Info​

The conference will be hosted by the Institute of Japanese Studies at Ghent University and will take place in hybrid format, allowing participation both face-to-face (f2f) in Ghent and remotely over Zoom.

At a hybrid conference, panels take place at the conference venue with face-to-face (f2f) participants, while simultaneously having centrally-organised Zoom meetings for each panel, hosted by conference volunteers and overseen by conference organisers (with the Zoom links visible to logged-in, paid-up delegates from the panel page). F2F presentations and f2f questions/discussion are captured by an external webcam and cam/lapel mic, while online presentations/questions can be heard in the room across a set of external speakers and seen on the screen. Online delegates will be able to both present and participate in discussions.

Plenary events will take place using Zoom webinar so both online participants and f2f participants who are unable to enter the auditorium due to capacity issues (Covid or other), can watch, with the Chair taking online questions via the Q&A function.

A conference-wide chat space on the conference website will allow all participants to exchange messages, etc regardless of whether they are f2f or remote, as long as they have online access.

N.B. While fully online panels (panels with no f2f participants) are permitted, EAJS STRONGLY advises panels to be planned with at least some members of the panel –  especially at least one panel convenor – present in person.

If you have any questions, please contact us at eajs(at)nomadit.co.uk.

24 Oct - 22 Dec 2022
Call for papers and panels
End of Feb 2023
Proposers receive results of their submissions
End of March 2023
Papers and panels timetabled
10 Apr -1 June 2023
Early Bird registration opens
17-20 Aug 2023
Conference takes place

Rules for submissions

The European Association for Japanese Studies invites individual paper and pre-organised panel proposals for the forthcoming 17th EAJS International Conference. Please read the rules and instructions below, and then the full call text specific to each thematic section, before you submit your panel or paper.

  • Panel and paper proposals should be written in English.
  • The call for section Papers & Panels has closed, however the Transdisciplinary call is still open and will close on 13 January, please see at the bottom of the page on how to submit.
  • All panels and papers must be proposed online. The proposal links follow, but please first read the rules and instructions.
  • All delegates may only present once. Convenors may present a paper in their own panel, or, if they wish, be the chair/discussant in their own panel, and present a paper elsewhere (they cannot do both). All paper-givers may also have an additional role as the discussant in another panel – not the one they are presenting in. One can be a chair in one panel and discussant in another. No other double roles are permitted.
  • Proposers MUST refrain from contacting Section convenors directly so as not to jeopardize the anonymous selection process. Convenors have been asked not to respond to inquiries sent directly to them before completion of the selection process. Any queries concerning the submission of proposals, should be sent to eajs(at)nomadit.co.uk.
  • The “Japanese Language Teaching” section is held in collaboration with the Association of Japanese Language Teachers in Europe (AJE). Guidelines for proposals may differ slightly from EAJS. For this section, please follow the guidelines here.

Panel proposals (Closed)

Panels may be proposed with three or four pre-agreed papers within them, and preferably a designated discussant. Panel organisers should ensure that there is sufficient time for discussion. Proposals must consist of:

  • A panel title
  • Name and email addresses of the panel convenors (the person submitting the proposal does not have to add their name twice – their status as the convenor will be assumed!)
  • A short abstract of fewer than 300 characters (including spaces)
  • A long abstract of 350 words, explaining the overall focus of the panel.
  • A paper proposal (title & abstracts) for each paper within the panel (see below!)
  • An indication of which section the panel belongs to
  • N.B. the panel abstracts should NOT state the names of any presenters

Those proposing panels are asked to be mindful of the inclusiveness of their membership, including rank, gender, and continental diversity.

The proposal may not include names of any chairs or discussants at this point. If the panel is subsequently accepted and these roles are not being taken by convenors themselves, let the administrators know (after being accepted) whose names need adding there.

After submitting the panel proposal, panel convenors will be sent a panel-specific link to send to their presenters, who must then propose their papers directly into the panel before the deadline.

