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Irish Centre for Poetry Studies

Imagining Japan





Over five days, participants will engage in sessions that will incorporate screenings, workshop discussions and seminars. The Summer School will take place in two parts: June 16-18 (am) on the DCU main campus (Collins Ave., Invent Building, 4th floor) and June 18 (pm)-20 on the Mater Dei Campus (Clonliffe Rd).

In the first part, we will focus on exploring various aspects of the relationship between Literature and the Visual Arts, such as ekphrasis, film adaptation, graphic novels or opera. Special guests will be leading the discussions and workshops, starting with Dr Federico Pagello (QUB), author of several publications on film and popular literature. We will consider such issues as the ethics of film adaptation, digital poetry, and the language and auto- and hetero-representations of picture books and graphic novels, and we shall begin examining these issues in relation to Japan.

In the second part, Japan will be the main zone of exploration. We will be looking at the creative and intellectual imagination and reception of Japan across a range of representations from a plurality of cultural contexts. Sessions will focus on how Japan figures in the work of poets from the US, Ireland and Europe, while attention will also be given to other media. Japan will be considered as a compulsive phenomenon in the “western” imagination, a place (both imagined and real) that is fundamental to modern consciousness. Japan is a key site in world culture in its own right, but it has also made for a fundamental re-orientation in how everyone lives and thinks. Key texts, conceptions and misconceptions about or from Japan will be discussed. Professor Robin Gerster of Monash University will deliver a keynote lecture to the School at Mater Dei on the evening of June 18th. 

Fees for the duration of the Summer School (incl. coffee breaks and lunches, but not The Japanese restaurant on Thursday) are the following:

- €150 for participants outside DCU/ SPD/MD, and €50 for unwaged participants
- €40 to DCU/SPD/MD staff and students.
To get further details, or book a place, email wordimagejapan@dcu.ie.


Robin Gerster



1. 16-18 June 2014, Dublin City University (Invent Building, 4th floor)

9.45-11 am: Dr Federico Pagello (QUB) on “The Reign of Adaptation: Film, Comics and Popular 

11.30 am: Workshop (film, opera and graphic novels)

2.00 pm: Dr Paula Murphy (Mater Dei) on Lost in Translation 

3.30-5 pm: Workshop (the ethics of film adaptation).


17 June
9.45-11 am: Dr Patricia Kennon (NUIM) – title TBC

and Dr Áine McGillicuddy (SALIS) 

11.30 am: Workshop (Imagology and Children’s Literature)

2.00 pm: Dr Ryoko Sasamoto and Dr Minako O’Hagan (SALIS) on Japanese Visual Literature

3.30-5 pm: Workshop (Japanese Picture Books and Mangas).


18 June
9.45 am: Dr Jeneen Naji (NUIM) on “Poetic Machines: an investigation into the impact of the characteristics of the digital apparatus on poetic expression”

11.30 am: Workshop (Modern Ekphrasis and digital, interactive poetry)

Afternoon Visit to the Chester Beatty Library.

2. 18-20 June 2014, The Irish Centre for Poetry Studies, Mater Dei Institute

6.30 p.m. PLENARY LECTURE: “Knowing Nihon: The Limits of Japanology”

by Professor Robin Gerster, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Followed by a RECEPTION and BOOK LAUNCH of Thimblerig by Annette Skade.

19 June
9.30-11.30 am: Round Table and Group work on Japan as Text, Japan as Poem: Roland Barthes’ Empire 

12.00-1.00 pm: Dr Noreen Doody (SPD) on “Yeats and the Noh Play”

2.00- 3.30 pm: Dr Kit Fryatt (ICPS) on “Abuses of the Haiku” and Group Work

3.45-5.00 pm: Dr Alex Runchman on “Anglo-Japan: William Empson and Japan”

7.00 pm: Dinner in a Japanese Restaurant (not included in fee).

20 June
9.30- 10.30 am: Dr Michelle O’Riordan (History/ICPS, MDI) on “To them the half-said thing was misunderstood”: Medieval Irish Poetry, Japanese Poetics?

10.30-11.00 am: Dave Lordan reads his Japan poem.

11.15-1.15 pm: Session on “Japan and America, Inside and Out” with:

- Dr Philip Coleman (TCD) “‘Seven thousand miles the other way’: John Berryman in Japan”

- Dr Michael Hinds (ICPS): “Guitar Wolf and the Nuking of Summertime Blues”

Followed by group responses to a range of texts.

CLOSE: Throw your books away, rally in the streets (1971).