Current Institutional Affiliation
Assistant Professor, Yale University

Award Information

Writing the Modern Family: Family, Nation and Everyday Life in Japan, 1910-1950

This dissertation project charts a literary history of the family from 1910-1950, focusing in particular on the role of the family in Taisho period literature. In doing so, it explores how writers such as Shimazaki Toson, Kikuchi Kan and Tanizaki Jun'ichiro conceived of the family in literary discourse, setting their writings against intellectual and cultural criticism of the time. It investigates how these writers interacted with a new discourse on everyday life and in fact used this discourse to redefine the notion of family, dislocating it from its ideological roots in the Meiji period. This project also explores the family as a structure that brings together individuals, rather than focusing solely on concepts of play and individual personality that have often been the purview of existing scholarship on the Taisho period. In this way, it also responds to an increasing number of recent scholarly works that focus on the figure of woman as housewife during this time period. Finally, this project deals with recent literary studies of the family in the preceding Meiji period, as well as similar scholarship from other subject fields such as film studies, history, sociology and anthropology.