Our Japan Studies Series


The fourth season of Dissertation Reviews begins this Fall and, as always, we are bringing you plenty of fresh reviews of recently filed dissertations, latest updates on archives and libraries, and “Talking Shop” articles on Japan Studies. If you wish to participate in Dissertation Reviews, please click here to become a reviewer or to have your dissertation reviewed. You may also contact one of our three dedicated Japan Studies editors: William Fleming, Niels van Steenpaal, or Akiko Takenaka.


A taste of what’s to come on Japan Studies in the new season

William Hedberg, “Locating China in Time and Space: Engagement with Chinese Vernacular Fiction in Eighteenth-Century Japan” (Harvard University 2012), reviewed by Mari Nagase (Augustana College)

Birgit Tremml, “When Political Economies Meet: Spain, China and Japan in Manila, 1571-1644” (University of Vienna 2013), reviewed by Ubaldo Iaccarino (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona)

Susan Westhafer Furukawa, “The Afterlife of Toyotomi Hideyoshi: ‘Taikoki’ and the Reinterpretation of Japan’s Past” (Indiana University 2012), reviewed by David Spafford (University of Pennsylvania)

Sachi Schmidt-Hori, “Hyperfemininities, Hypermasculinities, and Hypersexualities in Classical Japanese Literature” (University of Washington 2012), reviewed by Gergana Ivanova (University of Cincinnati)

Yulia Frumer, “Clocks and time in Edo Japan” (Princeton University 2012), reviewed by Ruselle Meade (University of Manchester)

Eleanor Robinson, “Nakai Hiromu: Meiji Statesman and Hero of Anglo-Japanese Relations” (Kyoto University 2012), reviewed by Rustin Gates (Bradley University)

Kristin Williams, “Visualizing the Child: Japanese Children’s Literature in the Age of Woodblock Print, 1678-1888” (Harvard University 2012), reviewed by Niels van Steenpaal (University of Tokyo)

Nathan Hopson, “Tōhoku as Postwar Thought: Regionalism, Nationalism, and Culturalism in Japan’s Northeast” (University of Pennsylvania 2012), reviewed by Noriaki Hoshino (Cornell University)

Plus 25 more… (and counting!)


Meet the editors

Fleming_1William Fleming (Japan Studies) is Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures and Theater Studies at Yale University. He specializes in the literature and cultural history of early modern Japan. His dissertation, entitled “The World Beyond the Walls: Morishima Chūryō (1756-1810) and the Development of Late Edo Fiction” (Harvard 2011), explores the rich interrelationship between early modern Japanese fiction and contemporary intellectual movements including nativist studies and inquiry into Dutch, vernacular Chinese, and Russian materials. [Website here]


steenpaalNiels van Steenpaal (Japan Studies) is an Assistant Professor at the Kyoto University Hakubi Center for Advanced Research. As part of his primary research interest in “moral culture”—the pathways, processes and media through which morality finds expression in material culture—he is currently engaged in a digital humanities project that harnesses biographical material in order to look at the long term development of the Japanese moral imagination throughout the Edo, Meiji and Taisho periods.


takenakaAkiko Takenaka (Japan Studies) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Kentucky. She specializes in the cultural and social history of modern Japan with research focus on memory and historiography of the Asia-Pacific War. She is the author of the book Memory and Spatial Practice: Yasukuni Shrine and Japan’s Unending Postwar, which will be published in the “Study of the Weatherhead East Asian Institute” series. [Website here]



Image: Aomori Nebuta Festival, Japan. Photograph by Diego Molla. Wikimedia Commons.

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