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"The Value of Vulnerability: Sexual Coercion and the Nature of Love in Japanese Court Literature" by Maggie Chllds, Associate Professor of Japanese and Chair of the KU Department of East Asian Literatures & Cultures.
Childs analyzes the attributes of "love" in the world of premodern Japanese literature. She concentrates on the emotional dynamics of love affairs in The Taile of Genji and other Heian tales in order to highlight the high value that both men and women placed on vulnerability. By linking love to pity or compassion, the author makes a case for what she terms "the erotic potential of powerlessness."
This article reassesses the theoretical import of the Viennese satirist Karl Kraus, arguing that his satire challenges conventional understandings of the genre. Most notably in The Last Days of Mankind (Die letzten Tage der Menschheit), Kraus's satire delegitimizes any given historical or political position, addressing, rather, what he calls "posterity" as the only viable alternative. Kraus's "absolute satire" (Hermann Broch) thus contains a temporal dimension insofar as its intended audience is one that does not yet exist.
"Dating the Houma Covenant Texts: The Significance of Recent Findings From the Wenxian Covenant Texts" by Crispin Williams, Associate Professor of Chinese.
This paper reconsiders the dating of the Houma covenant texts in light of new findings from the Wenxian covenant texts. Dating of the Houma covenants has focused on matching certain names found in the Houma covenants to names and events in historical texts. These include
the name of the sanctioning spirit invoked in the covenants, and that of the covenant lord overseeing the covenants. I argue that the sanctioning spirit is not, as is often proposed, a former lord of Jin, but a mountain spirit called Lord Yue, and, as such, has no bearing on the dating of the texts. I further argue that the use of the personal name of a Han lineage leader in the Wenxian covenants strongly supports the identification of the figure referred to as jia 嘉 in the Houma texts as the historical Zhao Jia (Zhao Huan Zi). I suggest that the mention of Zhao Jia in the recently published Chu-slips Xinian implies that Zhao Jia came to the leadership of the Zhao lineage around 442 B.C.E., well before 424 B.C.E., the date of his single-year reign reported in the Shi ji. I conclude that the Houma covenants include materials that may be linked to the Zhao Wu incident of the early fifth-century B.C.E., but that those materials in which Zhao Jia is named as the covenant lord probably date to sometime between 442 and 424 B.C.E.