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Literary Environmental Testimonies: by Munia Hweidi

An East/East conversation in the works of Ishimure Michiko and Abdel Rahman Munif on man-made environmental crises.

In a world increasingly aware of a rising environmental crisis and the losses, both human and beyond, that result from such crises, we look towards ways to preserve and converse, as well as chronicle for future generations. Sciences and the humanities each play their roles in these efforts. This study looks at the role of literature in preserving traditions and testifying about the losses that highly traditional societies experience when industrialization encroaches upon their spaces and damages the environment. By focusing on how Japanese author Ishimure Michiko and Arab author Abdel Rahman Munif employ similar literary tactics to chronicle these traditional spaces, this study places these authors’ works in conversation. In this conversation we trace how literature can be a part of the environmental dialogue centered on the devastating effects of man-made environmental crisis and the resulting slow violence upon spaces that have had a sudden societal, traditional, and environmental shift after the encroachment of modernity and the resulting industrialization. This study concludes that perhaps in these literary chronicles and testimonies of the pastwe might find the bridge that will lead us towards a better future.


Munia Hweidi is a PhD Candidate in Japanese Studies at Sophia University’s (Tokyo) Graduate Program in Global Studies. Hweidi’s research focuses on modern Japanese and environmental literature. She is currently researching the works of Ishimure Michiko with an eye towards the significance of place. Her dissertation focuses on opening an East/East literary dialogue between Arabic and Japanese literature. Hweidi is the organizer of the symposium, “Reinterpretation of Tradition under the New Global Normal: Beyond Human Space” (2021) and has participated in the Association for Asian Studies Conference and Osaka Graduate Conference in Japanese Studies (2022).

This event is organized by Professor Angela Yiu (FLA).


Hyflex (Both in-person and on Zoom) format

June 29, 15:00-16:30

Room 301 (In person)

Zoom: Please register from here: https://forms.office.com/r/bRuurzVdVv