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THIRD LECTURE "The Meiji Restoration as Globalization: Currency and Culture" (Friday, November 30)

The Stanford University-J. F. Oberlin University Commemorative Lecture Series
SpeakerMARK RAVINA (Professor of History, Emory University)
LanguageEnglish (Q&A may be in Japanese)
Date and timeNovember 30, 2012 (Friday), 16:10-17:40
PlaceTaiheikan, Room A302, Machida Campus

Abstract: The Meiji Restoration is often described as a “modernizing” or “Westernizing” event. But to arrive at an accurate assessment of the extraordinary dynamism of Japan in the nineteenth century, we have to appreciate that Meiji “modernization” and “Westernization” had paradoxical aspects. Many Meiji reforms involved both modern, Western technology and the celebration of Japanese uniqueness and tradition. This lecture illustrates with visual evidence how reforms could be both “modern” and “traditional,” both “Japanese” and “Western.”

Mark Ravina (A.B., 1983, Columbia University; M.A., 1988, and Ph.D., 1991, Stanford University), specializes in Japanese history, especially eighteenth- and nineteenth-century politics. He is the author of Land and Lordship in Early Modern Japan (Stanford University Press, 1999; published in Japanese as Meikun no satetsu [NTT Shuppan, 2004]) and a biography of Saigō Takamori entitled The Last Samurai (John Wiley & Sons, 2004). Interested in the transnational and international dimension of statebuilding, he is working on a history of the Meiji Restoration for Oxford University Press to be called Japan’s Nineteenth Century Revolution: A Transnational History of the Meiji Restoration. His essay “State-Making in Global Context: Japan in a World of Nation-States” in The Teleology of the Modern Nation-State, ed. Joshua Fogel (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005) treated some of the themes that will be developed in Japan’s Nineteenth Century Revolution.