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Grant number like: FT-59768-12

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Doug Slaymaker
University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY 40506-0001)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2012 – 8/31/2012

Paris mon amour: Paris in the Japanese Imagination

In this project I track Japanese artists who travelled to France early in the twentieth century. I analyze the representation of Paris in Japanese fiction and art; I look at the details of travel in an often inhospitable language and culture to historicize the cosmopolitan and international; and I analyze how the Japanese experience participated in the European conceptualization of race and of the modern. "Paris" tethers numerous image systems in Japan and can be seen in all arenas of cultural production. The artists of my study navigate Paris, steering between two poles where Japan lies on one side while Paris (representative of the Western) is on the other. I bring the Japanese experience of this "international" city that was ostensibly "free from racism" to bear on our understandings of the interplay of race, culture, and class in the modern period. Further, I expand the history of fiction and painting in Japan, but also augment our understanding of the modern in Europe.