Paper proposals (Closed)

Individual papers can be proposed to each thematic section. If accepted these will be organised into sessions with other individual papers. Paper proposals (both individual papers and those being proposed into a pre-organised panel) must consist of:

  • The paper title
  • Name and email addresses of the authors
  • A short abstract of fewer than 300 characters (including spaces)
  • A long abstract of fewer than 350 words

Papers should generally be presented in English, but may be presented in Japanese if necessary (all must have an abstract in English). In such cases, speakers should use a clear and accessible style and provide an English summary and, if possible, English slides.

On submission of the proposal, the proposing author (and any co-authors) will receive an email confirming receipt. If you do not receive this email, please log into the conference interface (Cocoa) from the login link on this website (see human head icon in top toolbar) to check that your proposal is in there. If you cannot find this, please email the conference address.

All presenters must be EAJS members by the time of the conference. However, presenters do not have to be members when submitting a proposal, and membership status has no influence on the selection process.

Papers for pre-organised panels must be submitted via the button/link provided in an email from the panel convenors. Individual papers should be proposed using the button below which takes you to a list of sections; there click the ‘Propose’ button in the header of the section you are interested in.

Decisions

When the call ends, the section convenors will review the proposals and decide which panels and individual papers to accept. The EAJS Council is not involved in this process. Panels will be accepted in their entirety and individual papers will be grouped into sessions. The convenors can pass proposals to other sections if they believe they would fit better there.

The review process consists of two stages: initially information on the proposers is not visible, ensuring decisions are made on the quality of the abstract. Subsequently, convenors will review their decisions in non-anonymized form (i.e. with information on authors), allowing them to reflect on factors such as diversity and inclusivity and to avoid extremely unbalanced groups of speakers (e.g. in terms of gender, seniority or institutional affiliation).

The Programme Committee (consisting of members of the EAJS Council) will take a final look at the selection, to consider thematic overlaps between the sections.

Applicants will be informed of the selection results by end-March. The section convenors are not required to give any feedback or justification for their decisions.

Sections

Click on a section name to expand and read the full call text specific to that section.
Accordion Content

Navigating the New Normal: Coping with uncertainty, precarity and change in a (dis)connected Japan

Chiharu Shiota, “Uncertain Journey” 2019, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan, photo Sunhi Mang. (Reproduced with permission of Chiharu Shiota; original source https://www.chiharu-shiota.com/)

Undoubtedly, the term “new normal” has recently become a ubiquitous feature in various media and academia alike. It evokes a notion of novel stability, but it has proven to be the last straw, full of promise of an easy to understand, orderly world, while in fact it is a last-ditch attempt to prolong the modern illusions of normality and masking the prevalent anxiety of (dis)connection.

Just like the red yarn in Chiharu Shiota’s installation, Japan is interconnected and interdependent within the region and the world as it is linked by lines and drawn into webs transmitting communication and information (cf. Haraway 2018, Ingold 2016), and material flows of goods interweaving work and family lives (cf. Tsing 2015, Alexy 2020). While structures and borders seem to dissolve in a globalised market-oriented eudaimonia, humans still try to navigate their lives by coping with static nation state systems and arbitrary mobility constraints (cf. Mau 2021), and frequently these individuals get lacerated in this split – a phenomenon we like to describe as “anxiety of (dis)connection”. Often, normative idea(l)s of family and work are the only yarn that maintain the semblance of an unchanging Japanese society while precarity, pandemics and barriers further dissolve already crumbling foundations (cf. Berlant 2011, Campbell/Laheij 2021, Lukács 2020, Mathews/White 2004, Parla 2019). In other words, the implicit assumption of a stable normality underlies every situation like a thick carpet, but the specific varnish, rather segmented and discrete, resembles a rag rug that we call “illusions of normality”. A focus on social configurations that form such normality and normativity (cf. Link 2003, Horst/Miller 2012, Pine 2019) and the actual practices humans engage in to create ordinary lives in extraordinary circumstances should help to start this discussion.

In short, this section focusses on the diverse individual and social processes of navigating the (new) normal in and beyond Japan, while placing an emphasis on the sobering concepts of “illusions of normality” and “anxiety of (dis)connection”.

