Christopher Bush (Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, UCLA 2000) is Associate Professor of French and Comparative Literary Studies. His research and teaching focus on comparative and interdisciplinary approaches to literary modernisms, especially the interactions between Euro-American and East Asian aesthetic theory, avant-gardes, and media.
His current book project, The Floating World: Japoniste Aesthetics and Global Modernity (under contract with Columbia University Press), challenges conventional notions of “japonisme” as a nostalgic reverie of a vanishing Old Japan. Reading Euro-American literary, critical, and cinematic uses of Japan in the context of Japanese modernization, the book argues for a tradition of “japoniste aesthetics” that represents a complex and self-conscious response to globalization, from the age of Impressionism to postmodernism.
His first book, Ideographic Modernism: China, Writing, Media (Oxford, 2010), explores the figure of the “ideograph” in relation to such modern forms of writing as photography, phonography, and cinematography, reconstructing the historically and theoretically important relationship between modernist conceptions of China, technological media, and writing. His collaborative translation and critical edition of Victor Segalen's Stèles (Wesleyan, 2007) was awarded the Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for a Translation of a Literary Work, by the Modern Language Association. An electronic companion volume is available at www.steles.org. He has published in such journals as Comparative Literature, Comparative Literature Studies, and Representations, and in the edited volumes Sinographies: Writing China and Pacific Rim Modernisms.
During the 2012-13 academic year, he is on leave pursuing training in the field of modern Japanese literary studies, with support from a Mellon New Directions Fellowship.
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