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A Comedy of the Commons: Natsume Sōseki and the Fictions of Modern Property

May 10, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Kaplan Hall 193 and on Zoom, 415 Portola Plaza CA 90095 United States + Google Map

Join UCLA English for a talk featuring Michael K. Bourdaghs, the Robert S. Ingersoll Professor in East Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago.

Exploring ideas from his recent book, A Fictional Commons: Natsume Sōseki and the Properties of Modern Literature (Duke University Press, 2021), Michael Bourdaghs will discuss how the fiction and literary theories of Natsume Sōseki (1867-1916), often acclaimed as Japan’s greatest modern novelist, provides a critical reimagining of the new regime for property ownership that emerged in Japan during its late nineteenth century rise to the status of imperial power. Focusing in particular on I Am a Cat, Sōseki’s early comic novel, Bourdaghs will explore how Sōseki imagined literature itself as a kind of commons that enabled the playful practice of alternative forms of exchange and sharing.

This event will take place in Kaplan Hall room 193 and on zoom. Join here for zoom: https://ucla.zoom.us/j/96860292692

This event is co-sponsored by UCLA’s Department of Asian Languages and Cultures.

Per UCLA COVID-19 protocols, all attendees are required to complete the UCLA COVID-19 Symptom Monitoring Survey in order to enter the event. Masks are strongly recommended for attendees who are up to date on vaccinations, and they are required for attendees who are not up to date on vaccinations.


May 10, 2022
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Event Category:


UCLA Department of English
View Organizer Website


Kaplan Hall 193 and on Zoom
415 Portola Plaza CA 90095 United States + Google Map