Possible questions and topics for panels might be, but are not limited to:

  • Bubbles, Webs, Boarders, Joints: Researching the anxiety of (dis)connection through rituals, practices and spaces
  • Internalised illusions of normality: conflicted negotiations of precarity, self-growth and self-government in an uncertain world
  • How to live ordinary lives in extraordinary times and how to theorize them? Considering the illusive and normative potential of post-human ideas and anti-human structures
  • The making of fluid families: Emerging post-familial lifestyles and/or new takes on the family in and beyond Japan
  • Escaping escapism: Reifying urban norms and productivity ideals in the Japanese countryside.

Please note, however, that proposals of papers and panels that fall outside of the proposed themes are very welcome and will be considered fully and equally. Decisions about acceptance will be based on academic merit after a thorough review process.

Papers should generally be presented in English, but may be presented in Japanese if necessary and must, if so, be accompanied by an abstract in English. 

We aim to get a good balance of panels and individual papers in this section, so we welcome both. We look forward to your contributions and to seeing you next year in Ghent.

The Global Crisis of Capitalism and Japan’s Changing Political Economy

We are inviting individual paper and panel proposals in the fields of the political economy, business, and economics (including economic history) of Japan, for the August 2023 EAJS conference in Ghent, Belgium. All topics are welcome.

As a special theme for this conference, we spotlight Japan-specific and comparative research on the significance of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s unfolding vision of a “New Form of Capitalism.” In the wake of mounting critiques of capitalism globally, and neoliberal reforms under the Abenomics program domestically, how can Japanese business grapple with the manifold challenges of economic liberalization, globalization, and demographic change? Can companies simultaneously pursue economic competitiveness and corporate social responsibility? How, moreover, can governments help private-sector organizations pursue these two goals?

One example of this special theme is the nature of Japan’s longstanding alternative social welfare mechanisms that are provided by societal and market institutions as a supplement to, or derivative of, their primary missions and functions. Examples from Japanese history include corporate welfare provisions such as lifetime employment and firm-specific health-care and pension systems; programs administered by post offices and agricultural cooperatives to help rural communities; and programs to promote commercial bank lending to underserved small firms. These and related offerings had significant redistributive implications that, arguably, helped curb the kind of socio-economic inequality that now plagues many countries. How, if at all, might these private-sector mechanisms be incorporated into Japan’s evolving political economy? What are the potential costs and benefits of doing so?

The convenors of the History Section of the European Association for Japanese Studies invite proposals for papers and panels for the 17th EAJS International Conference 2023 in Ghent. The EAJS strives for an equal ratio between pre-organized panels and individual papers, and we will accommodate pre-organized panels and individual papers equally.

For one part of the sessions of the History Section, the convenors propose the theme “Japan and China (East Asia)”. It hardly needs mentioning that the isles we nowadays call Japan were for most of their (documented) history within the scope of Chinese civilization or the so-called Chinese world order. In this long-term perspective, Japan’s modern period can even be described as exceptional, as it seems to have involved a process of distancing the country from China and a concomitant mindset that may have been best captured by the term of Datsu-A (‘stepping out of Asia’). Given that we are presently witnessing a renewed prominence of China in many fields and that Japan may be inclined to reposition itself, this seems a good moment in time to reconsider the long-term and short-term trends and developments in Japan’s relations with China and the country’s position in East Asia, from the earliest of times until the contemporary period.

As usual, the focus of the History Section will not be entirely devoted to one theme. At most half of the selected proposals will be related to the above-mentioned theme, and at least half is reserved for other topics. Accordingly, your proposals for papers and panels that are not related to the theme are also most welcome. 

Decisions about acceptance will be based on academic merit after a thorough review process.

The Language and Linguistics section of the 17th EAJS International Conference would like to invite contributions on languages of Japan, Ainu, Japanese, and Ryukyuan, viewed from inside and outside Japan. 

We particularly welcome individual papers and panel contributions addressing:

  • All critical approaches
  • Any level of linguistic description (phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicology)
  • Discourse and text linguistics
  • Historical approaches
  • Innovative approaches to language and linguistics
  • Language and technology
  • Pragmatics and semantics
  • Relation between spoken and written language
  • Script and orthography
  • Sociolinguistics

Please note that the topics of submissions are not limited by the list above, and we welcome proposals of papers and panels addressing other issues. All contributions will be considered fully and equally, and the selection will be made based on academic merit as the outcome of a thorough review process.

