My courses at Wesleyan’s College of East Asian Studies range from ancient Japanese myths to Asian-American identity. Recently, I’ve particularly enjoyed my new courses on samurai as a site for expressing Japanese identity, and on foundations of East Asian cultures as a way to consider what constitutes contemporary Asian identities not only in Asian countries, but here in the United States. “Japanese Culture through Food” is now a classic course of mine, although each iteration with new members and materials gives me fresh insights.
My first book, Flowering Tales: Women Exorcising History in Heian Japan, presents a new reading of A Tale of Flowering Fortunes, a historical tale dating to the early eleventh-century. I argue that the rise of tale literature, namely The Tale of Genji, allowed for the writing of new type of history in the hands of court women, one that worked through affect to effect peace. It is due to be published by the Harvard Asia Center in January 2020. I am now working on a second book on premodern Japanese attitudes toward food and eating. Some of my preliminary work on this topic can be found in a chapter in Devouring Japan (ed. Nancy Stalker, Oxford University Press, 2007).
Initially, I am setting up this website to share my translation of the zokuhen, the last ten chapters of A Tale of Flowering Fortunes. In the future, I hope to be able to share the exciting work of my students, too.