rss_2.0Literary Studies FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Literary Studies Studies Feed Transfer during the Warring States Period: Considering the Importance of Early China’s Relationship with the Steppes<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> This paper focuses on the contact between pre-imperial China and the peoples living on the steppes in her vicinity. For all the obscurity that had been shrouding the steppe inhabitants throughout centuries of historical scholarship, archaeological discoveries during the past century attest to their highly developed culture and economy and, what is more, make obvious that they had been entertaining close relations with the Chinese from as early as the second millennium BCE. Following a line of scholarship which has set out to redefine the role of the steppes in world history on the basis of this new data, this paper aims to demonstrate certain aspects of the important role they played in the history of China. Several very impactful innovations diffused to early China through interactions with the steppes, influencing Chinese history to a major degree. The paper specifically concentrates on a timeframe surrounding the Warring States Period (c. 500- 221 BCE), during which a couple of key innovations can be shown to have been adopted from the steppes. Furthermore, it illustrates the impact of these innovations on historical developments within China, thereby reinforcing the argument that the role of the steppes in Chinese history was one of tremendous importance.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2018-12-05T00:00:00.000+00:00Nihon-Robotto-Ron: A Deconstruction of the Japanese ‘Robot Kingdom’ Phenomenon<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>This paper attempts to deconstruct the image of Japan as the ‘Robot Kingdom’. The genesis of this image is analysed and integrated in the nihonron, an essentialist discourse on Japan, by taking into account the perspectives of different academic disciplines such as computer science and cultural studies. The different strands of the discourse are critically evaluated. In this way, the structure of the image of the ‘Robot Kingdom’ will become visible and can be analysed in the context of the nihonron.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2018-12-05T00:00:00.000+00:00Oral Corrective Feedback: Examining Teacher- Initiated Correction of CFL (Chinese as a Foreign Language) Learners’ Pronunciation Errors<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> This paper examines oral corrective feedback strategies in regard to pronunciation errors in a Chinese foreign language classroom. Traditional oral corrective feedback typologies (Lyster and Ranta 1997; Ellis and Sheen 2006; Sheen 2011) have been combined with Chinese pronunciation teaching methods and investigated in a case study conducted at the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Vienna. Two sessions of first year Chinese language laboratory classes were observed and recorded. The qualitative data analysis was carried out in two stages. First, traditional oral corrective feedback typologies were applied to the collected material in order to find out which types of corrective feedback were used (deductive analysis). The results revealed that corrective feedback on pronunciation errors are mostly given in an explicit manner. Therefore, as a second step, a differentiated typology of explicit correction was developed (inductive analysis). The main findings of this study are that pronunciation errors in a Chinese foreign language classroom are corrected explicitly and treated with methods of 1) explication, 2) comparison, and 3) reduction. The explicitness of these methods is further enhanced by 1) paralinguistic cues (stress, speech rate modification), 2) visualisations (gestures) and 3) additional verbalisation.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2018-12-05T00:00:00.000+00:00Sustainability in Hunting Licence Systems of Japan and South Korea<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> This paper compares the different terrestrial hunting (licence) systems of Japan and South Korea. In order to test their sustainable resource use the silvicultural model and categories by Josef Hackl, Felix Heckl, Martin Forstner, Wolfgang Lexer, and Friedrich Reimoser have been adapted and modified to the circumstances of these two nations. Sustainability will be analysed according to three columns of ecological, economic, and socio-cultural sustainability. The multidisciplinary theoretical approach to sustainability discourses includes the theories of public goods, property rights, and co-management strategies, based on Garrett Hardin’s controversial essay The Tragedy of the Commons. Hardin’s resource exploitation dilemma has been refuted many times. The working hypothesis is therefore based on a bottom-up approach of decentralisation and subsidiarity mainly based on the assumptions of Elinor Ostrom and Fikret Berkes, in which the preservation of local and therefore context-bound knowledge plays a significant role in the sustainable management of impure public goods like game. The paper seeks to compare current laws on hunting, weapons, wildlife, and environmental protection as well as to take a look at existing local hunting customs and the historic reasons for their disappearance.