Japanese literature in/ and the world: form, formation, and transformation from Meiji to Reiwa

During the last three decades, a resurgent interest in world literature has promoted translation as a means by which individual works of literature can transcend their national borders. Against this backdrop, contemporary Japanese literature appears to be flourishing, ranking today as one of the most translated languages of fiction into English with multiple works receiving critical recognition from international prize givers. At the same time, the growing importance of non-native writers of Japanese fiction, such as the Taiwanese-born winner of the 2021 Akutagawa Prize, Li Kotomi, and of Japanese writers who produce fiction in other languages, including Tawada Yōko and Sekiguchi Ryōko, are prompting reflections on the boundaries that circumscribe Japan’s national literature and its position vis-à-vis the world.

While it can be easy to perceive these developments as recent phenomena, interactions between the nation, the world, and the work of translation have underpinned the construction of modern Japanese literature since the Meiji era. After the Restoration, Japan began a process of negotiating a new national identity predicated on the creation of a national language (kokugo) and literature (kokubungaku). As we all know, this process was neither swift, nor smooth. It included various experiments, some of which, like the Rōmaji movement of the 1880s, were short-lived, but opened up interesting avenues for exploring the relationship between the spoken and the written word. Others, like the language education projects carried out in Japan’s colonies, spanned decades; they were met with the resistance of colonial subjects, but also provided them with a means to “write back,” a way to (ever-so-slightly) change the language and literature of the Empire.   

The most successful among these experiments is perhaps the establishment of genbun itchi unified written and spoken style(s). While this meant the gradual falling out of grace of other literary styles, such as the gikobun, kanbun, et al., it also made it easier for literature to tackle new topics and opened it up to new audiences. Translation/ adaptation played a central role in the process. Futabatei Shimei’s famous translation of Turgenev’s “Sportsman’s Sketches” as “Aibiki” (1888); the Rōmaji translation of Busch’s Max und Moritz as Wanpaku Monogatari (1887-88); kabuki adaptations of Shakespeare – such works played freely with genre, style, and graphy, bringing “world literature” before Japanese audiences, and inspiring new generations of writers to experiment further. Thus, we can see the interplay of translation and creation at work, for example, in the transformations undergone by Pierre Loti’s “Un bal à Yeddo” (1889): from Iida Kiken’s 1892 parodical adaptation, to Takase Toshirō’s 1914 fragmentary translation and, finally to Akutagawa Ryūnosuke’s 1920 rewrite “The Ball.” 

In 2023, the Modern literature section invites contributions that examine the formation of Japanese literature against the historical vicissitudes of nation-building and world-building in the modern period. How have writers responded to key historical moments, and how do literary texts write – and rewrite – the past that informs them? We are also interested in the many forms and formats of modern literary production – in other words, in the attendance to materiality at the level of writing (orthographic creativity, the use of new and/ or mixed media, etc) as well as reading (physical and digital forms, and how these diversifying practices shape reception). 

Proposals for panels and papers that fall outside this theme are very welcome and will be considered fully and equally. Decisions about acceptance will be based on academic merit after a thorough review process.

Things That Happen

“Many things happen to the people of this world, and all they think and feel is given expression in description of things they see and hear,” the Kana Preface to the Kokin wakashū famously states (in the translation by Laurel Rasplica Rodd and Mary Catherine Henkenius). Accordingly, we welcome proposals for panels and individual papers for the 17th EAJS International Conference in 2023 that honor this principle.

We propose as theme the engagement of people with their environment, and as medium of expression poetry. Part of the section will be reserved to presentations on poetry. Any commitment to this theme or the genre is appreciated but not mandatory. Proposals of papers and panels that fall outside this theme or genre will be considered fully and equally, and will constitute roughly one half of the program.

Decisions about acceptance will be based on academic merit after a thorough review process. Presentations may be proposed and are equally welcome either as individual papers or as thematically organized panels. Proposals from advanced graduate students will be considered. Presentations may be in English or Japanese. The convenors would like to encourage those developing panels to be mindful of the inclusiveness of their membership, including rank, gender, and national diversity.

