Associate Professor of Japanese
PhD Columbia University
Japanese cinema and culture, especially popular culture; film and media studies; visual and material culture; moving image archiving and preservation; travel and tourism studies; nuclear culture; digital humanities; ephemera studies; object-based learningn
409 Lattimore Hall
My research and teaching focus on Japanese cinema and culture, particularly after 1900; popular culture; the history and historiography of moving images and other visual media; material culture studies; and critical digital humanities practice. I am author and editor of Re-Envisioning Japan, an ongoing digital humanities project comprising a physical collection and critical digital archive that documents changing images of Japan and its place in the world in the early to mid 20th century. The intellectual organization of the open access REJ archive, the comparative context it provides, and the variety of resources that it makes accessible model object-based research and scholarship relevant to fields as diverse as tourism studies; society, technology, class and gender studies; film and media studies; colonial and post colonial studies; and cultural heritage and preservation.
I have published on Japanese cinema, silent cinema, moving image and media history and historiography, film preservation, digital humanities, and Godzilla and nuclear culture in journals and edited volumes. Published in 2001, Writing in Light: The Silent Scenario and the Japanese Pure Film Movement (Wayne State University Press) was the first comprehensive study of silent Japanese cinema and is the only history of writing for silent film in Japan to be published in English. I enjoy working across and in the spaces between traditional academic disciplines; this is often where the questions most relevant today arise. I am active in several of the University’s interdisciplinary programs, including Digital Media Studies (Curriculum Committee), Film and Media Studies (former director and interim director of the FMS Program), the Selznick Graduate Program in Film Preservation (former Graduate Advisor and current MA thesis advisor for several students), the Graduate Program in Visual and Cultural Studies (Affiliate Faculty), and the Graduate Program in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management. I attended the Selznick Certificate Program in Film Preservation at the George Eastman Museum full time (2007-2008, Honorary Certificate), and I advise the UR graduate student chapter of the Association of Moving Image Archivists.
- Re-Envisioning Japan: Japan as Destination in 20th-Century Visual and Material Culture. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Digital Humanities Center, 2013. River Campus Libraries. http://humanities.lib.rochester.edu/rej/
Work in Progress
- Co-editor (with Shota Ogawa), Routledge Handbook of Japanese Cinema
- “20th Century Monster,” in A Companion to Japanese Cinema, ed. David Desser, Wiley Blackwell.
- “Creative Curating: The Digital Archive as Argument” (with Nora Dimmock), in Making Humanities Matter, ed. Jentery Sayers. Vol. 2, Debates in the Digital Humanities series, University of Minnesota.
- “Nitrate Did Wait: A Report on the First Nitrate Picture Show,” Journal of Film Preservation, no. 93 (October 2015), 47-50.
- “Developing Images, Defining Words,” in Japanese Cinema, ed. Nikki J.Y. Lee and Julian Stringer. London and New York: Routledge, 2015. Vol. 1, 215-243. Reprinted from Writing in Light, 2001.
- “Does Film Theory Exist in Japan?” Translation of “Nihon ni eiga riron wa atta ka,” Sato Tadao, Nihon eiga riron-shi (1977).“Decentering Theory: Reconsidering the History of Japanese Film Theory,” Josai International University Review of Japanese Culture and Society, vol. 22 (2011), 7-21.
- “Dare vita alla pagina: la collaborazione con Yoda Yoshikata,” Bellezza e Tristezza: Il cinema di Mizoguchi Kenji, ed. Dario Tomasi, 2009, 159-171.
- "Teaching Godzilla," In Godzilla's Footsteps: Japanese Pop Culture Icons on the Global Stage, ed. Tsutsui and Ito, 2006, 111-125.
- “Osaka Elegy: Revisiting 1930s Mizoguchi,” Film Analysis: A Norton Reader, ed. Geiger and Rutsky, 2005, 260-281 (2nd ed. 2013).