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2018-12-05T00:00:00.000+00:00International Peace Cooperation Activities of Japan and the Republic of Korea between 2000 and 2010: A Comparative Analysis<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> International peace cooperation plays an important role in international relations. National interests and power balances lead to situations in which national security, human security and peace are often threatened, and international cooperation is required. The desire for peace and security is a motivating factor for states to engage in cooperation and to foster a more stable and secure environment, which in turn will also facilitate further social, political and economic development in individual countries as well as worldwide. Due to globalisation, the interconnectedness and interdependence of states in various contexts has significantly increased. This development has also led to a growing demand and need for cooperation between states to take collective action and to commonly solve regional as well as global challenges, such as peace and relevant security issues but also issues of economic, social and political importance. The aim of this paper is to present a comparative analysis and to give an overview of Japan and the Republic of Korea’s efforts and actions concerning peace cooperation in order to promote regional and global peace between 2000 and 2010-apart from the commonly known international peacekeeping operations. How do both states’ global peace supporting activities compare to each other, and is it possible to identify differences in their approaches towards international peace cooperation?</p></abstract>ARTICLE2018-12-05T00:00:00.000+00:00Liberty in Harmony: An Integration of Confucian Harmony and Liberalism in Contemporary China<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> As the mainstream ideology, Confucian harmony deeply influences ways of thinking and social life in the East. Contemporary China has experienced quite a radical change since the Xīnhài Revolution in 1911. It also marked the re-examination of Confucianism, i.e. the development of New Confucianism. New Confucianism needs to encourage China to fit the modern and global context. Therefore, the revival of Confucian harmony must remake itself to fit the modern world. A certain degree of convergence between Confucian harmony and liberalism, the mainstream ideology in the West, is necessary. Personal improvement is a hotly disputed idea among Chinese Confucians and Western liberals because transformation of public ethics is closely related to transformations of the self. This paper argues the importance of integration between harmony and liberalism. What is important is to explore how each tradition can shed light on theoretical and practical issues regarding harmony between the individual and the community, rather than individual sovereignty over communal claims in ideological studies.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2018-12-05T00:00:00.000+00:00The Relation between Economic Development and International Trade: A Comparative Analysis of East Asian and Southeast Asian Economies<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> The impressive economic development of East Asian and Southeast Asian countries, like China, Japan, South Korea, or Singapore, is often described as the ‘Asian economic miracle’. The transition from a less developed economy to an industrialised country and successful integration into the global economy within a relatively short period of time are characteristics of the economic development process. Academic research is dominated by a general agreement on the causal relationship between economic development and international trade. The research goal of this paper is to analyse the impact of the level of economic development on the degree of international trade in the economies of China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Thailand. The applied research model does not follow the traditional research mainstream but rather introduces relative shares of GDP-related industrial output and of manufactures exports by adopting national as well as international perspectives instead. Descriptive trend analysis, correlation analysis and regression analysis are conducted in order to test the hypotheses. The results do not support conventional academic wisdom. A statistically reasonable causality between the level of economic development, in terms of relative industrial output, and the degree of international trade, in terms of relative industrial exports, could not be confirmed.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2018-12-05T00:00:00.000+00:00Queer Desire in Japanese TV Series<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>This article provides an analysis of representations of sexual minorities in Japanese TV series. It outlines how homosexual and queer desire is depicted and how stereotypes and tropes are used in the construction of queer characters in this media format. The article also illuminates the ways in which TV series differentiate between depictions of same-sex romance and opposite-sex romance. The corpus of analysed TV series spans a period of twenty-five years. Thus, the analysis also sheds light on changes in the representation of sexual minorities over time. Examples from recent TV series point to a more positive and sometimes didactic approach towards the topic of homosexuality in Japanese mainstream media.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Songs of Japanese Prisoners of War in the Soviet Union after World War II<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The Second World War ended with Japan’s capitulation after the disastrous nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Subsequently, approximately 700,000 Japanese soldiers were selected as captives to undertake physical labour in Soviet prison camps. After returning to Japan, some of them wrote about their lives in the Soviet Union, drew pictures about their experiences, or wrote about their favourite songs that they had sung during their imprisonment.</p><p>My study of various reports of Japanese prisoners of war (POWs) after the Second World War surprisingly revealed that not only traumatic conditions during forced labour were published, but also social interactions in the form of joint artistic activities such as making music, producing theatre plays, and staging sports competitions. The prisoners have often retrospectively described these as strikingly positive events during their years of internment in the Soviet Union. This article analyses a total of thirty-four songs sung and composed by Japanese POWs during captivity on a lyrical level (text analysis). In doing so, I adopt a new approach to interpreting the social conditions during the imprisonment of Japanese soldiers in the Soviet Union.