Kinema Club XIII

Friday, January 17, 2014 to Saturday, January 18, 2014
Reischauer Institute, Harvard University
City and State: 
Cambridge, MA
Alex Zahlten

Please join us for the 13th Kinema Club Conference for Film and Moving Images from Japan on January 17 & 18, 2014, at Harvard University. You can find the schedule and additional information on the conference website.

Conference venue:
The conference will take place in the CGIS South building (1730 Cambridge Street), where the Reischauer Institute for Japanese Studies is located. You can find a small map here.

Online exhibition:

To accompany the conference, the students in the Three Times +1 course given at the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations during the fall/winter semester have designed and curated an online exhibition - one that you shouldn’t miss! You can explore the exhibition here.


We ask those interested in attending the conference to register online at the conference website. Registration is free, and pre-registration is only used to give us an idea of the number of attendees.

Anyone interested in coming is welcome to attend. We look forward to seeing you at KC XIII!

Call for Papers for:

Kinema Club XIII
at Harvard University

Three Times +X. Transitional Moments in Film and Media History in Japan

Dates: January 17, 2014
Reischauer Institute, Harvard University
Deadine for submissions: August 20, 2013

We welcome submissions for the 13th Kinema Club Conference on Film and Moving Images from Japan!

This Kinema Club will focus on three transitional moments in the history of film and media in Japan, centered around the years 1927, 1962, and 1995. Additionally, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Reischauer Institute, we will include the year 1973.

Panel proposals on additional years are also possible (though not individual papers), as are panels on questions of historiography in relation to research on film and moving images from Japan.

The concept is therefore somewhat different from previous Kinema Clubs. By focusing respective sessions on specific years, we will be able to recognize heterogeneous constellations. These can be what Harry Harootunian has (in reference to Ernst Bloch) called “noncontemporaneous contemporaneity“, or due to other factors of industry or audience segmentation. These constellations can include relations across different genres, distribution networks, or media platforms at a given historical moment. It will allow recognizing what we might call contradictory coherences of aesthetic, social, and political history.

For this we have selected three years that are often regarded, for different reasons, as transitional:

  • 1927 is the year that Komatsu Hiroshi sees as foundational for modernism in the cinema of Japan, strongly influenced by the 1923 earthquake in Kantô.
  • 1962/3 is the time of the appearance of Pink Film and Ninkyô Yakuza film, and the production of the first anime, Tetsuwan Atomu / Astro Boy (even if the first broadcast took place on January 1, 1963). It the year after a large part of Shin Toho’s archives were sold to television, making Japanese films produced for the cinema available on TV for the first time.
  • 1995 is often discussed as a year of crisis and rupture, deeply leaving its mark on moving image culture. After the burst of the bubble and the re-organization of the film industry, it is the year in which Neon Genesis Evangelion is broadcast. It is the time when Japanese film is re-”discovered” at international film festivals.

and as a bonus option and due to the 40th anniversary, we include the year 1973, the year of the founding of the Reischauer Institute.

Panel submissions of at least three presenters that focus on additional years are also welcome!


The conference will be held on January 17 at the Reischauer Institute at Harvard University.


Please send abstracts of up to 200 words or any questions to:

Deadline for submissions is August 20, 2013.

We hope to see you there!

Alexander Zahlten
Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Harvard University