The following was first published in UChicago News on April 12, 2019.
By Louise Lerner, Sara Patterson, and Jack Wang
Five University of Chicago scholars have been named 2019 Guggenheim Fellows, chosen on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise.
Prof. Michael Bourdaghs, Assoc. Prof. Agnes Callard, Prof. Per Mykland, Prof. Robert Pippin and Asst. Prof. Sam Pluta were among the 168 scholars, artists and writers chosen this year from a group of almost 3,000 applicants. They will receive financial support to pursue a variety of projects—from Japanese Cold War culture to the fundamentals of data architecture.
Michael K. Bourdaghs
Prof. Michael K. Bourdaghs
During the four decades that Michael K. Bourdaghs has studied the Japanese Cold War culture, his scholarship has evolved from comparing Japan to America to examining Japan in a wider global context. The award-winning East Asian scholar will use the Guggenheim Fellowship to finish a book about the Japanese Cold War. He will evaluate its relationships to countries in the so-called First, Second and Third Worlds.
“I contend that a full understanding of Japan’s Cold War requires us to look at how Japanese artists and intellectuals were simultaneously participants in all three ‘Worlds’ of the Cold War era,” said Bourdaghs, the Robert S. Ingersoll Professor in East Asian Languages and Civilizations.
The idea for his new book started through teaching the UChicago course entitled “Japanese Culture of the Cold War: Literature, Film, Music.” Bourdaghs realized postwar Japanese culture was radically different when viewed through the lens of Cold War culture and when Japan was placed at the center of Cold War geopolitics instead of on the sidelines. Japanese artists and intellectuals were simultaneously aligned with First World liberal democracies, while building ties to the socialist Second World and the nonaligned movement’s Third World.