Re-imagining Imperial Powers in Late Heian Japan: The Hunger for Visibility in Tales and Illustrated Handscrolls

Grants and Contracts Details


I am applying for the Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship to advance my research on the enduring legacy oftext and image relations in Japan''s Heian era (794-1185), which will culminate in the publication of a book in 2026: Re-imagining Imperial Powers in Late Heian Japan: The Hunger for Visibility in Tales and Illustrated H andscrolls. A Fulbright Fellowship will also inform my ongoing teaching of modem and Classical Japanese language, as well as my courses on pre-modern Japanese literary and visual culture and the ways in which they are tied to the present. The Heian period is known worldwide for its mark on world literature: it boasts the world''s first novel, Genji monogatari (the Tale ofGenji, ca. 1008), written by a lady-in-waiting, Murasaki Shikibu. This was a time when female writers and readership flourished in Japan, at a moment in world history when illiteracy was the norm, and women possessing these skills were rare. The Tale ofGenji remains the most canonical work in Japanese literature, and has been adapted into various media since its inception, including picture scrolls, kimono design, and - more recently - anime, manga, and film. My proposed research is the first study in any language to examine the Heian era''s watershed developments in visuality by mapping verbal and visual trends together across several significant yet historically overlooked works, including both literary and hybrid verbal-visual texts. A Fulbright-Hays Fellowship is critical to my undertaking of a 5-month research project that will utilize primary and secondary Heian source materials found only in Japan''s renowned archives. A better understanding of these medieval works will give us a window into the aesthetic origins of contemporary Japan''s visually saturated society and its decisive impacts on world culture.
Effective start/end date9/30/223/31/24


  • Department of Education: $43,832.00


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