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A Tiger's Leap: Walter Benjamin and (East) Asia

Date: 20 January 2012 Time: 11am - 3.30pm (lunch break 12.30-2pm)

Venue: Bowland North Seminar Room 21

The German-Jewish critical cultural theorist Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) is now widely recognised as one of the most original and insightful thinkers of the twentieth century and his provocative and challenging ideas and concepts continue to be keenly debated today. This open event provides an informal forum in which we will explore, on the one hand, an unusual aspect of his writings (Benjamin's own fragmentary and fleeting encounters with Asian cultures) and on the other, an issue of increasing importance (the reception, significance and adaptation of his work for contemporary East Asian studies).

This event is organised into two parts each scheduled for 90 minutes chaired by Dr Graeme Gilloch (Sociology, Lancaster). In the morning, there will be a roundtable discussion on the theme of "Asia in Benjamin, Benjamin in Asia." We are delighted to welcome as panellists three high-flying cultural theorists from the Republic of Korea working at the cutting edge of contemporary Critical Theory in East Asian contexts:

Dr Jeesoon Hong (Department of East Asian Studies, University of Manchester)

Professor Jaeho Kang (Department of Media and Film, New School, New York)

Professor Chang Nam Lee (Research Institute of Comparative History and Culture, Hanyang University, Seoul)

The afternoon session, commencing at 2pm, will be run as an academic seminar discussing Benjamin's little-known review published in 1938: 'Chinese Paintings at the Bibliotheque Nationale.'

This will provide a forum and focus for open discussion welcoming contributions from ALL participants.

Copies of the text will be available prior to the event.

This is an open and informal event and will be of particular interest to all colleagues and postgraduate students working in the area of media and cultural studies. It is free and there is no preregistration. Just turn up and be ready to talk!


Who can attend: Anyone


Further information

Organising departments and research centres: Sociology


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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