James (Jim) Dorsey

Associate Professor of Asian Societies Cultures and Languages
Academic Appointments

Associate Professor of Japanese literature, culture, and language

My research interests focus on the interface of culture, ideology, and power. I explore this in my writing on Japanese novelists and critics during Japan's quest for empire (roughly 1935 ~ 1945) and in my work on the various challenges to the status quo in the radical 1960s. The theory and practice of translation is another area of great interest to me.

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In my teaching I aspire to nurture creative and critical thinking through the analysis of cultural artefacts from Japan (fiction, poetry, music, graphic novels). While I take very seriously my responsibiity to guide, prod, and orchestrate student learning, I do not micro-manage; I want students to assume ownership of their learning. I encourage students to adhere to an aphorism coined by the famous Japanese calligrapher Aida Mitsuo (相田みつを): “If you’re going to do something, then try doing it with real commitment—it’s less tiring that way and a whole lot more fun.” The original Japanese is 同じ やるなら本腰を入れてやってごらん。その方が疲れないで楽しいから。

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209 Anonymous Hall
HB 6191
Asian Societies, Cultures, and Languages
B.A. Colgate University
M.A. Indiana University
Ph.D. University of Washington
research affiliations at Hosei University, Keio University, Kanda University of International Studies, Waseda University (Japan)

Selected Publications

"Literature at War's End: The 'Prosecution' of Writers in Bungaku Jihyō." In Literature Among the Ruins: Postwar Japanese Literary Criticism, ed.Ueda, Atsuko, et al. Lantham, MD: Lexington Book, 2018, pps 159-175.

「1960 年代のフォーク的主体性」 (in Japanese; The Folk Music Subjectivity of the 1960s). In Tōya Mamoru, ed.,『日本文化に何を見る:ポピュラーカルチャーとの対話』. Tokyo: Kyōwakoku, 2016, pp. 69~105.

“Breaking Records: Media, Censorship, and the Folk Song Movement of Japan’s 1960s.” In Asian Popular Culture: New, Hybrid, and Alternate Media, ed. John A. Lent and Lorna Fitzsimmons. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2013, 79~107.

“Manga and the End of Japan’s 1960s.” In Graphic Subjects: Critical Essays on Autobiography and Graphic Novels , ed. by Michael A. Chaney.  Madison, WI: U of Wisconsin Press, 2011.

Literary Mischief: Sakaguchi Ango, Culture, and the War, eds. James Dorsey and Doug Slaymaker, with translations by James Dorsey.  Lanthan, MD: Lexington Books, 2010.

Critical Aesthetics: Kobayashi Hideo, Modernity, and Wartime Japan.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard East Asia Center, 2009.

No More Hiroshima, Nagasaki.  Translation of book edited by Shimizu and Kuroko (Tokyo: Nihon Tosho Sentaa, 2005).

“A Personal View of Japanese Culture,” translation of “Nihon bunka shikan” (1942) by Sakaguchi Ango.  In The Columbia Anthology of Modern Japanese Literature, eds. T. Rimer and V Gessel.  New York: Columbia UP, 2005.

“The Internet and Japanese Conceptions of Privacy,” with M Mizutani and J H Moore.  In Ethics and Information Technology , 6:2 (June 2004).

“Culture, Nationalism, and Sakaguchi Ango.” In Journal of Japanese Studies, 27:2 (Summer 2001), 347-379.

“Sakaguchi Ango.”  In Modern Japanese Writers, ed. Jay Rubin. New York: Scribners, 2000, 31-48.

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Works in progress

Book length manuscript on the political folk song movement of Japan in the late 1960s.

Article: "Like the Birds Soaring Above the Waters: The Translation History of the North Korean Song 'The Rimjin River'." 

Book-length translation: Shoji, Kaoru. Be Careful, Little Red Riding Hood. Award-winning novel of 1969.