If the Romantic ideal of literature as a pure and gratuitous artistic expression is still present in the public discourse, the symbolic and commercial promotion of books and writers is now better known and has been the subject of a number of studies, particularly in France. Modern and contemporary literature is inextricably linked to a media context that sells and publicizes images of books and authors. Works are rewarded and highlighted by means of prizes or prestigious reprints, promoted by famous critics or anonymous readers in various newspapers, magazines or online blogs. Literary modernity is inextricably linked to the development and dissemination of promotional tools boosting the success of books and authors.
Both transhistorical and transdisciplinary, the aim of this program is to retrace the historical evolution of commercial and symbolic promotion of printed works from the beginning of the twentieth century to contemporary Japan. This program brings together researchers in literature and sociology working on both the modern and contemporary eras. It focusses on both the material aspects of printed works (the editorial division of labor, the construction of the book as an object, its distribution and circulation to the audience, etc.).. How does an author sell or does not sell? What role their own image plays in promoting their works? What are the turning points in the history of the publishing market and literary prizes? How did literature evolve in accordance to technical progress in the and media industry? These are the kinds of questions this program will be tackling.
The program will notably materialize in a workshop co-organised with the RÉLiJaM (Réseau des Études en Littérature Japonaise Moderne). An international conference is also planned in 2025, as well as a collective book on ‘the symbolic and commercial promotion of literature in Japan’.
publishing Japan literature book
Fumiko Sugie (Independent)
Mai Ono (Université Paris Cité)
Julien Bouvard (Univ. Jean Moulin Lyon 3)
Antonin Bechler (Strasbourg Univ)
Tom Rigault (Toulouse Jean Jaurès Univ)
Guillaume Muller (Bordeaux Montaigne Univ. )