Brian Hurley assistant professor of Japanese literature, film & culture at Syracuse University
In 1957, Edwin McClellan published his English translation of one of the most famous novels of modern Japan, Kokoro (1914) by Natsume Soseki. The translation has long been celebrated in the field of “Japan Studies,” but it was originally conceived in a different context: on the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago, where it served as a companion to the dissertation about Soseki that McClellan completed under the tutelage of Friedrich Hayek, an Austrian economist whose influence has been cited at the origins of “neoliberalism.”
This presentation offers a close reading of McClellan’s Kokoro translation that reconnects it to its original context of reception on the midcentury American right. Bringing together economic and aesthetic forms of imagination, it will tell the unlikely story of how a Japanese novel conspired with some of the most influential and controversial trends in Cold War thought.
Sponsored by the Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs, Academic Enrichment Fund, East Asian Studies Program, the Department of History and the Department of Japanese Studies
- Sponsored by:
- Rohatyn Center for Global Affairs; History; Japanese; East Asian Studies