Volume 3, Fall 2022
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ItemHokkaido Dialect as the Tongue of Revolution – A Literary-sociolinguistic Analysis of Kobayashi Takiji’s The Crab Cannery Ship( 2022)There is much to be said from both literary and linguistic scholars alike about the use of non-standard language. While each have different primary motivations for investigating linguistic variation, there is much each field may borrow from the other in unraveling their differing questions. This paper attempts such a methodological feat by utilizing textual analytical practices from both sociolinguistic and literary fields and applying them to the literary spectrum of material. Analyzing non-standard dialect use in Takiji Kobayashi’s 1929 piece The Crab Cannery Ship, this paper addresses the following questions: (1) how do characters’ use of dialect construct their class identity, and (2) how are those identities key for achieving the goals of proletarian literature. Quantitative and qualitative analysis reveals that Hokkaido Dialect (HD) is positioned as a marginalized style against hegemonic use of Standard Japanese (SJ) and that, while HD may be the tongue of revolutionaries, SJ remains the ideologically powerful variety in disseminating the proletarian message. The paper concludes with the advantages and challenges of a literary-sociolinguistic framework for analysis as well as a call for further research from this perspective.
ItemAnalysis of University-level Japanese as a Foreign Language (JFL) Classrooms( 2022)Identity research has been popularized in recent SLA research. However, recent research has challenged this static view and shed light on various other aspects of teacher/learners. This study builds on this recent development and examines three instances where students learning Japanese as a Foreign Language (JFL) at a university in America challenge teacher authority in different ways. This paper employs a Conversational Analysis (CA)-inspired method for analyzing the interactions, as CA allows us to take a closer look at how the participants in a moment-by-moment interaction and provide a close analysis of how the interaction unfolds through talk-in-interaction as well as embodied gestures while the participants come together to co-construct and negotiate meaning in social interaction. As shown in all three excerpts, there is a very clear presence of the institutional teacher-student identities, which the participants never slipped out of these situated identities despite the boundaries of authority being pushed or temporarily handed over. In addition, it seems that class dynamics also play a huge role in setting the tone of the classroom and also sets the capacity for how much the boundaries of authority can or cannot be negotiated.
ItemSpace, Illness, and An Alternative History of Modernity in Dr. Ma's Country Clinic( 2022)Cong Feng’s 2007 documentary Dr. Ma’s Country Clinic presents the audience with a microcosm of the rural life in the town of Huangyangchuan, Gansu Province, located in the northwestern area of China. Centered on Doctor Ma, the only doctor in that area, and his daily life in his clinic, the camera stretches out to the patients’ families, the landscape of northwest China, the villagers’ migration, and the scenes of folk rituals. The various spaces presented in the film provide a unique perspective to reexamine the formation of illness in modern society, which calls into question the concept of “modern.” This paper examines the various spaces presented in the film which are interrelated with each other through the medium of illness, illustrates the way villagers establish and develop their social relations within the spaces, and sheds light on how those social relations are in contrast to or at least challenging the linear historical narrative of modernity. With Michel Foucault’s theory of biopolitics, this paper scrutinizes the mechanism of controlling the human body in modern society that leads to people’s illness and calls for a reevaluation of rural life which is considered to be an obsolete wasteland.