Research & Practice Areas
Modern Japanese literature and cinema; media theory and history; auditory culture and musicology; translation theory and praxis; performance studies and the history of Japanese film acting
I specialize in modern Japanese literature and cinema, media history, and translation studies. My first book, Electrified Voices: How the Telephone, Phonograph, and Radio Shaped Modern Japan, 1868-1945 (Columbia University Press, 2018), examines the roles played by the telegraph, telephone, phonograph, radio, and sound film in the discursive, aesthetic, and ideological practices of Japan from 1868 to 1945. My second project, tentatively entitled Gestures in Light: The Body in Japanese Cinema, is a critical and theoretical meditation on physical expressivity and representations of the body in Japanese film from the silent era to the early twenty-first century; at the same time, it offers a concise history of the development of film acting as a performance tradition in Japan. In addition to this research, I am active as a translator in a variety of genres and media, from contemporary novels to pre-modern poetry to the subtitles for more than a hundred feature films in the Criterion Collection/Janus Films library, including classic works by directors such as Kurosawa Akira, Ozu Yasujiro, and Oshima Nagisa. Prior to coming to USC, I taught at Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Boston University, and was a postdoctoral fellow in the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts at Princeton University.
- M.Phil. East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
- Ph.D. East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University
- B.A. Music, Wesleyan University
Tenure Track Appointments
- Assistant Professor of Japanese, The Ohio State University, Columbus, 2013 – 2017
- East Asian Studies-Cotsen Postdoctoral Fellow, Princeton University Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, 2009 – 2012
Visiting and Temporary Appointments
- Visiting Assistant Professor of Japanese, University of Notre Dame, 2012-2013
- Visiting Assistant Professor of Japanese, Boston University, 2008-2009
- Yasar, K. (2018). Electrified Voices: How the Telephone, Phonograph, and Radio Shaped Modern Japan, 1868-1945. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.