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CJS Thursday Lecture Series | Negotiating the Cold War: Yamaguchi Yoshiko in Sacramento, 1950

Michael Bourdaghs, Robert S. Ingersoll Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures, University of Chicago
Thursday, December 8, 2022
12:00-1:30 PM
Room 1010 Weiser Hall Map
Please note: This lecture will be held in person in room 1010 Weiser Hall and virtually via Zoom. This webinar is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Once you've registered, the joining information will be sent to your email. Register for the Zoom webinar at:

This talk focuses on singer and actress Yamaguchi Yoshiko in the early 1950s as she worked to remake her image from the wartime propoganda idol Ri Koran (Chinese: Li Xianglan) into the Hollywood actress Shirley Yamaguchi under the tensions of Cold War demands for integration and containment. Focusing on a recently unearthed private recording of Yamaguchi in concert in 1950 Sacramento, the talk will explore how the singer and her Japanese American audience negotiated their tenuous new positions in a post-imperial, post-incarceration world.

Michael Bourdaghs is the Robert S. Ingersoll Professor of East Asian Languages & Cultures at the University of Chicago and the author, most recently, of A Fictional Commons: Natsume Sōseki and the Properties of Modern Literature (2020). His previous books include Sayonara Amerika, Sayonara Nippon: A Geopolitical Prehistory of J-Pop (2012, Japanese translation 2012), and The Dawn That Never Comes: Shimazaki Tōson and Japanese Nationalism (2003). A specialist in modern Japanese literature and popular culture, he is also an active translator, including Karatani Kōjin's The Structure of World History: From Modes of Exchange to Modes of Production (2014). He is currently working on a book about the cultures of Cold War Japan.

This lecture is made possible with the generous support of the U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant.

If there is anything we can do to make this event accessible to you, please contact us. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.
Building: Weiser Hall
Event Type: Lecture / Discussion
Tags: Asia, Japanese Studies
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Center for Japanese Studies, International Institute, Asian Languages and Cultures