Title: "Law’s Logistical Media: The Installation of the Filing System in the Postwar Japanese Prosecutor's Office"
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Haury Room 215
Abstract: This presentation provides a semiotic and linguistic anthropological analysis of the filing system introduced in the Japanese Prosecutor’s Office in the aftermath of WWII, from the late 1940s to the early 1950s. At this time Taylor’s scientific management and Weberian visions of bureaucratic rationality in general expanded into public administrative offices as part of the democratization reform of the Japanese justice system pushed by the American Occupation. The post-war constitutional imperatives of democracy were translated into the mundane yet systematic operation of paperwork rooted in scientific management and the goal of bureaucratic efficiency. This presentation will discuss how the filing system amounted to a logistical mode of governing which spatially and temporally regulated the movement of people and things. The goal of this presentation is to consider (law’s) logistics as a form of power, which derives neither from rules nor disciplines, but from “disposition.” Beyond, and in addition to, the understanding of law hermeneutically as a relatively bounded discourse or set of rules, it shows the law's alternative mode of existence viewed from its medial Infrastructure.
This lecture is co-sponsored by the Department of East Asian Studies, University of Arizona.