Fifth International Symposium on Comparative Culture

Know Thine Enemy : Cultural Perspectives on Antagonistic Dynamics
Sponsored by the Institute for Humanities Research, Kanagawa University
Organizers: Stefan Buchenberger, Christian Ratcliff, and Kimie Ōshima

This will be the fifth in a series of symposia that bring together scholars from around the world to present work that is informed by approaches associated with the fields of comparative literature and cultural studies. This series’ inaugural event, titled “Crossing Boundaries: International Symposium on Comparative Literature,” was held in June of 2011, and took as its overall theme the flexibility and utility of the comparative literature approach itself. This was followed by three events: “Reform, Reuse, Recycle: Comparative Literature Perspectives on Adaptation” (June, 2012); “Transform, Transfigure, Transcend: Translation in Cultural Studies” (June, 2013); and last year’s “Cultural Representations of Death” (June, 2014). The themes of these events were chosen as examples of the kinds of topics that can allow scholars from any number of academic disciplines – literature, history, film studies, art history, cultural studies, linguistics, architecture, etc. – to engage in useful, mutually informative exchanges of ideas.

For the fifth event in the series, we have decided upon the theme of cultural perspectives on antagonistic dynamics. In keeping with past years our choice is one that we hope will result in both multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches. The identification of an enemy, antagonist or ‘other’ has of course long been of central importance to the literature and narrative media of peoples the world over. The perception of enmity or antagonism, or its lack, can also be said to delineate or condition many of the interpersonal, interracial, intersocial, interreligious and international relationships that have defined humanity over the ages. Our intent is that today’s event, by bringing together participants from a variety of disciplinary, social and national contexts, will provide new and unexpected perspectives on this central issue.

Stefan Buchenberger, Kimie Ōshima and Christian Ratcliff
Symposium Co-organizers

Please contact Stefan Buchenberger (, Christian Ratcliff ( or Kimie Ōshima ( with any questions or requests for further information.

For an overview of the event’s conception and theme, please see the symposium announcement.
For the titles of the symposium’s three sessions, names of presenters, titles of presentations and the event schedule please see the symposium schedule.
For abstracts of the presentations and introductory information about the presenters, please see the symposium program.
For directions to the Yokohama campus of Kanagawa University, please follow this link.

For more information, please contact the event co-organizers: