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EALL Talk Series

November 15, 3:00pm - 4:00pm
Mānoa Campus, Moore 258


Rewriting Medieval Japanese Women Patronage and Literary Production in the Life of Nun Abutsu

by Christina Laffin (Associate Professor of the University of British Columbia)

Friday, November 15, 2013 3:00-4:00 p.m.

Moore 258

This lecture will consider what we know about Japanese noblewomen of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and introduce future avenues for research. Rewriting Medieval Japanese Women: Politics, Personality, and Literary Production in the Life of Nun Abutsu (Hawai‘i, 2013) argues that Kamakura-period (1185-1336) court women continued to produce memoirs, tales, poetry, poetic commentary, courtly advice, and epistolary literature and shows how these activities were impacted by shifts in the literary and socio-historical landscape.

In this talk, Laffin will demonstrate what can be gleaned from the life and literary works of one woman, Nun Abutsu (1225-1283, 阿仏尼) while expanding these findings and their implications for literary study and women’s history. What can we learn about the status of women, institutional history, and literary patronage based on the extant writings of medieval women? How were women involved in artistic, literary, and religious patronage? Laffin will suggest ways in which our approaches to the study of medieval Japanese literature and women’s writings must be adapted to better encompass the range of works and lives represented.

Christina Laffin is an Associate Professor and the Canada Research Chair in Premodern Japanese Literature and Culture at the University of British Columbia. She has recently published Rewriting Medieval Japanese Women (2013) and is currently researching women’s education, physical mobility, and the role of wet nurses in twelfth to fourteenth-century Japan. Other publications include The Noh Ominameshi (co-editor, 2003) and Gender and Japanese History (managing editor, 1999).

Event Sponsor
EALL, Mānoa Campus

More Information
Saeko Shibayama, 808-956-2071,, Enter Title Here (PDF)

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