Media in Relation

In the wake of the recent pandemic, it is no longer possible to think of media as a stand-alone textual object, if indeed it ever was. Our relationships to, through, and around media texts, platforms, and exhibition spaces have become more central to our everyday lives than ever in the last three years as media became our major source of entertainment, a main topic of conversation over online calls with friends and family, and indeed the main way we kept in touch with loved ones and colleagues. For researchers of Japan based outside the country, media was also often the only way to engage with Japan during border closures and periods of isolation.

This themed section invites proposals for papers and organized panels that consider media in Japan and Japanese media (broadly defined) ‘in relation’ – to creators, viewers and fans, to industry and the workplace, to the practices of everyday life, and to our ideas of Japan. Proposals for panels and papers that fall outside this theme are very welcome and will be considered fully and equally. Decisions about acceptance will be based on academic merit after a thorough review process.

War/Time: The Performing Arts on/in Conflicts, Battles, and Everyday Turmoil

“[T]oday we can no longer afford to think of society or productivity or prosperity apart from war, to the point that war and everyday life are inseparable, and both our daily time or temporality and our historical moment are conditioned in war. … not wartime but war/time, not an equation of war and the everyday but a self-propelling operative condition in which war acts as a control on the everyday time of orderly social productivity, while that everyday time spurs the spread of war, of its technologies (weapons) and its networks (bases).”
(Thomas Lamarre, Mechademia 4, Preface, xi, 2009)

Across time, geographies, and cultures, performing artists have been driven to reflect on militarization, conflict, and war. Plays, dances, songs, and music express directly or indirectly the environments of conflict. What does war do to the performing arts? How do soldiers, police, civilians, children, and governments become militarized? What role do artists play in galvanizing or repressing militarized cultures? Can performance find a way to illuminate or make transparent the motives, the drives, and the deeper circumstances of war? How might we examine how the arts are deployed in times of war, in militarized zones, in postwar commemorations, and in future fantasy wars?

We invite you to consider performing arts and performance itself in diverse militarized cultures, conflicts, eras, and within the forms themselves. How has conflict led to new forms, new ways of doing and thinking performance? What has been lost or left behind in the turmoil or censorship or messiness of conflict?

Among the questions or lines of inquiry we might explore are:

  • What is the role of the performing arts in times of conflict and devastation?
  • How do the performing arts engage in war/time?
  • What happens to artists during these times of uncertainty, threat, and forced migration?
  • If artists create works that support a regime that fails, do they also fail?
  • What are the complications of survival under the duress of conflict?
  • The performing arts stand out for the practices and methodologies of collaboration and collectivity. But in times of political, aesthetic, or social conflict, what happens to those values and practices?
  • Conflicts within each form, new generations, new contexts and conditions, and new technologies require dramatic change and adaptation, even loss. How have performing artists negotiated these crucial moments of war/time?
  • What do these moments or periods of transformation reveal about the art form, the artists, and the milieu of audience and devoted fans?
  • How do these collective practices support or destroy new possibilities?

We believe these studies of conflict, war without, war within, can provide us with a different historiography wherein the performing arts demonstrate a panorama of diverse choices of how to go forward to meet these times of conflict, tensions, and break through.

Please note, that proposals of papers and panels that fall outside of the theme War/Time are very welcome and will be considered fully and equally. Decisions about acceptance will be based on academic merit after a thorough review process. We highly encourage you to reach out to colleagues, students, artists, and critics and form diverse panels around shared concerns. We look forward to your panel and individual paper proposals and meeting you at EAJS 2023!

Multispecies

This section covers the intellectual history and philosophy of Japan broadly conceived.

As a theme for this section, we propose the subject of ‘multispecies’. Recent work in the environmental humanities has been paying increasing attention to the complex ways that humanity is entangled with the wider world of plants, animals, minerals, and more. This has inspired a range of new insights into the historical origins and politics of epistemology. We would like to ask what does attention to these diverse relationships mean for intellectual history and philosophy? How have thinkers drawn inspiration from them, what alternative historical actors can we identify, and what previously forgotten intellectual trajectories can be brought to the surface?

