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[REPORT] Lectures and Performances from UC Santa Barbara’s Gagaku Lab and Japanese Cinema Lab

(Left) © Hideaki BUNNO GAGAKU Ensemble. Courtesy of the University of California, Santa Barbara.
(Right) Photo: Kyodo News.

As part of their Institutional Project Support grant, the University of California, Santa Barbara held two “Critical Interventions in Japanese Studies Labs,” week-long intensive series of workshops and research presentations to spark future innovation in Japanese Studies research. The events were recorded and available to view on their website.

The Gagaku Lab, directed by Professor Fabio Rambelli, showcases lectures by Japanese and US-based scholars, three workshops, two performances, and a general discussion. This lab examines the ritual and ceremonial aspects of performance, especially the relations of music with ritual and religion, with a special focus on Gagaku (the ceremonial music of the Japanese imperial court) and Bugaku (dance with music).

Japanese Cinema Lab, directed by Professor Naoki Yamamoto, features four expert panels. Topics include historical formation of film and media studies in Japan since the 1990s, revaluation of the avant-garde art movement and politics in the 1950s, rearticulation of media theory in Japan from the perspective of the environment, and transnational collaboration through book publication and program building.