The 10th International Melville Conference at Keio University, Tokyo,Japan

25-29, June, 2015

Now information of the conference registration  is availale here:  http://melvillesociety.org/conferences/international-melville-conference/10th-international-melville-conference-tokyo-2015

Proposal for the 2015 International Conferene

       “Herman Melville in a Global Context”

Arimichi Makino (Meiji University) & Takayuki Tatsumi (Keio University)

 

 

            The heyday, so to speak, of Manifest Destiny resulted in one of the greatest books in the American literary canon. Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick (1851) arguably could not have come into existence without the magnified global consciousness and context of the ideology of Manifest Destiny. Published only a few years before Commodore Matthew Perry’s gunboat negotiations with a certain Far East archipelago, this novel reveals the future of American expansionism: “If that double bolted land, Japan, is ever to become hospitable, it is the whale-ship alone to whom the credit will be due; for already she is on the threshold” (Chapter 24, “The Advocate”). Certainly, Japan in the mid-nineteenth century was “double-bolted,” for pre-modern Japan prohibited any foreigner from entering the country and sentenced to death anyone who tried to leave it. Yet, it is also true that around the same time a half-Chinook, half-Scot North American named Ranald McDonald (1824-1894) entered Japan in 1848 via the city of Matsumae, Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan. He arrived on a small boat provided him by the captain of the Plymouth, a whaling ship from New York on which he had been a sailor. McDonald, who became the first teacher of English in Japan, ended up educating contemporary Japanese translators, including Einosuke Moriyama, who would go on to help the Tokugawa Shogunate successfully negotiate with Commodore Perry. Surely, while writing Chapter 109 of Moby-Dick, entitled “Ahab and Starbuck in the Cabin,” Melville was keenly aware of McDonald’s narrative, for he precisely copied the latter’s uniquely clumsy spelling of the name of the city, Matsumae, as “Matsmai” in the following passage: “And so Starbuck found Ahab with a general chart of the oriental archipelagoes spread before him; and another separate one representing the long eastern coasts of the Japanese islands – Niphon, Matsmai, and Shikoke.” In this context, we also should not forget a young fisherman named John Manjiro, a.k.a. Manjiro Nakahama (1827-1898), who was rescued in 1841 by the John Howland, another American whaling ship. His boat wrecked on the island of Torishima, Manjiro would end up participating in the Tokugawa Shogunate’s negotiations with Commodore Perry in 1853 as a most skillful translator and interpreter. He would later go on to study English and navigation in Massachusetts. Manjiro’s career began in 1841 and very naturally recalls Ishmael’s voyage in Moby-Dick, which overlaps with Melville’s own in the same year.

   Against this literary, historical, and geo-political backdrop, the Melville Society of Japan is pleased to host in 2015 the International Herman Melville Conference here in Japan. Our country has produced more than a dozen Japanese versions of Moby-Dick, including Professor ABE Tomoji’s, Professor SENGOKU Hideyo’s, and Professor YAGI Toshio’s excellent works.  Under the able auspices of the Melville Society of Japan, we have cultivated our own fine Melvillians.  Originally the Melville Study Center of Japan directed by Professor MAKINO Arimichi, the Melville Society of Japan has published its annual, Sky-Hawk, since 1985. For the 25th anniversary issue, the Melville Society published a collection of essays all written in English, Melville and the Wall of the Modern Age (Tokyo: Nan’Undo Publishers, 2011), which radically revised and expanded its groundbreaking predecessor, Professor OHASHI Kenzaburo’s edited Melville and Melville Studies in Japan (Westport, Conn: Greenwood, 1993), the first English-language volume of Japanese scholarship on Melville.

   Moreover, the host university for this event will be Keio University, which has over the years built its reputation for Transnational American Studies, and which established in 2011 the G-SEC (Global Security) American Studies Center with Professor TATSUMI Takayuki as one of its directors. Back in the mid-nineteenth century, renowned Japanese thinker and educator Yukichi Fukuzawa, visited Europe once in 1862 and the United States of America twice, in 1860 and 1867; there, he and John Manjiro purchased a copy of Webster’s English Dictionary, presumably A Pronouncing and Defining Dictionary of the English Language, edited by Noah Webster’s son-in-law S. G. Goodrich and published in 1859 from Lippincott in Philadelphia. There is no doubt that this dictionary helped Fukuzawa translate a number of diplomatic documents and write the original books on western civilization and modern Japan for which he is justly admired. Besides being the Founding Father of Keio University, Fukuzawa was the first translator of Thomas Jefferson’s “The Declaration of Independence” and a champion of Unitarianism; indeed, he invited a number of Unitarian ministers and scholars here from Harvard University, including Arthur May Knapp. What is more, Fukuzawa first introduced our campus in 1898 to Professor Thomas Sergeant Perry, the first teacher of American literature at Keio University. Professor Perry was the great-nephew of Commodore Perry, who unlocked the “double-bolted Japan” and initiated our Far East archipelago into its first cultural exchanges and economic transactions with western countries. Keio University’s library is also well known for having treasured a copy of the first edition of Moby-Dick as well as all the whaling and oceanographic books and materials Melville referred to in the novel. They were all donated by Dr. KAWASUMI Tetsuo, a pathfinder in Japan’s transpacific research on Melville and John Manjiro.

