-11:30am, Panel
12-1:30pm, Panel
1:30-3pm, Lunch
3-4pm, Keynote Address
4:30-6:30pm, Roundtable discussion
6:30-8:30, Closing reception

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