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MemberSara Newsome

I am a fourth-year PhD student in East Asian Studies at University of California, Irvine, although I am currently a Nippon Foundation Fellow at the Inter-University Center in Yokohama, Japan for a 10-month program. I am interested in pursuing questions regarding the intersection of literature with environmental and feminist activism in modern Japan, particularly the post-Fukushima anti-nuclear energy movement.

MemberTravis Seifman

…*Association for Asian Studies
*Premodern Japanese Studies
*Early Modern Japan Network
*Japanese Art History Forum
*Japanese Art Society of America…
…“Networks and Negotiations: UCSB Graduate Student Conference on Premodern Japan,” co-organizer (with K. Saltzman-Li and E. Simpson), February 12-13, 2016

“Love, Peace, Dreams, and Bombs,” collaborative art exhibition / panel discussion, co-organizer (with Y. Glover, C. Gabrielson, N. Matsushima, and C. Raymond), UCSB, February 26 – March 4, 2017

“Picturing the Ryukyus: Images of Okinawa in Japanese Artworks from the UH Sakamaki/Hawley Collection“, …

Travis Seifman is a PhD candidate in History at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a historian of early modern (17th-19th c.) Okinawa and Japan. His dissertation research examines the cultural dimensions of official embassies dispatched by the Okinawan kingdom of Lūchū (Ryūkyū) to Tokugawa Japan and Qing China, with a particular focus on the use of costume, music, and other aspects of cultural performance in “performing” status & identity, and on the role of ritual in enacting political relationships. His broader research and teaching interests include Okinawan history and culture (from premodern to contemporary), the history and culture of early modern Japan, Hawaiian and Pacific Island history, art history, and museum studies.

MemberDavid R. Ambaras

DAVID AMBARAS is Professor of History at North Carolina State University. His research explores the social history of modern Japan and its empire, particularly through a focus on transgression and marginality. He is the author of Japan’s Imperial Underworlds: Intimate Encounters at the Borders of Empire (Cambridge University Press, 2018); Bad Youth: Juvenile Delinquency and the Politics of Everyday Life in Modern Japan (University of California Press, 2006); and articles and book chapters on class formation, urban space, wartime mobilization, and ethnic intermarriage. He is the co-director of the digital project Bodies and Structures: Deep-mapping Modern East Asian History. Ambaras holds a Ph. D. from Princeton University, and degrees from the University of Tokyo, the Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales (Paris), and Columbia University. He is recipient of fellowships from the National Humanities Center and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

MemberDavid J. Gundry

…Paths of Love in the Fiction of Ihara Saikaku,” forthcoming in Gary P. Leupp, James McClain, and Tao Demin, eds., The Tokugawa World (Routledge).

Review of Plucking Chrysanthemums: Narushima Ryūhoku and Sinitic Literary Traditions in Modern Japan, by Matthew Fraleigh, forthcoming in The Journal of Japanese Studies.

Review of Teika: The Life and Works of a Medieval Japanese Poet, by Paul S. Atkins, Japanese Language and Literature, Spring 2018. 

“Hierarchy, Hubr…

  My research focuses on literature produced in late medieval and early-modern Japan. In 2017 I published the first English-language, book-length monograph on the prose works of Ihara Saikaku (1642–1693), who is widely held to be the most important writer of fiction in early Tokugawa-period Japan. While pursuing my doctorate in Japanese at Stanford, I concurrently completed a Ph.D. minor in Comparative Literature, with extensive study of Classics and literature in French. My work in these areas continues to inform my approach to texts written in Japanese. As a member of MLA I seek dialogue with scholars of other literatures, and I am very interested in forming transnational panels with colleagues working on texts produced both in countries neighboring Japan and beyond East Asia.  

MemberMolly Des Jardin

Molly is the Japanese Studies Librarian and liaison for Korean Studies at University of Pennsylvania Libraries, and Adjunct Assistant Professor in Penn’s East Asian Languages & Civilizations department. In addition to her work as a librarian, she taught the seminar East Asian Digital Humanities (EALC111/511) (living work-in-progress syllabus PDF at mollydesjardin.com) at Penn in Spring 2018. In 2014, along with Katie Rawson, Molly co-founded WORD LAB, the Penn Libraries text analysis learning community, still going strong after many years. Molly is a historian of the book in modern Japan, ranging from Meiji (1868-1912) publishing to 21st-century urban exploration publications, and has a particular focus on theories and practices of authorship. Her article “Inventing Saikaku: Collectors, Provenance, and the Social Creation of an Author” appeared in Book History v.20 (2017) and she has co-authored two book chapters with Michael P. Williams (in ACRL’s 2019 The Globalized Library and an upcoming ACTLS monograph on graphic novels in libraries).

MemberMorgan Pitelka

…an’s Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries, with Reiko Tanimura and Masuda Takashi, a study and translation of 23 original letters by warriors, tea masters, Zen priests, courtiers, an empress, and other residents of late medieval and early modern Japan….
…re: Art, History, and Practice. Editor. London and New York: Routledge, 2003.
“Name and Fame: Material Objects as Authority, Security, and Legacy” in Mary Elizabeth Berry and Marcia Yonemoto, ed., What is a Family? Answers from Early Modern Japan (University of California Press, 2019)
“The Return of Seduction,” in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies 77.2 (2017): 153-163.
“Chinese Ceramics and Warrior Sociability in Sixteenth-Century Japan,” in Dora Ching, L…

I am a historian of Asia with expertise in Japan. I received my Ph.D. from Princeton University and have studied and conducted research at universities in Japan, China, Singapore, and England. As Director of the Carolina Asia Center (2013-2019), I wrote the first successful grant to the Department of Education to establish a Title VI-funded National Resource Center for the Study of Asia at UNC, as well as a renewal in 2018. I have also successfully won grants for the university from the Japan Foundation, the Korea Foundation, and the Chiang Ching-Kuo Foundation.  

MemberMary Knighton

…Insect Selves: Posthumanism in Modern Japanese Literature and Culture (in progress)

Silk Triangles: A Case Study of U.S.-Japan Global and Local Ties (in progress)…

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.

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.