Hello. My name is Michael Chan. I am a Visiting Instructor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Connecticut College. My specialization is in modern Japanese literature.
I am also a Ph.D. candidate in the department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale University.
I am currently at work writing up my dissertation, "Writing the Modern Family: Family, Nation, and Everyday Life in Japan, 1910-1950" (title tentative). My dissertation focuses broadly on how the family is conceived in Japanese literature between 1910-1950, focusing in particular on the Taisho (1912-1926) and pre-war Showa (1926-1989) periods. My project investigates how writers such as Shimazaki Tōson, Kikuchi Kan, and Tanizaki Jun’ichirō used changing family structures in their writings to describe and proscribe a contingent notion of family. This contingent family develops out of an increased emphasis on the individuals at the center of the family. I contextualize the works of these authors against the backdrop of dramatically changing "modern" Japan, which during this time dealt with natural disasters, geopolitical shifts, and changes in culture including a focus on the individual, the rise of women's rights movements, new forms of play in the city, and an increased interest in everyday life. Furthermore, by exploring the family in works of both the bundan (literary world) and popular culture, I explore the potential of literature to describe and work through these changes.
My other academic interests include modern and contemporary Japanese literature; Japanese film and visual culture; and Japanese popular culture, especially popular music.
I can be contacted at .