Opening Address “After Metahistory: For Welcoming and Thinking with Professor Hayden White.”
Hiroshi Yoshida

■Greeting Address

Attention please. Now it's time to begin the program. I'm very happy to see you all today, gathered here for our seminar and lecture program, entitled: “After Metahistory: Hayden White on Postmodernism.”
I am Hiroshi Yoshida, today's general moderator for this program. I am associate professor, in the Graduate School for Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences, Ritsumeikan University. I am not accustomed to acting as moderator of this kind, and also I'm too bad English speaker, but I will try hard to bring this meeting to a successful event. Now, I am going to give a brief speech for opening.

■Introduction of the Guests

First of all, we would like to express our hearty thanks to Professor White, from San Francisco. I've heard that he is in a long trip this week, from San Francisco to Narita, and then to Taipei, and back to Tokyo, and finally coming to Kyoto via Shinkansen today.
And we also give our thanks to Professor Okamoto, from Toyo University; he is a specialist in the modern English history and theory of historiography. I know he is a longtime colleague and friend of Professor White, and today's seminar and Opening Address lecture program was only successfully realized with his great cooperation and assistance.
Of Professor White, I feel having no need for further introduction, because his name and work is so famous also in our country. A lot of his writings have been translated into Japanese and published in various forms; his critical and inspiring point of view on history and historiography has exerted a strong influence not only on the professional historians, but also on researchers of the various academic fields, including myself. I am specialized in aesthetics and art theory, and today's program is held in the framework of my class, named “History of Cultural Representations”, in Japanese, “Hyôshô-ron-shi”.

■On Our Institute:
The Graduate School for Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences

Our department, namely, Graduate School of Core Ethics and Frontier Sciences — strange name? I believe so too! — is an interdisciplinary organization in its origin, and here, professors and students, having so diverse backgrounds and interests, are always collaborating together, thinking together, and organizing workshops together, like as today's seminar.

■On Today's Program: “ After Metahistory:
Hayden White on Postmodernism”

As you already know, we named today's program “After Metahistory,” and it has also an interdisciplinary background. We are no specialists in history and historiography in the narrow sense of the word, but we can and we should try to receive, follow, and even appropriate with much respect Professor White's conception and viewpoint in studying history. This is the first meaning of our title “After Metahistory.” In the first half of the program, a seminar entitled “Thinking with Hayden White,” the two speakers are trying to connect Professor White's point of view and methodology with their specific researching fields.
And the second meaning of this title “After Metahistory” is concerned with a revaluation of postmodernism. We cannot say that this term was so popular in 1973, when Professor White's book Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-Century Europe was published. But this “classical” work — I dare to say so — seems to have foreshadowed the postmodernist ideas that were coming in the following decades. And now, we are in the world of 2009, but can we really say that we are standing in the period of post-Metahistory? Is this book overcome afterward and just outmoded? And, to begin with, can we really talk about “After Metahistory”? What was changed, or what remains unchanged?
Of course, this is an open question, but I'm sure that it leads us to a revaluation and closer examination of so-called postmodernism, and now, all of us must be entangled in that question, beyond the distinction of our specialized fields. In the next lecture, Professor White is going to try to answer this question, calling our attention to what the postmodernism really was and really is.

■Introduction of the Speakers in the Seminar

Now, let's move on to the introduction of this seminar. We have two speakers in today's seminar, Ms. Kinjo and Mr. Nishijima, both of them are graduate students of our school.
The first speaker, Miyuki Kinjo, has been researching the histories, memories, and the historiographies of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She is going to set about writing doctoral thesis.
The second speaker, Kazuhiro Nishijima, is a first-year graduate student, and hopes to be specialized in the field of the Japanese traditional culture and folklore in the modern age. He is not good at speaking English, like me, but he is so tough as to challenge to read his paper and have a discussion in English with the assistance of our interpreter.
Both speakers are going to read their papers in about fifteen minutes, then they will receive comments from Professor White, and each speaker is expected to respond to him. After Mr. Nishijima's session, we would like to invite questions and comments from the floor, as long as time permits.






 そして「アフター・メタヒストリー」という題の二番目の意味は、ポストモダニズムの再評価という問題に関わります。ホワイト教授の著作『メタヒストリー──十九世紀ヨーロッパにおける歴史的想像力』が出版された1973 年当時、この「ポストモダニズム」という語はまだそれほど知られてはおりませんでした。しかしこの「古典的」著作──私はあえてそう呼びたいのですが──は、その後に登場することになる諸々のポストモダニズム的思想を予告していたように私には思われます。片や、今われわれは2009 年の世界にいるわけですが、しかしわれわれは本当に「メタヒストリー以後」の時代に生きている、と言えるのでしょうか。この本はその後のりこえられ、時代遅れなものとなったのでしょうか。そしてわれわれはそもそも「メタヒストリー以後」について語りうるのでしょうか。何が変わって、何が変わっていないのでしょうか。