Valuating Handwriting in the Digital Age: A Case Study in Japanese Calligraphy
The central role of handwriting in creating originals has not ceased in the 21st century, despite increasing options of electronic versions. On the contrary, handwriting more often than not is still a very convenient way to produce originals in different fields. Based on this observation, we aim to improve our understanding of practices of valuation of a specific group of handwritten artefacts in contemporary Japan, Calligraphy, while taking into account their historical predecessors in East Asia as well. This project will compare levels of expertise with manuscripts and levels and intensities of emotional responses to manuscripts that are likely to differ across cultural backgrounds. We will approach this topic from two angles: as a topic of Cultural Studies (discourse of aesthetics), and from Neurocognitive or Experimental Psychology. The combination of these two perspectives allows for the reassessment of conventional notions both within the culture itself and in the academic field, with their tendencies to sometimes essentialistic conceptions.