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Looking at Naturalist Fiction and the I-Novel Transnationally

Christopher L. Hill, Associate Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures. University of Michigan
Thursday, October 8, 2020
12:00-1:30 PM
Off Campus Location
After the naturalist approach to writing fiction crystallized in France in the 1860s, writers around the world embraced it. By the 1920s this kind of realistic fiction could be found from the Americas to East Asia, including the Japanese version known as the I-novel. Far from a story of influence, a close look at naturalist novels and stories written in different parts of the world shows writers departing from metropolitan models as they confronted new social conditions.

Christopher Hill is Associate Professor of Japanese Literature in the department of Asian Languages and Cultures. With a background in comparative literature, he writes frequently on literature and intellectual history from a transnational or global perspective. His first book, National History and the World of Nations (Duke University Press, 2009), was on the impact of nationalism on historical writing in late nineteenth-century Japan, France, and the United States. He has just published Figures of the World: The Naturalist Novel and Transnational Form (Northwestern University Press, 2020), on the global history of naturalist fiction. He is currently writing about postwar Japanese writers' responses to the decolonization of Africa and Asia.

Discussant: Christi Merrill, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature; Associate Professor of South Asian Literature and Postcolonial Theory.

Please register for the Zoom webinar at:

The University of Michigan Library has Professor Hill's book, Figures of the World The Naturalist Novel and Transnational Form, available in E-book format at:

If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to attend this event, please reach out to us at least 2 weeks in advance of this event. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Off Campus Location
Location: Virtual
Event Type: Livestream / Virtual
Tags: Asia, Japanese Studies, Literature
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Japanese Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures