Can the Subaltern Bark? Dogs, Japan, and the Making of the Modern Imperial World

3.6 Hachiko Dedication Photo-4Aaron Skabelund (Brigham Young University)

February 26th 12:30-2:00 @ Buchanan Tower 1197

This presentation uses Spivak’s famous query to explore human-animal relations in three ways.  First, from an epistemological perspective, it considers why researchers in the social sciences and the humanities have directed their attention almost entirely to human affairs, relegating the study of the non-human world to the natural sciences. Second, it argues that two modern technologies—photography and taxidermy—allow some animals to “speak.” And third, it highlights the tremendous transformation of certain dogs in the imperial world from the nineteenth century to the present, especially in Japan. To explore these three issues, the talk focuses in on two moments of human-canine relations in Japan: the latter half of the nineteenth century when Japan was the object of Western imperialism, and the 1930s when Japan become a major imperial power in its own right.

Aaron Skabelund (Brigham Young University)

Aaron Skabelund is an associate professor specializing in modern Japanese history, with an emphasis in the social and cultural history of imperialism, animals, and the military.

*Lunch and light refreshments will be served.