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Faculty member awarded Postdoctoral Fellowship

Dr. Kaoru Hayashi, assistant professor of Japanese literature and language, has been awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies (RIJS) at Harvard University for the academic year of 2019-20.

Established in 1973, the Edwin O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies is one of the most prestigious and prominent research centers in all disciplines within Japanese studies in North America, hosting many international scholars and researchers from across the world. The institute provides recent Ph.D. recipients the opportunity to turn their dissertations into publishable manuscripts with $60,000 of financial support in addition to $5,000 in research funds.

Dr. Hayashi’s book project, “Mediating Spirits: Narratives of Vengeful Spirits and Genealogies in Premodern Japanese Literature,” explores the invocation of the angry dead as both a social practice of genealogical imagination repeatedly thematized within premodern Japanese literary texts and as an act whose structure generated a narrative voice integral to the development of classical Japanese narratives. This book aims to transform our fundamental understanding of premodern Japanese narratives and break down long-standing barriers between disciplinary boundaries by showing the crucial role of vengeful spirits as rhetorical and narrative devices across a wide variety of premodern Japanese texts from the tenth to the fourteenth centuries.

While writing her book manuscript, she will also actively participate in the Japanese studies community at Harvard University, working with faculty and students, as well as many visiting scholars and researchers, and presenting her research at the Japan Forum series.