Please note that all proposals, including those that fall outside of the theme, are welcome and shall be considered fully and equally. It is not necessary to strictly adjust your presentation to the theme. We want to use the topic in a thought-provoking rather than a restrictive way. Please feel free to interpret the theme creatively. All proposals will primarily be considered on the grounds of their originality, their relevance within the field, and methodological consistency. Papers that connect their topic to fundamental methodological issues of intellectual history and philosophy as a field will be given priority. Decisions about acceptance will be based on academic merit after a thorough review process. We will consider both individual abstracts and panel proposals but will vet each paper in panels individually. A failure to be accepted as a panel may lead to proposals to present individually to some participants.

Diversity: when assessing panel proposals, diversity is an important criterion. We will consider diversity in terms of gender (we strongly discourage single-gender panels), institutional affiliation (panels should include presenters from different universities), seniority (we especially welcome panels that include presenters at different career stages), and national or ethnic background.

Japan after Abe: Assessing Domestic and International Challenges

The international and domestic situation of Japan has been dramatically changing, bringing about new threats and challenges, or exacerbating old ones. The sequence of events that unfolded in Japan and around the world since early 2022 amplified the problems and uncertainties that were compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic and other economic and demographic issues that Japan has been facing for some time. The rapidly deteriorating security situation has been affected by the actions and strategies of China, North Korea and Russia, including the escalation of tensions with China following U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, the significant increase in North Korea’s ballistic missile tests, or Russian aggression against Ukraine. Domestically, the assassination of former Prime Minister Abe Shinzō sent shockwaves across the country, followed by controversies over ties between the Unification Church and politicians, then over PM Abe’s state funeral, and finally over the assessment his legacy. And while the effects of the economic policies, known as the Abenomics, have been questioned, the late prime minister’s foreign and security policies, most notably the vision of a Free and Open Indo-Pacific (FOIP), or the promotion of minilateral groupings such as the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD), have attracted considerable attention not only in the Indo-Pacific, but also in Europe. Under Abe, Japan has emerged as an international leader, while the idea of Indo-Pacific seems to be replacing the concept of Asia-Pacific, at least among “like-minded” countries.  

The Politics and IR section invites both panel proposals and individual papers on topics related to the assessment of the domestic and foreign policies of former PM Abe Shinzō, as well as the present and future challenges facing PM Kishida Fumio’s Cabinet. PM Kishida has vowed to continue many of PM Abe’s policies (FOIP, constitutional revision, enhancing defense and military capabilities), but has also proposed his own ideas under the frames of “New Capitalism” and “Kishida Vision for Peace.” 

We also welcome contributions addressing a broader set of related topics, including, but not limited to, the impact of current geopolitical shits and strategic uncertainties on regional security in the Indo-Pacific region. 

All proposals of papers and panels will be considered fully and equally. Decisions about acceptance will be based on academic merit after a thorough review process.

For this section, we welcome organized panel and individual paper proposals addressing any topic related to “Japanese religion(s)”, broadly conceived. We will prioritize panels and papers that not only discuss particular historical or present-day case studies, but also engage with larger theoretical and methodological issues and/or place Japanese practices, ideas, and figures within a comparative perspective. In particular, we invite applicants to submit panel or paper proposals that relate to the following overarching theme:

More-than-human Approaches to the Study of Religion in Japan

Recent decades have seen the dismantling of the once-paradigmatic nature-culture dichotomy within the humanities and social sciences. New academic fields such as environmental history, animal studies, multispecies ethnography, Science and Technology Studies (STS), Actor-Network Theory (ANT), and new materialism all challenge traditional, anthropocentric understandings of agency, rationality, and human autonomy. As we live in the Anthropocene, there is a growing awareness among historians, anthropologists, and philosophers that human culture and society take shape in constant interaction with various non-human actors, ranging from microbes to non-human animals. 

Scholars of religion have been slow to integrate these insights into their research; while the question of how human religious actors respond and can contribute to solving environmental problems has been discussed extensively, the role of non-human actors in religious practices remains insufficiently explored. How have viruses, weather events, and natural disasters affected beliefs and rituals? How is religious diversity shaped and conditioned by geographical and climatological features? What role have trees, fungi, rocks, and non-human animals played in the history of religion—not only as symbols or objects of worship, but as historical actors in their own right? Thus, we invite paper or panel proposals that address one or several of the following topics:

  • The role of non-human animals in ritual practices, cosmology, and soteriology
  • The agency of objects, plants, microbes, and other non-human actors in Japanese religious history
  • Religious conceptualizations of hybridity between humans, animals, and other non-human actors (e.g. deities) 
  • The impact of geography and climate on beliefs and practices in the Japanese isles
  • Indigenous (Ainu or Ryukyuan) worship practices and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)
  • Religious conceptualizations of toxicity, pollution, waste, and purification
  • The political ecology of religious institutions in Japanese history (e.g. temples’ use of natural resources)
  • Religious responses to environmental pollution, climate change, or biodiversity loss (ritual innovation, theodicy, and institutional adaptation)
  • Iterations of religious environmentalism in Japan (local or transnational) 

In addition to the above, we will also consider the following when assessing panel and paper proposals:

  • Interdisciplinarity. We are aware of the fact that EAJS no longer has a separate interdisciplinary section, and that some panel organizers struggle to find a section that matches with research that does not fit neatly within an established subdiscipline. We therefore welcome panels with an interdisciplinary orientation, even if not all papers within the panel relate explicitly to “religion”. For instance, we would consider accepting a panel that approaches human-horse relations in Japanese culture from different disciplinary angles, even if only one of the papers discusses ritual practices.
  • Transnational and/or comparative perspectives. Likewise, we are aware of the fact that conferences such as this one contribute to the reification of “Japan” as a distinct unit of analysis, and do not usually encourage transnational and/or comparative approaches. However, if Gaia theory has taught us one thing, it is that the world is interconnected (Latour 2017), and that analyzing national cultures in isolation may lead to important oversights. We therefore welcome papers and panels that place Japanese practices and ideas in wider regional or transnational contexts and/or compare them with practices and ideas elsewhere.
  • Innovative panel formats. We welcome individual papers, especially by early-career researchers, and especially if they address some of the above topics. We also look forward to receiving panel proposals. These may be “classic” panels—three papers, possibly followed by comments from a discussant—but we also welcome alternative panel formats, such as roundtables, workshop-type panels, book discussions, career-related panels on subjects such as teaching or publishing, or documentary screenings. The maximum length of all panels is 90 minutes.


Diversity: when assessing panel proposals, diversity is an important criterion. We will consider diversity in terms of gender (we strongly discourage single-gender panels), institutional affiliation (panels should include presenters from different universities), seniority (we especially welcome panels that include presenters at different career stages), and national or ethnic background.

The Call for Papers and Panels for the Japanese Language Teaching section will be announced individually at the website of the Association of Japanese Language in Europe. Details will be updated by November.

Japan’s regions and localities in a vulnerable global environment 

Keywords: Japan’s regions, environment, vulnerability, spaces, living, sustainability, pollution, healthcare

This section considers itself an interdisciplinary forum that addresses a wide range of issues and topics normally associated with environmental studies in its broader sense, social geography and urban and rural studies: space and place, urban and regional differences, global environmental phenomena and their local consequences, architecture and the built environment, sociology, anthropology, cultural geography, as well as science and technology studies (STS). One of our long-standing concerns has been the interaction between social, political economic, and environmental change and spatial transformations in Japan. 

Entering the 21th century, the promise of prosperity and welfare made by political actors in Japan is increasingly being challenged by the repercussions of multiple crises unfolding on a global scale. In addition to challenges to the prevailing modes of production and consumption, climate change, the energy crisis, fragile ecosystems as well as the Covid-19 pandemic require further responses at the regional and local levels. Their causes are rooted in the industrialization, urbanization, and establishment of a modern socioeconomic order that began about 250 years ago. Although perceptions of the extent of the consequences vary, current policy responses need to reflect the fact that conventional solutions emphasizing the paradigm of perpetual growth are increasingly considered outdated. 

