Natural Disaster and Social (In)Justice: One hundred years since the Great Kanto Earthquake in Japan
September 1, 2023 will mark the one hundredth year of the Great Kanto Earthquake in Japan that killed hundreds of thousands of people and damaged vast areas in the vicinity of Tokyo and Yokohama. By the end of that day, 1923, rumors began circulating blaming Koreans for the fire, looting, and rape. As a result, thousands of Koreans in Japan in these areas were hunted down and lynched by Japanese civilian vigilantes. These Koreans were colonial immigrants who moved to Japan seeking work opportunities following Japan’s colonial annexation of Korea in 1910. To this day, we often witness disasters that reveal various forms of xenophobia and racial and ethnic discrimination. For instance, following the recent catastrophic earthquake in Turkey, many Syrian refugees who had settled in the disaster-affected areas were harassed and discriminated against when trying to seek assistance. In this year of the one hundredth anniversary of the Great Kanto Earthquake, the Transnational Asia editorial committee calls for papers that address responses to natural disasters such as earthquakes, storms, floods and famines––responses that are historically conditioned, prioritizing some people and leaving others behind––or worse, eliminating some populations altogether. We interpret “natural disaster” broadly, since more often than not “natural” disasters are not completely natural. Send your 500-word abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The editorial committee of Transnational Asia recently lost its dear friend, Dr. Nanxiu Qian (1947-2022), Professor of Chinese Literature at Rice University. The committee plans to publish a special issue of Transnational Asia commemorating her life and work.
Professor Qian was best known for her pioneering and much-cited work on the enormously influential fifth-century Chinese masterpiece Shishuo xinyu (A New Account of Tales of the World), but she also wrote extensively on a great many other Chinese literary works spanning some two thousand years, from the Lienü zhuan (Biographies of Exemplary Women; first century BCE), to twentieth century fiction in Taiwan, and gender studies in contemporary American scholarship on China. Her last single-authored book was Politics, Poetics, and Gender in Late Qing China: Xue Shaohui and the Era of Reform (Stanford University Press, 2015), a highly regarded political and literary biography of a remarkable woman scholar in late nineteenth and early twentieth century China. Nanxiu was also a dedicated, prize-winning teacher who introduced hundreds of students to the beauty and power of texts written by Chinese women, past and present.
In appreciation of Nanxiu Qian’s wide-ranging scholarship, the editorial committee calls for papers on women and literature in transnational Asia from any historical period. The committee also welcomes diverse genres, ranging from classical prose to online novels and fan fiction. Please direct all inquiries to email@example.com.