Giulia Baquè

Delving into the Other: An ecocritical approach to Japanese Contemporary Representations of the human - nonhuman relations

My project, focusing on Japanese contemporary literature, examines the varied relations between human and nonhuman through representations of environmental degradation, pollution and disaster. The study wants to take a critical stance towards the focus on human sufferings in the aftermath of disaster and in contaminated and degraded environments, aiming at accounting for the pain and traumas of nonhuman others. Following Judith Butler’s concept of grievable lives, I am arguing that the human needs to be repositioned in what Vinci (2019) defines as a network of bodies and ontologies, in order to recognize the grievability of nonhumans entities. I aim to suggest new ways of looking at the sufferings and pains caused by environmental degradation and disaster in order to go beyond the anthropocentric understanding and representational modes of traumas.

In the case of Japan, the relation between capitalist logic, industrial development and environmental destruction has a longstanding history and the effects of industrial pollution and contamination are still visible in humans and nonhumans alike. When taking into account the long lasting effects contamination has on humans and nonhumans, the question of how to account for the slow violence (Nixon 2011) inflicted on those bodies becomes a paramount one. Through the analysis of both fictions and poetry by Taguchi Randy, Tawada Yōko and Itō Hiromi, this project wants to delve into more-than-human temporalities of trauma and sufferings as a result of contamination and pollution, as well as, analysing the complex spatial relationalities between human, nonhuman and contaminated environments.


  • Since 2020 PhD candidate at Ca’ Foscari University, international program with Ruprecht-Karls-University Heidelberg
  • 2019 MA. Comparative Literature and Literary Theory, Leiden University. Thesis title: Environmental Disaster in Japanese Literature Narrativizations of Time and Space in O̅e Kenzaburō’s Somersault
  • 2017 MA. Japanese Studies, Leiden University. Thesis title: 象は鼻が長い An analysis of wa and ga in L2 Japanese speakers’ written production
  • 2015 BA. Languages, Cultures and Societies of Asia and Mediterranean Africa (curriculum Japanese Studies), Ca’ Foscari University. Thesis title: The Nobel Prize speech as a poetic declaration Kawabata Yasunari and Ōe Kenzaburō: two lectures talking to each other
  • Baquè Giulia, Coldesina, Manuela. “Performing Gender in Shunga: Blurring Boundaries Between Fiction and Reality”, in Japan: Fictions and Reality, edited by Aleksandra Jarosz and Aleksandra Jaworowicz-Zimny, Nicolaus Copernicus University, 2020, pp. 475–490.
  • Coldesina, Manuela, Baquè Giulia. “Performing female roles of the Floating World in Utamaro’s Negai no Itoguchi” in Andon, vol 108, autumn 2019, pp. 5–19.
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Letzte Änderung: 04.03.2024
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