CJS Noon Lecture Series | Japanese Twitterature after 3-11: Social Media Fictions and the Subtitle for the Real
The Haiti earthquake and the Arab Spring of 2010 brought to light the importance of Twitter as a means of broadcasting realtime facts and unfolding of events around natural disasters and political upheavals, but the role of fictional tweets has been less well understood. The use of new media as a means of circulating fiction during times of crisis raises questions about the larger social import of the fictive.
This talk examines the rise of the 140-character, stand-alone Japanese novels posted as tweets marked with the hashtag “twnovel” and their role in the first ten days following Japan’s triple disasters of March 11, 2011, when fictional tweets became the source of a new reality for readers desperate for narratives not to be found in other outlets.
Jonathan E. Abel is the author of Redacted: The Archives of Censorship in Transwar Japan (University of California Press, 2012) and the co-translator of Azuma Hiroki’s Otaku: Japan’s Database Animals (University of Minnesota Press, 2008). He is also editor of a special issue of Japan Forum entitled “Beyond Fukushima: The Ethics of Cultural Production in a Post-disaster Japan” (2015). He is currently working on a book called The New Real: Media, Marketing, and Mimesis in Japan.
Abel’s teaching and scholarly interests include global modernism, literary reception, translation studies, and literary and cultural theory. He is currently the Director of Undergraduate Studies for Comparative Literature at Penn State.