- “Researching Japanese Silent Cinema/Japanese Cinema as an Academic Adventure,” Asian Cinema–Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Korean Film Archive, 2002, 271-284 (Proceedings, FIAF 58th Congress, Seoul).
- “Chaplin Among the Ashes: A Collector’s Beginnings,” In Praise of Film Studies: Essays in Honor of Makino Mamoru, ed. Nornes and Gerow, 2001, 68-73.
- Writing in Light: the Silent Scenario and the Japanese Pure Film Movement, Wayne State University Press, 2001.
Selected Conference Presentations
- Archives in Between: Cultural Preservation, Material to Digital, panel moderator and presenter (“Re-Envisioning Japan: a digital archive of material culture”), University of Rochester (2015).
- “Re-Envisioning Japan: A Faculty-DH Center Collaboration,” Digital Scholarship Colloquium 2014: Pedagogy and Practices, The Freedman Center for Digital Scholarship, Kelvin Smith Library, Case Western Reserve University (2014).
- “Re-Envisioning Japan as Destination in 20th Century Visual and Material Culture,” 2014 International Conference on Digital Future and Mediated Society, Zhejiang University, China (2014)
- “Observations on The Dragon Painter,” Southern Literary Trail, Marengo County Historical Society (2013).
- “Destination Japan: Japan in Cherry Blossom Time and Japan as Seen From a Rickshaw,” Wunderkino 2: On the Varieties of Cinematic Experience, 13th Annual Northeast Historic Film Summer Symposium (2012).
- “Re-envisioning Japan in Silent Educational and Travel Films,” Asian Studies Conference Japan, Rikkyō University (2012).
- “Destination Japan: The Personal Collection as Alternative Archive,” Columbia University, The Makino Collection: The Present and the Future of an Archive (2011).
- 「映画保存と映画研究のための大学、アーカイブ間協力」 (Creating a University-Museum Alliance for Film Preservation and Research), 6th Kyoto Film Preservation Workshop at The Museum of Kyoto (2011).
- 「日本文学—過去、現在、将来」(Japanese Studies: Past, Present, Future). Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan (2006).
- “Yōjimbō: Global Kurosawa,” Keynote, 52nd Japan-America Student Conference. Harvard University (2000).
Courses on Japanese culture; film history, theory, and critical analysis; nuclear history, culture and the visual image; animation; history of US-Japan relations; material culture studies; tourism studies; moving image archiving and preservation; object-based learning
- Atomic Creatures: Godzilla
- Tourist Japan (digital humanities lab)
- Film as Object (in collaboration with George Eastman Museum)
- Akira Kurosawa
- Hayazaki Miyao and Planet Ghibli
- History of Japanese Cinema
Selected Awards and Activities
- University of Rochester Pilot Research Award ($21,442), 2014-2015
- Rochester Center for Community Leadership, Community Engaged Learning Grants (Tourist Japan, Film as Object), 2015, 2016
- Digital Media Studies Curriculum Committee, 2015-present
- NEH Summer Institute Fellow, Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture, 2013
- University of Rochester College Teaching, Learning, and Technology Roundtable Faculty Grant, 2011-2012
- Advisory Editor, Camera Obscura, 2006-present
- Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) Educational Committee, 2005-present
- Film and Media Studies Program, Director (2004-2007), Interim Director (2000-2001, 2015)
- Japan Foundation Short Term Research Grant, 2003-2004
- NEH Summer Institute Fellow, University of Southern California, 2002
- Japan Foundation Publication Grant, Writing in Light, 2001
- Finalist, Theatre Library Association Book Award, Writing in Light, 2001
- Susan B. Anthony Research Institute for Women’s Studies research grant, 1995
- Association of Asian Studies Northeast Area Council research grant, 1995
- ACLS International conference travel grant, International Symposium on Tanizaki Jun’ichiro, Università di Venezia Ca’ Foscari, 1994
- Harvard University, Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 1993-1994