            The symbolic significance of the 2015 International Melville Conference being held in Tokyo goes beyond the history I have so far mentioned in that it necessarily reminds us of the global context that marks our new century in provocative contrast and comparison with the American Renaissance. The first decade of the 21st century gave rise to various reconfigurations of Global American Studies. Transcending the limits of “trans-national America” as originally advocated by Randolph Bourne in 1916, a number of scholar-critics in the wake of the 9.11 terrorist attacks and the Iraq War in particular, began to reshape the discourse of globalism by introducing new conceptual tools. Some of these would include Gayatri Spivak’s “planetarity” (2003), Gretchen Murphy’s “hemispheric imagination” (2005), Wai Chee Dimock’s “deep time” (2008), Yunte Huang’s “transpacific imagination” (2008), Paul Giles’ adaptation of Deleuze and Guattari’s concept of “deterritorialization” (2011), and Shelley Fisher Fishkin’s “deep maps” (2011) as shorthand for “Digital Palimpsest Mapping Projects.” If we trace the 19th-century rise of the Monroe Doctrine in the wake of Jefferson’s hemispheric imagination as leading to the 21st-century revision of it in the Bush Doctrine, who does not read Melville’s Chapter 1 of Moby-Dick, “Bloody Battle in Afghanistan,” as strangely prophetic? It makes us wonder if or how post-Revolutionary America came to champion the cause of post-colonialism: Was it less in line with freedom and democracy per se and rather more a continuing discourse of crypto-imperialism? The first decade of our new century started with the 9/11 terrorist attacks on east coast cities of the United States and closed with the 3.11 multiple disasters on Japan’s east coast, both raising vital questions about energy and fuel crises as a result. Melville too weighed the significance of energy and fuel as part of a global and domestic economy in antebellum America.

   The International Melville Conference offers each of us the opportunity to explore together our planetarity but also to question the global future of democracy, technology, trade and economy, transdisciplinary exchanges, and, yes, “Ah Humanity!” itself, all inspired by Herman Melville’s one-of-a-kind literary imagination.

 

What's New

§Panic Americana 20号で牧野メルヴィル学会長、巽副会長、会員の牧野理英氏、小谷真理氏の特別座談会”Crazy Melville, or Melvillian Craze”が掲載さいされています。詳しくは会員情報をご覧ください。(2016年9月29日)

§メルヴィル学会誌 Sky-Hawk締め切りのお知らせ。今年度に限り、締め切りを9月20日といたします。奮って投稿ください。

(2016年8月22日)

§ 第4回日本メルヴィル学会年次大会のお知らせです。第4回年次大会が2016年9月11日(日)12時15分から中央大学駿河台記念館330号室で開催されます。詳しくは、年次大会をご覧ください。(2016年8月6日)

§ 第11回国際メルヴィル会議のお知らせです。国際学会の項目をご覧ください。(2016年6月2日)

§第10回メルヴィル国際会議のカレン・テイ・ヤマシタ氏の基調講演および巽孝之副会長、会員の牧野理英氏が加わったシンポジウムのすべてが『三田文学』冬季号に掲載されています。会員情報をご覧ください。(2016年3月19日)

§ 学会誌 Sky-Hawk:       The Journal of the Melville Society of Japan第4号の原稿を募集しています。詳しくは投稿規定をご覧 ください。(2016年2月28日)                          § Sky-Hawk: The Journal of the Melville Society of Japan      Call for Submissions                Only members of MSJ may submit articles to its journal. An exception will be made for participants in the 2015 international Melville conference, who are also invited to submit articles for consideration. Contributors can submit one article for each issue. Pease see "Submissions" for more details. (Feb. 28, 2016 )                                                                                      

§ 第10回国際メルヴィル会議の池澤夏樹氏基調講演が12月7日発売の『新潮1月号』に掲載されています。ニュースをご覧ください。また、カレン・テイ・ヤマシタ氏を迎えてのシンポジウムが『三田文学冬号』に掲載されます。(2015年12月14 日

 

§ 文学座公演『白鯨ーMoby-Dickー』に先立ち、演出家、訳者などによる特別シンポジウムが12月1日(火)に慶應義塾大学で行われます。詳しくはイベントをご覧ください。(2015年11月19日)

§第10回国際メルヴィル会議でお知らせしていた文学座の『白鯨』が12月に上演されます。詳しくはイベントをご覧ください。(2015年11月2日)

§第10回国際メルヴィル会議記念マグカップができました。お申し込み方法はイベントをご覧ください。(2015年10月16日)

§ 第10回国際メルヴィル会議で朗読されたBartlebiesが燐光群により上演されます。(8月24日から)くわしくはイベントをご覧ください。(2015年8月21日)

§ 第10回国際メルヴィル会議の写真の一部をアップしています。ニュースの項目をご覧ください。(2015年7月5日)

§ 第10回国際メルヴィル会議特別公演(池澤夏樹氏)のフライヤーをアップしました。イベントをご覧ください。(6月22日)

§ 第10回国際ハーマン・メルヴィル会議のポスターができました。国際学会の項目をご覧ください。ニュースの項目もご覧ください。

§ 第10回国際メルヴィル会議の情報を更新しました。新しいプログラムをご覧ください。(2015年5月10日)

§第10回国際メルヴィル会議のプログラムをupしました。

 
§ 2014年度第3回年次大会のプログラムをアップしました。
 
§Gerald Vizenor氏が来日され、"Ishamel of the Pequod:Natural Motion and Scenes of Suviviance in Moby-Dick"の講演があります。イベントをご欄ください。
 
 
§ 第10回国際メルヴィル学会東京開催のCFPをアップしました。国際学会をご覧ください。米国メルヴィル学会のホームページもご覧ください。melvillesociety.org
 
§ 学会誌 SKY-HAWK: The Journal of the Melville Society of Japanが
  発行されました。
 
§ 第2回日本メルヴィル学会年次大会の詳細をアップしました。
 
§ 第9回メルヴィル国際学会がワシントンD.C.で6月4日から7日まで開かれました。Eventsをご覧ください。
 
 
§ 2015年メルヴィル国際学会(The 2015 International Melville Conference)のプロポーザルを掲載しました。