New Faculty Profile: Huang-wen Lai, Japanese Studies

Lai photo1I am very pleased to introduce an exciting new addition to our staff this year, Dr. Huang-wen Lai.  He has a remarkable background, having taught courses on Japanese language, literature, culture and film at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. In addition, he is an author and keen investigator of Japanese culture, especially as it relates to the effect of colonialism on the Japanese during a key period in the early 20th century.  He is currently researching the role of “in-betweenness” in Japanese colonial literature and culture and is employing both literary and cinematic approaches to further reveal the significant impact on the lives of those affected.

Dr. Lai’s book project, “Traveling Abroad, Writing Nationalism, and Performing in Disguise:  People on the Japanese Colonial Boundary, 1909-1943,” investigates the relations and the discourse among those caught on the colonial boundaries under Japanese rule. He is also very interested in intercultural studies between China and Japan and between the East and the West.

Dr. Lai’s next research project will investigate the links between literature and cinema in Japan and China, and the ways in which cinematic adaptations reveal social, political and literary transformations in East Asia from the 1930s to the present.

In this interview, Dr. Tomoyuki Sakaki, Associate Professor of Japanese Studies, interviews Dr. Lai about his research and teaching in depth.


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