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Discourses of “Herbivore Masculinity” in Japanese Love Advice Books<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>In the last decade, discourses of non-conforming masculinities have become increasingly prominent in Japanese mass media. In particular, the so-called “herbivore men” have been made infamous by Japanese newspapers and were accused of being responsible for sinking birth rates and economic stagnation in Japan (Schad-Seifert 2016). In this article, I explore the discourse on the “herbivore men” in Japanese love advice books which are meant to guide and inform the (female) reader’s assessment of potential romantic partners. Utilising Siegfried Jäger’s methodological approach (2015), this discursive analysis focuses on the line of discourse that implicitly criticises the “herbivore men” and rejects their turn away from hegemonic images of masculinity. The analysis yields that the “herbivore man” is constructed as an ‘unnatural’ form of masculinity in these publications, which allegedly causes women to become sexually active and career-driven “carnivores.” Japanese women’s empowerment from hegemonic gender ideals is thereby misrepresented as a symptom of psychological distress due to changing masculinities. By perpetuating ideas of biological determinism linked to the backlash against the “gender-free” movement in the early 2000s, this line of discourse propagates problematic relations of gender and power in Japanese society.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00The Stranger and Others: The Life and Legacy of the Japanese Ethnologist Oka Masao<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Oka Masao (1898–1982) was a leading figure in the establishment of Japanese ethnology (cultural anthropology) since the 1930s and taught many of the next generation of ethnologists from Japan. He travelled to Vienna in 1929 to learn the methodology for studying the ethnogenesis of his own country, putting forward theories that questioned tennō-ideology of the time and became highly influential. During the war, he pushed for the establishment of an Ethnic Research Institute (Minken) to support the government in their ethnic policy in the occupied territories. Oka was also the founder of Japanese Studies at the University of Vienna in 1938. Despite these important—and at time controversial—roles, he is relatively unknown today. This article introduces recent scholarship on Oka’s life and legacy. It raises important questions about the role of ethnologists in politically sensitive times and counter-balances the Anglo-American narrative of the history of ethnology or social and cultural anthropology of Japan.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00The Philippines and Vietnam’s Responses to the Permanent Court of Arbitration’s Final Award on the Arbitration Case Initiated by the Philippines Against China over the South China Sea (July 2016)<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>In July 2016, the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) issued its final award on the South China Sea dispute between the Philippines and China that caught the attention of the international community. Since this was the first time that a claimant in the South China Sea had ever referred the case to an international juridical body in an effort to settle the dispute, the responses of both claimant and non-claimant stakeholders were awaited. Realising the relevance of the issue, I conduct a comparative study of the responses to the PCA’s final award to two major claimants with similar positions on the South China Sea—the Philippines and Vietnam. The main aim of this study is to indicate the similarities and/or differences in the way these two states responded to the final decisions of the PCA. The study finds that even though both the Philippines and Vietnam reacted to the award in a similar manner, the motives behind their responses were different. In general, the South China Sea policy of the Philippines has always been less consistent than that of Vietnam, which can be explained through each state’s foreign policy tendencies.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00The Cultural and Educational Dimension of the “New Silk Road:” The Re-invention of Mongolness at the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>In October 2013, Xí Jìnpíng presented not only an ambitious infrastructure project but a strategic initiative that promoted connections in many regards: the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). One intended strategic value of this initiative is the improvement of relations between China and its neigh-bours as well as the improvement of dialogue among different civilizations. Emphasis is placed on the importance of the shared historical cultural heritage of the involved ethnic groups, while the idea of a ‘harmonious society’ is promoted at the same time. The aim of this article is to shed light on how China expands its soft power through civilizational connections along the Sino-Mongolian-Russian Economic Corridor by referring to the Silk Road Academic Belt. This article is based on ethnographic field research in Hénán Mongol Autonomous County in the Sino-Tibetan borderlands of Qīnghǎi Province during an international conference titled “Historical and Cultural Links between Mongolia and Tibet,” held in July 2017.<sup>1</sup></p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00On the Origins of the Japanese Language<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>In this article, I deal with the historical development of the Japanese language by applying a multi-disciplinary approach that uses data from a variety of fields. My research indicates that the home-land of the Japonic language family may have been in the lower Yangtze River Valley, from where its speakers moved to the Korean Peninsula and eventually to Japan during the Yayoi period. This spread is associated with the dispersal of wet rice agriculture from the area south of the Yangtze River via the northeastern Asian mainland, where it was in contact with cultures cultivating millet. Old Japanese mythology and genealogical data suggests that the earliest known ethnic group that spoke Japonic may have been the Hayato people of southern Kyūshū.