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Wesleyan University | Center for the Humanities


The Economy of Hope

The Economy of Hope

HIROKAZU MIYAZAKI • Cornell University

SEPTEMBER 19 @ 6 P.M. | Daniel Family Commons, Usdan University Center

As many have noted, hope is an elusive concept. Hope can be conceptualized in either collective or individual terms. It can be anchored either in universal values or very specific situations. In this paper I introduce the idea of the economy of hope as a framework for addressing diverse and often competing conceptualizations of hope in theory and social life. I analyze both theoretical and practical tensions between hope and reality, hope and knowledge, and hope and repetition. In developing the idea of the economy of hope, I draw insights from specific conceptualizations of hope developed by Japanese social theorists and literary figures prior to and after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster of March 11, 2011.

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