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Simpson Center for the Humanities

Davinder Bhowmik

Writing Okinawa: Narrative Acts of Identity and Resistance book cover
Writing Okinawa: Narrative Acts of Identity and Resistance (Routledge, 2008)
Tuesday, February 3, 2009 - 4:00pm
Communications 202

Writing Okinawa: Narrative Acts of Identity and Resistance is the first comprehensive English-language study of Okinawan fiction, from its emergence in the early twentieth century through its most recent permutations. During this period the island experienced imperial subjectification, wartime annihilation, a protracted American occupation, and reversion to Japan. The book provides readings of major authors and texts set against the region’s political and social history. It also engages with current critical perspectives on subaltern identity, colonialism, and post-colonialism, as well as the nature of regional, minority, and minor literatures. The book argues that by consciously exploiting—to good effect—the overlap between regional and minority literature, Okinawa’s writers have produced a rich body of work, much of which challenges the notion of a unified nation arising from a single language and culture.

Davinder Bhowmik’s research focuses on questions of history, memory, and representation in atomic bomb fiction, as well as issues of language, identity, and culture in Okinawan fiction. In addition to Writing Okinawa: Narrative Acts of Identity and Resistance,  she is also the author of “Literature as Public Memory: The Writings of Medoruma Shun” in Japaneseness versus Ryukyuanism: Papers Read at the Fourth International Conference on Okinawa Studies (2006) and other works on modern Japanese literature. She teaches courses on modern Japanese literature and cinema.