CFP: “Philosophy and Aesthetics of Sexuality in Japan”, 55 (4/2019)
Editors: Timon Screech (SOAS, University of London, United Kingdom), Gabriela Matusiak (Jagiellonian University, Poland). Submission deadline: May 15, 2019.
Sex is one of the most essential elements of human life. Without it, the continuity of the generations of any nation would be impossible. Desire, whether unfulfilled or otherwise, sexual fantasies come true, religious, social, and moral taboos—all of these elements have influenced the shaping of sexuality in any given culture, while sublimation of this sphere of life has been reflected in art, literature, philosophy, the performing arts, pop culture, and many other areas. However, due to differences in cultural patterns, the results may be different, strange, incomprehensible, and sometimes even unacceptable to viewers from another part of the world who are unfamiliar with their historical or sociocultural context. So it is with Japan. According to Ruth Benedict, “[i]n the seventy-five years that have passed since the opening of Japan to the world, the Japanese have become the heroes of such fantastic stories that no other nation in the world can compare with them in this respect.” Decades have passed since the publication of her book about Japan, and yet many stereotypes about the Japanese, and especially about their sex life, continue to circulate. On one hand, Japan appears, in the general consensus, as a land of sexual peculiarities and deviations, often inconceivable to Westerners, assumed to date from “ancient” times; on the other hand, the media informs us of the latest research results, according to which the Japanese have completely given up cohabitation.
We invite authors to submit articles concerning the topic of sexuality in Japan, covering this issue from the point of view of esthetics and philosophy, as broadly understood, including:
sexuality manifested in the form of creativity in various fields of art, in the bodies of work of selected artists or in individual works of painting, literature, film, photography, etc., both historic and contemporary;
sublimation and desublimation of sexuality, the imposition or removal of taboos, changes in the perception of chosen aspects of this sphere of life in selected historical epochs or individual cases;
sexuality vis-à-vis philosophical and philosophical-religious systems in Japan (Buddhism, Shintō, Confucianism, Taoism, etc.);
contemporary esthetization of sexuality in pop culture.
We encourage authors to seek unconventional perspectives on sexuality in Japan. We’re interested in articles that address this topic in an innovative, not merely descriptive, manner (e.g., in the case of a work of art).