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The Representation of Japan in the Replublic of Letters

The Representation of Japan in the Replublic of Letters
The Japan Foundation, 131 Bloor Street West, suite 213
Time: Nov 21st, 6:30 pm End: Nov 21st, 8:30 pm
Interest Categories: Philosophy (FAS), Humanities, History (FAS), French (FAS), East Asian Studies (FAS), Diaspora/Transnational, Communications, Book History/Print Culture, 1800-1900, 1500-1800
Talk by Francesco Campagnola, Ghent University

The Department of French and the Japan Foundation are pleased to present:

Professor Francesco Campagnola, Ghent University

The Representation of Japan in the Republic of Letters

Prof. Francesco Campagnola will be introduced by Prof. Thomas Keirstead (Chair, Department of East Asian Studies, University of Toronto)

This lecture will explore the cultural and symbolic representation of Japan in the Republic of Letters, the intellectual community of early modern Europe. The place of Japan as an object of curiosity from the end of the seventeenth until the mid-eighteenth century shall be highlighted by focussing on the scholarly journals of the time because they were the most up-to-date instruments of communication within the emerging international community of scholars. More specifically, an analysis of a restricted pool of French-language journals will reveal the range of topics to which Japan was more commonly connected to, and the role it played in the development of the increasingly comprehensive knowledge of early modern savants. This will make possible, on the one hand, to show the rhetorical value of Japan in the shaping of new, expanded and comprehensive representations of the world; on the other, to draw a picture of the unique features of its representations. How such representations relate to different identities within the Republic of Letters itself will be the final object of discussion in the talk.

Prof. Francesco Campagnola is Assistant Professor at Ghent University (Belg.) and a Fellow of the Institute for Research in Humanities (Kyoto U.).  He has written several articles about the intellectual relations between Japan and Western philosophy, and he is the author of Theories of Analogy in Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century England and Ireland. The End of the Unity of Reason (Firenze: Olschki, 2012).

This event is free and open to all. Registration is not required. For further information, please contact the Department of French at (416) 926-2302.

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