In our section, we focus on the interconnections between changing natural and living environments and the way this affects contemporary living conditions and lifestyles in urban and rural areas. We emphasize the need to consider the interrelation of processes unfolding on the meso and micro levels with global challenges and their local consequences. To examine these kinds of research questions, novel and interdisciplinary approaches that address the relationships of ecological, living and socioeconomic environments are particularly welcome to reflect on Japan’s regions and localities from the perspective of vulnerable global environments (sekai no naka no Nihon).

In our section call for the 2023 EAJS conference, we therefore invite panels as well as individual papers that address urban, rural, and environmental topics in general, but particularly welcome papers that particularly address the following themes:

  • discourses on sustainability, resilience and revitalization
  • scenarios of rurality and urbanity
  • forms of living and consumption beyond growth 
  • novel / traditional approaches in art, architecture and local culture 
  • digitalization, robotization and living spaces 
  • change of spatial patterns due to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • sustaining regional healthcare: infrastructures of welfare and well-being
  • energy transition and climate change: urban responses, emerging technologies, and local initiatives 
  • biodiversity: alternative ways of farming, utilizing water reservoirs and marine resources as well as cultural ecosystems (i.e., satoyama)
  • citizen science and local knowledge: educational work, participation, and environmental initiatives
  • local responses to pollution, food loss, (plastic) waste and (illegal) dumping
  • vulnerable regions: dealing with disasters, the heat island phenomenon, urban climate and extreme weather conditions 
  • neoliberal city spaces: inclusion / exclusion
  • grassroots networks of collaborative and innovative production and consumption
  • novel and interdisciplinary ways of doing research

Applicants may make a maximum of two separate submissions – provided that at least one of them is co-authored. This means a participant can submit up to one single authored abstract and one co-authored abstract (a co-panellist counts as a single author) or two co-authored abstracts.

Visual Arts and Visionaries

This year’s theme Visual Arts and Visionaries examines individual or collective agents of change in or via the visual arts. We invite speakers to reflect on how visions of change are communicated, processed, and achieved through artistic visual expression. Areas of intersection include artistic visionaries and society (identity, gender, sexuality, racism, justice), institutions (government, education, religion, academism), the natural environment (climate change, disasters, ecocriticism and ecological art history), the past (heritage formation, collecting and archiving, assessing history, received traditions), the present (contemporaneity, political conflict, globalism, mobility), and the future (technology, resilience, sustainability), among others. We also invite discussions of artistic inventiveness and innovation, and reflections on the direction of the fields of art history and visual studies, as narratives and visions constructed through collective effort. The convenors define “visual arts” broadly for this section, and welcome contributions from various fields including studio arts, film, photography, video, design, crafts, architecture, digital art, and popular art and culture. 

The convenors hope to receive proposals for panels and individual papers that demonstrate a wide range of research topics and approaches, with approximately half of the selected proposals reflecting the section theme. 

Decisions about acceptance will be based on academic merit after a thorough review process. Selection criteria will prioritize gender diversity and representation by minority or marginalized groups, strive for diverse global representation, aim to include early-career as well as mid-stage and senior scholars, and welcome proposals from a range of professional backgrounds, including institutional academics, independent scholars, museum professionals, practicing artists and other visual arts professionals.

Please note that all presenters should be EAJS members at the time of the conference. 

Transdisciplinary Panels: Gender Studies, Environmental Humanities, Digital Humanities

Further to the general Call to Sections above, EAJS also calls for Panels and Papers of a Transdisciplinary nature in the following areas within the framework of Japanese Studies:

  • Gender Studies
  • Environmental Humanities
  • Digital Humanities

These new transdisciplinary panels provide a platform for papers/panels in the above fields that cross, combine or generally transcend disciplinary approaches or perspectives. Thus, scholars working in the Japan-related fields of gender, environmental or digital humanities are welcome to propose individual papers or pre-organised panels to this transdisciplinary space if they prefer to discuss their research in an independent setting rather than a disciplinary section.

We strongly request that you only submit papers that are truly transdisciplinary in nature. Papers that have interdisciplinary characteristics but can clearly be assigned to one discipline are requested to be submitted to the appropriate disciplinary section.