P31. Establishing An Early Medieval Japan Group

Session: Session 5, 10:15- 11:45 am, Saturday 9/30

Category: Roundtable

Location: Honors

Chair: Gian Piero Persiani, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

• Gian Piero Persiani, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
• Paula Curtis, University of California Los Angeles
• Charo D’Etcheverry, University of Wisconsin-Madison
• Naomi Fukumori, Ohio State University
• Ethan Segal, Michigan State University
• Philip Brown, Ohio State University
• Carol Symes, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

Abstract: Unlike other periods of Japanese history, the early medieval period (ca. 500-1200) lacks a dedicated professional group where scholars in different disciplines may gather, interact, and share research in a collaborative environment. Consequently, specialists are often in the dark about exciting work being conducted at different institutions, especially if outside their discipline and
primary area of focus. This roundtable is a first step toward establishing such a group. Scholars in different fields dealing with early (ca. 500 to 800) and Heian (800-1200) Japan will share ideas about the structure and mission of the group, and collectively we will devise a basic work plan. A key issue will be deciding the name of the group. “Heian” is dear to many, but it is not intelligible outside Japanese Studies. “Early medieval” aligns with global historiographic practice, but it invites confusion with chase within Japanese Studies.

• Gian Piero Persiani (UIUC) will kick off the proceedings by briefly introducing the idea of the group and identify some core issues for discussion.
• Philip Brown (OSU) will report on his experience successfully running the Early Modern Japan Network (EMJN).
• Paula Curtis (UCLA) will share her expertise creating and managing online projects and initiatives such as the Japan Past & Present project.
• Naomi Fukumori (OSU), Charo D’Etcheverry (UW-Madison), and Ethan Segal (MSU) will share their vision for the group and
address issues such as funding, governance, and future collaboration with groups outside the U.S.
• Remarks by the presenters will be followed by a response by historian and medieval studies scholar
Carol Symes (UIUC).
• An open discussion with speakers and the audience will follow.