<sup>1</sup></p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-12-30T00:00:00.000+00:00Nurslings of Protestantism: the Questionable Privilege of Freedom in Charlotte Brontë’s Villette<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> In Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, a number of foreigners at various points express their amazement or admiration of the behaviour of Englishwomen, who, like the novel’s narrator Lucy Snowe, travel alone, visit public places unchaperoned and seem on the whole to lead much less constrained lives than their Continental counterparts. This notion was apparently quite widespread at this time, as the readings of various Victorian texts confirm - they often refer to the independence Englishwomen enjoyed, sometimes with a note of caution but often in a self-congratulatory manner. Villette, the novel which, similarly to its predecessor, The Professor, features a Protestant protagonist living in a Catholic country, makes a connection between Lucy’s Protestantism and her freedom, considered traditionally in English political discourse to be an essentially English and Protestant virtue. However, as the novel shows, in the case of women the notion of freedom is a complicated issue. While the pupils at Mme Beck’s pensionnat have to be kept in check by a sophisticated system of surveillance, whose main purpose is to keep them away from men and sex, Lucy can be trusted to behave according to the Victorian code of conduct, but only because her Protestant upbringing inculcated in her the need to control her desires. The Catholics have the Church to play the role of the disciplinarian for them, while Lucy has to grapple with and stifle her own emotions with her own hands, even when the repression is clearly the cause of her psychosomatic illness. In the end, the expectations regarding the behaviour of women in England and Labassecour are not that much different; the difference is that while young Labassecourians are controlled by the combined systems of family, school and the Church, young Englishwomen are expected to exercise a similar control on their own.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2015-03-04T00:00:00.000+00:00The Transformations of the Novelistic Canon: the Comparison of Daniel Defoe’s and Penelope Aubin’s Dedication to Truth and Virtue<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p> The aim of the article is to discuss the evolution of the concept of the literary canon in the context of eighteenth-century fiction. The concept of the literary canon has been traditionally associated with timeless, universal values which transcend the ideological conditions of the period in which texts are created. In present criticism, which is shaped by cultural studies, the association of a canon with universality has been challenged. A canon has been recognised by cultural critics as an instrument of an ideological power struggle which presents the values of dominant social groups as universal. The analysis of novels written by Penelope Aubin and Daniel Defoe at the beginning of the eighteenth century demonstrates that the study of literature only from an ideological viewpoint does not account for the workings of the literary canon. Both Aubin and Defoe employ the same formula of fiction, adventure story with a moral commentary, but while Defoe's fiction has survived in literary histories, Aubin's stories, after their initial success, fell into oblivion and have been rediscovered only recently by feminist critics. The varying fates of Aubin's and Defoe's fiction point to the insufficiency of the definition of canon which binds literary value too strongly with ideology.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2015-03-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Transatlantic Context for Gaelic Language Revitalisation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The notion of the ‘new speaker’, and its salience particularly in relation to minority language sociolinguistics, has become increasingly prevalent in the last decade. The term refers to individuals who have acquired an additional language to high levels of oracy and make frequent use of it in the course of their lives. Language advocates in both Scotland and Nova Scotia emphasise the crucial role of new speakers in maintaining Gaelic on both sides of the Atlantic. As a result, Gaelic language teaching has been prioritised by policymakers as a mechanism for revitalising the language in both polities. This article examines reflexes of this policy in each country, contrasting the ongoing fragility of Gaelic communities with new speaker discourses around heritage, identity, and language learning motivations. Crucially, I argue that challenging sociodemographic circumstances in Gaelic communities in Scotland and Nova Scotia contrast with current policy discourses, and with new speaker motivations for acquiring higher levels of Gaelic oracy in North America.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2021-09-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Bericht von der 21. Internationalen Arbeitstagung der GTA in Warschau (2019) Simplicity: The True Role of Prägnanz and Occam<abstract><title style='display:none'>Summary</title><p>In recent years, the concept of simplicity in perception has acquired a leading role, above all thanks to scholars linked to Bayesian modeling and to theories like structural information theory derived from information theory. Unfortunately, two misleading ideas made their way into the discussion: that in perception, simplicity is equivalent to Prägnanz and that Occam’s razor plays a role in the simplicity of percepts. Here it is shown that in Gestalt theory, simplicity is only one of the factors of Prägnanz and that the use of Occam’s razor is improper, because it applies only to the theories that generate, in this case, a percept, and not to the product of the theory.</p></abstract>ARTICLE2019-11-26T00:00:00.000+00:00Editorial