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EAS Postgraduate Research Seminar

When Mar 14, 2017
from 05:00 PM to 06:30 PM
Where Seminar Room, St John’s College Library
Contact Name
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Nanase ShirotaPhD candidate, Japanese Studies
An Ethnography of Listening: Japanese Listening Behaviour in Different Places and spaces

What kind of social order or unwritten rules do listeners unintentionally/intentionally follow in face-to-face conversation and how different places influence these unwritten rules for listeners? 

I found and named one of the unwritten rules of listening, which is nagara listening, a kind of listening as Multitasking. In this presentation, I would like to delineate several Japanese nagara listening to show how different places and spaces restrict behaviour and rules of listening. I will give some examples about different sizes, purposes and formality of places based on ethnographical fieldwork in Tokyo and analysis of TV dramas.

Avital Rom
PhD candidate, Chinese Studies
Political Musicians, Musical Politicians: Early Chinese Musical Stories as a Rhetorical Tool

Pre-Han and Han dynasty writings are overwhelmingly abundant with textual references to music. By analysing this body of “musical references”, my research aims to explore the developments in political and philosophical thoughts towards and within the Han period from a new perspective. I claim that discussions regarding music often serve as a rhetorical tool for authors of early Chinese texts, and explore the ways in which they do so. 

In this talk, I wish to focus on a specific facet of written musical references – namely narratives that include ideas about music, musicians, or any music-related theme. As ‘case studies’ I will focus specifically on stories that regard two prominent musical figures – music master Kui 夔 and music master Kuang師曠 – both served as court musicians and advisers to powerful rulers. 

I will examine the ways in which written narratives involving these musical figures can be used in service of the rhetorical aims of the authors, and the possible roles of their music and musicality in the political sphere: how can different texts use the same story for different rhetorical purposes? How is the sense of hearing used for understanding military and political situations, and how is one’s musicality used to shift such situations?

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Cambridge has a long and distinctive tradition in the study of the Middle East and Asia. This Faculty prides itself on exploring these fields through the local languages and encourages students to learn through real world engagement. If you are interested in these world regions and want to discover their languages, cultures, histories, religions, and politics, then this is the home for you. 


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