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Dissertation project Carolin Fleischer (abstract)

Globalization in the epic, dramatic, and cinematic œuvre of Terayama Shūji

(supervisor: Prof. Dr. Evelyn Schulz)

The artist Terayama Shuuji (1935-83) can be described as an important key figure of the intellectual and globalized counter culture in postwar Japan. This former transgressive “anti-hero” has evolved into being highly profiled in the arts and academia of Japan. Not only exhibitions and performances try to capture his work, but also within research and teaching Terayama has become a focal point.

In Europe and North America however Terayama is hardly known. Research on his œuvre is scarce. The few existing studies deal primarily with Terayama’s dramatic work and therefore do focus on one of the artist’s many fields of work, which include traditional Japanese lyric poetry, narration, essayistic writing, radio plays, movies and photography amongst others. Scientific research, studying Terayama’s work in the context of globalization processes has not been undertaken yet.

This dissertation project is designed to fill this academic void. By means of intermedia studies it intends to filter out his understanding of globalization as well as the entanglements with processes of globalization within his works. For this study I analyze selected literary, dramatic, and cinematic texts by Terayama. Thereby the analysis will focus on the following points:

  1. Terayama Shūjis artistic self performance as a globetrotter:
  2. linguistic, artistic and literary concepts of globalization;
  3. globalization processes at international level (between Japan and the USA as well as between Japan and East Asia);
  4. globalization processes within the locality of the remote northern Japanese Tsugaru region.