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Japanese philosopher Kojin Karatani at Loyola University

Loyola press release - April 22, 2008

Kojin Karatani is widely renowned as the most important literary critic and philosopher of contemporary Japan. On April 24, Karatani will visit Loyola University New Orleans as part of its Biever Guest Lecture Series. His presentation, “Toward a World Republic: Beyond the Trinity of Capital, Nation and State,” will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Monroe Hall’s Nunemaker Auditorium on Loyola’s main campus. The lecture will be followed by a book signing and is free and open to the public.

Karatani was educated at Tokyo University where he earned a B.A. degree in economics and an M.A. in English literature. The Gunzo Literary Prize, which he received at the age of 27 for an essay on Natsume Soseki, was his first critical acclaim in the early stages of his career as a literary critic. While teaching at Hosei University, Tokyo, he wrote extensively about modernity and post-modernity, with a particular focus on the problems of “language, number, money,” a trinity of concepts which form the subtitle of one of his central books: Architecture as Metaphor.

Karatani has introduced philosophical concepts such as “the will to architecture,” but is perhaps best known for his Transcritique: On Kant and Marx, a reading and critique of both Marx and Kant that challenges the standard academic approach used to understanding each thinker’s works. Origins of Modern Japanese Literature, Karatani’s first book to be translated into English, has had a profound impact on Japanese literature studies in North America, quickly becoming one of the most frequently cited works of literary criticism in the field.

The Biever Guest Lecture Series is sponsored by Loyola’s Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures, the Office of the Provost, the Office of the Dean of Humanities and Natural Sciences, the Dean of Social Sciences and the Latin American Studies Program. For more information, contact professor Josefa Salmon, salmon@loyno.edu, or Avia Alonzo at (504) 865-3844.