Cultural Typhoon 2020 (CT2020) Statement

Call for Papers:

A Port of ‘Cranes’ in the 21st Century: Mobilities, Exchanges and Histories

Cultural Typhoon 2020 (CT2020) will be held in Nagasaki on June 27 – 28, 2020. It offers a great opportunity to discuss mobilities and exchanges of people, information, and knowledge in the age of globalization.

The Port of Nagasaki has been historically called “Crane Port” because the shape of the port looks like a crane with spread wings.

Nagasaki, with its Crane Port, has historically been a point of transit, hosting departures and arrivals between Japan and East Asia, including Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Korean Peninsula; Southeast Asia; and Europe, particularly Portugal and The Netherlands.

Nagasaki’s various foods, lifestyles, festivals, architecture, and urban landscape evidence cultural exchange through this transit of people, goods, and ideas. While no cranes can be found living in Nagasaki, it is indeed a “city of cranes”—that is, a city of mobility, which is aptly embodied in the migratory bird—where people, goods, culture, and knowledge move across national borders.

To think about the history of Nagasaki is also to (re)consider the history of mobilities of human beings and our transnational cultural exchange, and narratives of industrialization and modernization. Cultural exchange with China and Korea over the centuries; the propagation and suppression of the Christian faith; the import of modern Western scientific knowledge as well as philosophy and literature; the development of modern shipbuilding as part of military and naval modernization; the coal mining industry’s industrialization and the ferrying of resources;, the immigration and, at times, exploitation of workers at sites close to the Nagasaki Port like Gunkanjima; and the devastation brought by war in the form of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki at the end of the WWII—such phenomena have left a unique impression on the culture of Nagasaki.

CT2020 is will be held at University of Nagasaki’s Siebold Campus. The name of the campus comes from the German physician and botanist who founded a private school, Narutaki Juku, where he taught Western science, medicine in particular, during the Edo Period (1603 – 1868).