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.


Ph.D., English     University of California, Berkeley

(December 2003)

William Faulkner’s Modernist Nympholepsy: The Pursuit of an Aesthetic Form

Carolyn Porter (Director); Christopher Nealon, Judith 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., English   Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia

(December 1988)


“Hearing Secret Voices in Twain’s Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.” Mark Twain Journal 55 (Spring 2017, Center for Mark Twain Studies, Elmira, NY). PEER REVIEWED.

“Invasive Species: Manga’s Insect-Human Worlds.” Animal Comics: Multispecies Storyworlds in Graphic Narratives, edited by David Herman (London & New York: Bloomsbury Academic Press, forthcoming 2017). PEER REVIEWED.

“William Faulkner’s Illustrious Circles: Double-Dealing Caricatures in Style and Taste.” Faulkner and Print Culture: Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha, 2015, ed. Jay Watson, Jaime Harker, and James G. Thomas, Jr. (Jackson: UP of Mississippi, forthcoming June 2017): 28-50. PEER REVIEWED.

“The Masochist’s Masquerade: Kôno Taeko’s ‘Beautiful Girl’ (Bishôjo).” Japan Forum (forthcoming 2017). PEER REVIEWED.

“The Sloppy Realities of 3.11 in Shiriagari Kotobuki’s Manga. The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 11, Issue 26, No. 1, June 30, 2014 (Online: http://japanfocus.org/-Mary-Knighton/4140). PEER REVIEWED.

“’Becoming Insect Woman’: Tezuka’s Feminist Species.Mechademia Vol. 8, Special Issue on Tezuka Osamu, “Tezuka’s Manga Life” (2013): 3-24. PEER REVIEWED.

“Down the Rabbit Hole: In Pursuit of Shôjo Alices, From Lewis Carroll to Kanai Mieko.” U.S-Japan Women’s Journal 40 (2011): 49-89. PEER REVIEWED.

“The Daemonic Conscience in Twain and Faulkner.” Mark Twain Studies 3. Special Centenary Issue (Fall 2010): 113-156. PEER REVIEWED.

“Chiasmatic Narrative and Twisted Subjectivity in Kanai Mieko’s Boshizô.” Lectora: Journal of Women and Textuality 16 [http://www.ub.es/cdona/lectora.htm] Centre Dona i Literatura Universitat de Barcelona (2010): 107-124. INVITED.

“The Melancholy Melodrama of ‘Honorary Whiteness’: The Case of Yuasa Katsuei’s Colonial Fiction.” ParaDoxa. Ed. Tatsumi Takayuki, “Three Asias” (2010): 47-64. PEER REVIEWED.

“Swinks and Snopeses: The Germ of the ‘Global Provincial’ in Twain and Faulkner.” Twain and Faulkner: Essays edited by Robert Hamblin, Center for Faulkner Studies at Southeast Missouri State University (SE Missouri State UP, 2009): 191-241.

“Kurahashi Yumiko’s Amanonkoku Okanki and Gender Politics in Japan.” Proceedings of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies [PAJLS] 8 (2008): 301-327.「パルタイ」から『スミヤキストQの冒険』— 倉橋由美子の文学における審美的、政治的革命. In『世界から見た日本文化:多文化共生社会の構築のために』(“From Partei to Sumiyakisto Q no Boken: Revolutionary Subjects in Kurahashi Yumiko’s Literature and in Japan’s 1960s Decade of Protest.”) Trans. Inoue Maiko & Murai Mayako. In Japanese Culture in the Eyes of the World: Towards a Multicultural, Interdependent Society). Tokyo: Ochanomizu Shobo, 2007. 5-49. INVITED.

“’Was Huck Bura(k)ku?’: Reading and Teaching Twain in Asian Pacific World Literature.” Mark Twain Studies 1.1. (Fall 2004): 90-110. PEER REVIEWED.

“Writing the Body – as Meat: Kanai Mieko’s ‘Rotting Meat’ as Surreal Fable.” Observing Japan from Within. Kyoto: Nichibunken, 2004. 161-188. INVITED.

“Tracing the Body of the Question Mark: Kanai Mieko’s Ai Aru Kagiri.PMAJLS 5 (Summer 1999): 286-299.
Co-editor with Tatsumi Takayuki, Mark Twain Studies 3 (Fall 2010). Special Centenary Issue, Japan Mark Twain Society. Feature: Faulkner/Twain.

“Kanai Mieko.” The Columbia Companion to Modern East Asian Literature, ed. Joshua Mostow. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003. 242-245.

Co-author with architects Scott M. Gold and Ichiro Suzuki of “Metabolism,” “Tange Kenzo,” and twelve other entries on modern architecture in Japan for Encyclopedia of Contemporary Japanese Culture, ed. Sandra Buckley. New York: Routledge, 2001.

Co-author with Fukuko Kobayashi, “Japanese Literature,” in The Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women, Eds. Cheris Kramarae and Dale Spender. Routledge International, 2001. 1264-1267.

Bibliographic essay and chronology “Kanai Mieko” (in Japanese) for Japanese Women’s Literature (Josei Sakka Series), Ed. Yonaha Keiko. Tokyo: Kadokawa Publishers, 1998.
Review of Rachael Hutchinson, Nagai Kafu’s Occidentalism: Defining the Japanese Self. Japan Forum. 25.3 (2013): 414-417.

Review of Tsuyoshi Ishihara, Mark Twain in Japan: The Cultural Reception of an American Icon. Journal of the American Literary Studies Association of Japan 『英文学研究』48 (Spring 2007): 107-116.

Review of Ikuko Fujihira, Noel Polk, and Hisao Tanaka, eds. History and Memory in Faulkner’s Novels. Journal of the English Literary Studies Association of Japan 5 (2006): 94-99.

Review of Thadious M. Davis, Games of Property: Law, Race, Gender, and Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses. Journal of the William Faulkner Society of Japan 7 (Spring 2005): 166-169.
Tezuka Osamu’s feminist manga “Diary of an Insect Shôjo’s Vagabond Life” [昆虫少女の放浪記』(Konchû shôjo no hôrôki, 1955)] Mechademia Vol. 8, Special Issue on Tezuka Osamu, “Tezuka’s Manga Life” (2013): 25-33. PEER REVIEWED.

Kanai Mieko’s “Rotting Meat” (Funiku) in Fiction International 29 (San Diego: San Diego State University Press, 1996): 110-116. Also translated: “As Long As There is Love” (Ai Aru Kagiri); “Portrait of Mother and Child” (Boshizô), published with author’s permission in M.A. Thesis.


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)


American Literature Society of Japan (ALSJ)

Association for Japanese Literary Studies (AJLS)

American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ)

Mark Twain Society of Japan

Modern Language Association (MLA)

Modernist Studies Association (MSA)

Society for the Study of Southern Literature (SSSL)

The Faulkner Society

William Faulkner Society of Japan


Mary Knighton

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