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Center for Japanese Studies pres.

CJS Noon Lecture Series | Futurity and the Transhuman in Millennial Japan: The Case of Picturebooks

Heather Blair, Religious Studies, Indiana University Bloomington

Heather Blair, Religious Studies, Indiana University Bloomington Heather Blair, Religious Studies, Indiana University Bloomington
Heather Blair, Religious Studies, Indiana University Bloomington
This talk looks to an unexpected avant-garde—picturebooks—for visions of possibility in millennial Japan. In particular it explores how two illustrator-auteurs, Miroco Machiko (b. 1981) and Arai Ryōji (b. 1956), de-center the human to picture forth a fecund, transhuman multiverse. Both artists operate within a strong postwar tradition of picturebook art, which derives a sense of freedom from its association with youth and play. Here style, far from being merely decorative, shapes our worlds and the possibilities we see in them.

Heather Blair is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University. Her research focuses on lay religiosity and questions of how visual culture and religion intersect in Japan. Her publications include Real and Imagined: The Peak of Gold in Heian Japan (2015) and articles in venues such as Monumenta Nipponica, Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies, and Japanese Journal of Religious Studies. She is currently working on a monograph with the provisional title The Gods Make You Giggle: Finding Religion in Japanese Picturebooks.

If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to attend this event, please reach out to us at least 2 weeks in advance of this event. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Heather Blair, Religious Studies, Indiana University Bloomington Heather Blair, Religious Studies, Indiana University Bloomington
Heather Blair, Religious Studies, Indiana University Bloomington
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