Graduate students studying Japanese literature awarded Fulbright and Japan Foundation grants

Five graduate students studying Japanese literature at Washington University have been awarded grants to conduct dissertation research in Japan. Two have received Fulbright grants, and three have received Japan Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Fellowships. All five students will pursue research projects in Japan once research travel restrictions are lifted.

Adam Manfredi and Laurel Taylor have received Fulbright grants for 2020­–21. Manfredi is in the early stages of writing a dissertation about the impact of the 1968 student movement on Japanese literature and will pursue research at Keio University under the supervision of Oguma Eiji. Laurel Taylor’s dissertation is about literary production online and its impact on the relationship between readers and writers. She will work with Hitomi Yoshio at Waseda University.

Yu-Ning Chen, Lei Hu, and Emily Levine have been awarded Japan Foundation scholarships. Chen researches fashion, colonialism, and mid-century Japanese literature. She will work under the direction of Tsuboi Hidehito at the International Research Center for Japanese Studies. Lei Hu is writing a dissertation about melancholy and nostalgia in Japanese literature from 1890 to 1930 and will work with Adrian Pinnington at Waseda University. Emily Levine researches sexuality, pastiche, and feminist thought in the work of Kurahashi Yumiko. She will study with Ikoma Natsumi at International Christian University.

“We've always been successful sending our doctoral students to Japan, either on a Fulbright or a Japan Foundation scholarship, but this is the first time we've had five go at once,” said Rebecca Copeland, professor of Japanese language and literature. “Our students are pitted against applicants from some of the most prestigious programs in the nation, and they always hold their own. I’m beyond proud.”

WashU hosts two different Japanese doctoral programs, one in Japanese literature and the other a joint-program in Japanese and comparative literature.