MemberMary Knighton

…dith Butler

Designated Emphasis Candidate, Women, Gender & Sexuality Program, 1997-2003

M.A., Japanese     University of California, Berkeley

(December 2002)

The Chiasmatic Turn: Narrative Desire in Kanai Mieko’s Early Fiction

Alan Tansman (Director); Daniel O’Neill, Carolyn Porter

Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies (1991-2) Yokohama, Japan (administered by Stanford University)

M.A., English      University of California, Berkeley (May 1991) ‘Live Burial’ in an American Gothic Mode: Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

Carolyn Porter (Director); Barbara Christian, Dorothy Hale

B.A., Engli…

My research can be broadly divided into two areas: (1) 19th-20th century American and English literature, and (2) Modern and contemporary Japanese language, literature, and culture. Studies in global modernism and transnational exchanges bring these two fields together. Related research interests include feminist, postcolonial, and critical theory; the multi-ethnic literatures of the US, particularly African-American literature; the American South; Gothic literature; visual texts, arts, and culture.

MemberMegan Beckerich

I am a current MA student at the University of Chicago in the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities. I completed by thesis in 2018, and am continuing my Japanese language education. My thesis discussed censorship and gendered supernatural bodies in early Meiji period Japanese prints, and the influence of globalization and modernization had on the perception of such images. My interests include folklore, censorship in art, print history, Japan studies, and material culture studies. I have served on a student curatorial committee at the University of Chicago, contributing two labels to a small exhibit on the prints of Felix Buhot. Currently I am interning at the Cincinnati Art Museum as a Photography Conservation and Curation Intern. My main projects are working with Meiji period ambrotypes, and cyanotypes from the William Howard Taft diplomatic mission to Asia in 1905.

MemberYan Kit Kwong

…0. (co-author)
2. The Archeological Picture Record of Asuka (5), Japan: Cultural Heritage Section of Asuka-Mura Education Committee and Asuka-Mura Tourism Development Foundation, 2011. (chief translator)
3. Multilingual Hong Kong: Language and Experience. Japan: V2 Solution, 2012. (co-author)
4. “Nihon no gengoseisaku to gengoshiyo (Japanese Language Policy and Language Use)”, Hokutoajia no kotoba to shakai (Languages and Society in Northeast Asia), Japan: University Education Press, 2013.
5. The Ninth International Symposium on Japanese Language Education and Japanese Studies: Interactivity: Praxis and Possibilities. Japan: KoKo Shuppan, 2014. (co-editor)
6. “…

MemberKerim Yasar

I teach modern Japanese literature and film at the University of Southern California. I was previously Assistant Professor of Japanese at The Ohio State University and had visiting appointments at Boston University and the University of Notre Dame. I was the East Asian Studies-Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at Princeton University between 2009-12.

DepositThe Loquacious Geisha: Lotus Blossom and the ‘Hidden Transcript’ of The Teahouse of the August Moon

Scholarship on representations of East Asian women has honed on the ubiquity of a ‘geisha’ stereotype in Asian-themed Hollywood films: women who willingly acquiesce to the prerogatives of Western men and, in so doing, symbolically affirm the subordination of East Asian political autonomy to a paternalistic United States. Within this context, the contemporaneous popularity in Japan of Daniel Mann’s 1956 film Teahouse of the August Moon seems to suggest the unfettered ability of Hollywood cinema to penetrate both borders and minds in the dissemination of U.S.-centric ideology. Yet, I would posit that the enthusiastic Japanese reception of this representative ‘rashamen’ film in fact can be attributed to what anthropologist James Scott terms the “hidden transcript” of the film’s extensive Japanese language dialogue. Japan’s fifth-highest grossing film of 1956, Teahouse was based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning John Patrick stage play, the script for which featured the linguistic contributions of Japanese cast members that, as critic and subtitler Shimizu Shunji wrote at the time of the film’s release, were rendered all the more effective in the film through the performances of Japanese stars Kyo Machiko, Negami Jun, and Kiyokawa Nijiko. Focusing on Kyo’s linguistic and physical performance of the geisha Lotus Blossom, this paper argues for an alternative understanding of the symbolic relationship of postwar Japan and the United States embodied in Teahouse of the August Moon; one that was hidden in plain sight of both the film’s American audience and producers by virtue of its linguistic difference.