SOAS University of London

Japan Research Centre

British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS) Annual Conference 2015

Keynote lecture: given by Professor Aaron Gerow (Yale)

Date: 10 September 2015Time: 8:30 AM

Finishes: 11 September 2015Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Conference


Keynote Lecture and Podcast

The British Association for Japanese Studies (BAJS) and the Japan Research Centre (JRC) at SOAS, University of London announce a Call for Papers for the BAJS Annual Conference to be held at SOAS, University of London on Thursday 10th and Friday 11th September 2015.  

This two-day conference will include a guest plenary session, parallel sessions of thematic academic panels, the BAJS AGM and evening networking events. Professor Aaron Gerow (Yale) to give the keynote lecture.



Keynote Lecture

Theorizing the Theory Complex in the Japanese Film World
Professor Aaron Gerow (Yale)

Japan has witnessed a long history of deep and rich thinking about the modern medium of film, pursued by a wide range of thinkers from Tanizaki Junichiro to Tosaka Jun, from Nakai Masakazu to Hasumi Shigehiko. Not only has this history been largely ignored within the canon of film theory, however, which remains Euro- and American centric, it has mostly been forgotten within Japan itself. What does it mean when many have thought about cinema in Japan, but most today refuse to acknowledge that there has been film theory in that nation? This contradictory phenomenon is what I call the “theory complex” and says much about not only the status of theory in the film world, but also the place of cinema in Japanese modernity and the place of Japan within transnational intellectual flows. It also, I argue, offers a self-reflexive counter to canonical histories of film theory, questioning the definition of theory precisely at a time when the existence of cinema itself is in question.

Aaron Gerow is Professor in Japanese cinema and culture at Yale University and has published widely on variety of topics in Japanese film and popular culture. His books include Visions of Japanese Modernity: Articulations of Cinema, Nation, and Spectatorship, 1895-1925 (2010); A Page of Madness: Cinema and Modernity in 1920s Japan (2008); and Kitano Takeshi (2007). He also runs his own Japanese film website Tangemania (

Loading the player...

Theorizing the Theory Complex in the Japanese Film World

Download media as file


To leave your comments on the BAJS Annual Conference 2015, please complete the feedback form.


The British Association for Japanese Studies is a UK-based association of scholars and researchers dedicated to the development of Japanese Studies. Our aim is to promote teaching and research on Japan by coordinating events such as academic conferences and circulating information about the field.

Organiser: Centres & Programmes Office

Contact email: