Dr Rebecca Suter

BA, Ph.D. Università degli Studi di Napoli "l'Orientale".
Senior Lecturer
Director, International Comparative Literary Studies Program

A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9351 6766

Biographical details

Rebecca Suter's main research interest is in modern Japanese literature and comparative literature. Her first book,The Japanization of Modernity, focused on contemporary Japanese writer Murakami Haruki, particularly on his role as a cultural mediator between Japan and the United States, as well as on his use of meta-fictional techniques. Her 2010-2013 ARC project looked at representations of the so-called Christian century of Japan (1549-1638) in modern Japanese fiction, including literature, film, manga, anime, and videogames. Before coming to Sydney, she has taught Japanese modern literature at Harvard University and at Brown University. She also works as a translator of manga, and has translated works by Shinohara Chie, Anno Moyoko, Miuchi Suzue, Asano Inio, Kitoh Mohiro, Katayama Kyoichi, and Unita Yumi, among others.

Research interests

  • modern and contemporary Japanese literature
  • Japanese popular culture, manga and anime
  • cross-cultural representations
  • literary theory
  • East-West studies
  • cultural studies
  • postcolonial studies
  • translation studies

Teaching and supervision

Teaching

  • JPNS3621, JPNS3622 (Japanese 7 and 8)
  • JPNS3631 (Japanese 9)
  • JPNS3676 Monsters and Ghosts: Japanese fantasy and Science Fiction
  • ASNS6905 Asian Popular Culture
  • ASNS2677 Beyond the Geisha/Samurai Binary
  • ICLS3630 Literature and Society
  • ICLS2635 Science Fiction: The Future Is Now

Supervision

  • Japanese literature
  • Japanese popular culture
  • Cross-cultural representations
  • Comparative Literature
  • Literary theory
  • Asian Cultural Studies
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Translation Studies

Current research students

Project title Research student
Migration, People and Society: A Comparative Cultural Studies approach to the works of South Asian Diaspora. Sri IYER
Cool, Calm and Collected?: Literary Images of Japan Following the 2011 Triple Disaster Tamaki TOKITA

Current projects

The main focus of my research is in East-West Comparative Studies, with a specific focus on Japan’s creative appropriation of Western culture, and the challenges it poses to current views of globalization, multiculturalism, and transnationalism.

My first monograph, The Japanization of Modernity: Murakami Haruki between Japan and the United States (2008), was the first scholarly work to approach the texts of this renowned contemporary author from a cross-cultural perspective, providing an explanation of his reception on both sides of the Pacific.

My second monograph, Holy Ghosts: The Christian Century in Modern Japanese Fiction (2015), investigated modern Japanese fictional representations of the Christian century (1543-1638), to challenge the conventional understanding of Japan’s cross-cultural negotiations and propose an innovative vision of Japanese social and political formations.

My third book, Rewriting History in Manga: Stories for the Nation (2016), a collective volume co-edited with Dr. Nissim Otmazgin, looks at the representation and “rewriting” of history in the medium of manga, Japanese comics.

My following project, “Near West: Italy and Australia in the Japanese cultural imagination,” looks at representations of Italy and Australia in Japanese popular media as an alternative to the Anglo-American-centric model of Western culture.

In parallel to this, since 2011 I have also been working on representations of disaster in popular fiction. After the Northeastern Japan “triple disaster” of March 2011 there was a broad call for academics to comment on the events, their social and political impact, and their literary representation. I have been involved in a few collective projects on representations of disaster in Japan and responses to the 3.11 disaster, some of which are still ongoing.

My research is now taking on a new turn with new collaborations beyond the humanities and social sciences, to investigate and compare Japanese and Australian cultures of soft drink consumption, and their relationship with corporate strategies and health policy. It combines an analysis of the impact of Japanese and Australian soft drinks consumption cultures on the localised marketing strategies of global corporations with a study of the different approaches of these two countries to the institutional regulation of nutrition and health. Through an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, it aims to highlight the importance of the cultural dimension of nutrition, and the need to consider it when formulating policy.

Current research grants

2016-17

  • Suter, R. Drink Sokenbicha! Comparing Japanese and Australian soft drink consumption cultures. (FASS Cross-disciplinary Research for Social Impact Support Scheme)

2015-16

  • Suter, R. Near West: Italy in the Japanese Cultural Imagination. (FASS Research Support Scheme)

Selected grants

2012

  • Writing the World - Transnationalism in Literary Studies; Bandhauer A, Borghesi F, Christie W, Cowan R, Dixon R, Giles P, Karalis V, Kirkpatrick P, Lu Y, Minter P, Morgan P, Parsons N, Rooney B, Suter R, Walsh A; Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences/FASS Collaborative Research Scheme.

2010

  • Creative Misreadings of Christianity in Modern Japanese Literature and Popular Culture.; Suter R; Australian Research Council (ARC)/Discovery Projects (DP).

Selected publications

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Books

  • Suter, R. (2015). Holy Ghosts: The Christian Century in Modern Japanese Fiction. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
  • Suter, R. (2008). The Japanization of Modernity: Murakami Haruki between Japan the the United States. Cambridge, Massachusetts USA: Harvard University Asia Center.

Book Chapters

  • Suter, R. (2016). Beyond Kizuna: Murakami Haruki on Disaster and Social Crisis. In Mark R. Mullins, Koichi Nakano (Eds.), Disasters and Social Crisis in Contemporary Japan: Political, Religious, and Sociocultural Responses, (pp. 288-308). Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. [More Information]
  • Suter, R. (2016). Critical Engagement through Fantasy in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. In Matthew Strecher and Paul Thomas (Eds.), Challenging Authors: Murakami Haruki, (pp. 59-72). Rotterdam, Boston, Taipei: Sense Publishers.
  • Suter, R. (2014). Disaster and National Identity: The Textual Transformations of Japan Sinks. In Roy Starrs (Eds.), When The Tsunami Came to Shore: Culture and Disaster in Japan, (pp. 214-230). Leiden: Global Oriental.
  • Suter, R. (2014). The March 2011 Tohoku Disaster in Japanese Science Fiction. In Simon Butt, Hitoshi Nasu, Luke Nottage (Eds.), Asia-Pacific Disaster Management: Comparative and Socio-legal Perspectives, (pp. 153-164). Heidelberg: Springer.
  • Suter, R. (2013). Reorienting Murakami Haruki (Riorientando Murakami Haruki). In Gianluca Coci (Eds.), Japan Pop: Words, Images, and Sounds from Contemporary Japan (Japan Pop: Parole, Immagini, Suoni Dal Giappone Contemporaneo), (pp. 23-41). Rome: Aracne.
  • Suter, R. (2012). Cosmopolitanism and Anxiety of Influence in Akutagawa Ryunosuke's Kirishitan Mono. In Roy Starrs (Eds.), Rethinking Japanese Modernism, (pp. 148-163). Leiden, The Netherlands: Global Oriental.
  • Suter, R. (2012). Human and Superhuman in Contemporary Japanese Girls' Manga. In L.E.Semler, Bob Hodge and Philippa Kelly (Eds.), What is the Human Australian Voices from the Humanities, (pp. 82-100). Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.
  • Suter, R. (2012). The Battling Girl Seen From Overseas. In Hiromi Tsuchiya, Satoko Kan, Kayo Takeuchi (Eds.), Girls manga wonderland, (pp. 105-111). Tokyo: Meiji Shoin.
  • Suter, R. (2008). Covering Japan: Rappresentazioni Angloamericane del Giappone. In Valerio Luigi Alberizzi, Marco Montanari (Eds.), Ricercando in Giappone, (pp. 116-140). Rome: Domograf.
  • Suter, R. (2003). Chainizu bokkusu/ireko: modernism and postmodernism in "Tairando" and "Airon no aru fûkei" by Murakami Haruki. In Donatella Izzo & Elena Spandri (Eds.), "Contact zones." Rewriting genre across the east-west border, (pp. 107-131). Naples: Liguori Editore.

Journals

  • Suter, R. (2016). Between Self-promotion and Cultural Politics: Murakami Haruki's Travelogues. Japan Forum, 28(2), 176-196. [More Information]
  • Suter, R. (2015). Review of Strecher, Matthew, The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami. H-Asia, H-Net Reviews. [More Information]
  • Suter, R. (2013). Gender Bending and Exoticism in Japanese Girls' Comics. Asian Studies Review, 37(4), 546-558. [More Information]
  • Suter, R. (2013). Grand Demons and Little Devils: Akutagawa's Kirishitan mono as a Mirror of Modernity. Journal of Japanese Studies, 39(1), 39-66. [More Information]
  • Suter, R. (2012). Orientalism, Self-Orientalism, and Occidentalism in the Visual-Verbal Medium of Japanese Girls' Comics. Literature and Aesthetics, 22(2), 230-247.
  • Suter, R. (2012). Untold and Unlived Lives in Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go: A Response to Burkhard Niederhoff. Connotations (New York): a journal of critical debate, 21(2-3), 397-406.
  • Suter, R. (2011). Creative misreadings of Christianity in Japanese popular culture. Asian Currents, 1, 10-11.
  • Suter, R. (2011). Science Fictions as Subversive Hypothesis: Henkaku tantei shosetsu between Entertainment and Enlightenment. Japanese Studies, 31(2), 267-277. [More Information]
  • Suter, R. (2010). Japan/America, Man/Woman: Gender and Identity Politics in Adriane Tomine and Yoshihiro Tatsumi. Paradoxa: studies in world literary genres, 2010 (22), 101-122.
  • Suter, R. (2010). Review of James Dorsey's "Critical aesthetics: Kobayashi Hideo, modernity, and wartime Japan". Asian Studies Review, 34(4), 533-535.
  • Suter, R. (2009). Adrian Tomine tra Geek-Chic e Gekiga. Acoma, 38(spring), 44-60.
  • Suter, R. (2009). From Jusuheru to Jannu: girl knights and christian witches in the work of Miuchi Suzue. Mechademia: an annual forum for anime, manga and the fan arts, 4(4), 241-256.
  • Suter, R. (2009). Review of Rachel DiNitto's "Uchida Hyakken: a critique of modernity and militarism in prewar Japan". Japanese Studies, 29(2), 311-313.
  • Suter, R. (2003). Rewritings Between East and West: Shiga Naoya's 'Kurodiasu no nikki'. Annali dell'istituto universitario orientale, 63(1), 171-195.

Conferences

  • Suter, R. (2008). Modanizumu and science fiction: Naoki Sanjûgo's Henkaku Tantei Shôsetsu. The 17th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA), Australia: Monash Asia Institute.
  • Suter, R. (2007). Kawaii/Kowai: Manga in the United States. XVIII Biennial Conference of AISNA. Carocci editore.
  • Suter, R. (2005). From Genbun-icchi to JSL (and beyond?): phonocentrism and heterolinguism in Japanese language teaching. The Third Conference on Japanese Language and Language Teaching, Rome: Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina.

Magazine / Newspaper Articles

  • Suter, R. (2012). Review of Coffee Life In Japan (by Merry White). The Times Higher Education, No. 2060.
  • Suter, R. (2012). Review of Modern Women In China And Japan: Gender, Feminism and Global Modernity Between The Wars (by Katrina Gulliver). The Times Higher Education, No. 2058.

Other

  • Suter, R. (2013), Interview: Come costruire una pila di gettini addormentati..cercando di non svegliarli - Rebecca Suter Intervista Murakami Haruki, Published in Japan Pop: Parole, Immagini, Suoni Dal Giappone Contemporaneo (ISBN: 978-88-548-6002-5), Rome: Aracne; pp. 43-60.

2016

  • Suter, R. (2016). Between Self-promotion and Cultural Politics: Murakami Haruki's Travelogues. Japan Forum, 28(2), 176-196. [More Information]
  • Suter, R. (2016). Beyond Kizuna: Murakami Haruki on Disaster and Social Crisis. In Mark R. Mullins, Koichi Nakano (Eds.), Disasters and Social Crisis in Contemporary Japan: Political, Religious, and Sociocultural Responses, (pp. 288-308). Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan. [More Information]
  • Suter, R. (2016). Critical Engagement through Fantasy in Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World. In Matthew Strecher and Paul Thomas (Eds.), Challenging Authors: Murakami Haruki, (pp. 59-72). Rotterdam, Boston, Taipei: Sense Publishers.

2015

  • Suter, R. (2015). Holy Ghosts: The Christian Century in Modern Japanese Fiction. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
  • Suter, R. (2015). Review of Strecher, Matthew, The Forbidden Worlds of Haruki Murakami. H-Asia, H-Net Reviews. [More Information]

2014

  • Suter, R. (2014). Disaster and National Identity: The Textual Transformations of Japan Sinks. In Roy Starrs (Eds.), When The Tsunami Came to Shore: Culture and Disaster in Japan, (pp. 214-230). Leiden: Global Oriental.
  • Suter, R. (2014). The March 2011 Tohoku Disaster in Japanese Science Fiction. In Simon Butt, Hitoshi Nasu, Luke Nottage (Eds.), Asia-Pacific Disaster Management: Comparative and Socio-legal Perspectives, (pp. 153-164). Heidelberg: Springer.

2013

  • Suter, R. (2013). Gender Bending and Exoticism in Japanese Girls' Comics. Asian Studies Review, 37(4), 546-558. [More Information]
  • Suter, R. (2013). Grand Demons and Little Devils: Akutagawa's Kirishitan mono as a Mirror of Modernity. Journal of Japanese Studies, 39(1), 39-66. [More Information]
  • Suter, R. (2013), Interview: Come costruire una pila di gettini addormentati..cercando di non svegliarli - Rebecca Suter Intervista Murakami Haruki, Published in Japan Pop: Parole, Immagini, Suoni Dal Giappone Contemporaneo (ISBN: 978-88-548-6002-5), Rome: Aracne; pp. 43-60.
  • Suter, R. (2013). Reorienting Murakami Haruki (Riorientando Murakami Haruki). In Gianluca Coci (Eds.), Japan Pop: Words, Images, and Sounds from Contemporary Japan (Japan Pop: Parole, Immagini, Suoni Dal Giappone Contemporaneo), (pp. 23-41). Rome: Aracne.

2012

  • Suter, R. (2012). Cosmopolitanism and Anxiety of Influence in Akutagawa Ryunosuke's Kirishitan Mono. In Roy Starrs (Eds.), Rethinking Japanese Modernism, (pp. 148-163). Leiden, The Netherlands: Global Oriental.
  • Suter, R. (2012). Human and Superhuman in Contemporary Japanese Girls' Manga. In L.E.Semler, Bob Hodge and Philippa Kelly (Eds.), What is the Human Australian Voices from the Humanities, (pp. 82-100). Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing.
  • Suter, R. (2012). Orientalism, Self-Orientalism, and Occidentalism in the Visual-Verbal Medium of Japanese Girls' Comics. Literature and Aesthetics, 22(2), 230-247.
  • Suter, R. (2012). Review of Coffee Life In Japan (by Merry White). The Times Higher Education, No. 2060.
  • Suter, R. (2012). Review of Modern Women In China And Japan: Gender, Feminism and Global Modernity Between The Wars (by Katrina Gulliver). The Times Higher Education, No. 2058.
  • Suter, R. (2012). The Battling Girl Seen From Overseas. In Hiromi Tsuchiya, Satoko Kan, Kayo Takeuchi (Eds.), Girls manga wonderland, (pp. 105-111). Tokyo: Meiji Shoin.
  • Suter, R. (2012). Untold and Unlived Lives in Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go: A Response to Burkhard Niederhoff. Connotations (New York): a journal of critical debate, 21(2-3), 397-406.

2011

  • Suter, R. (2011). Creative misreadings of Christianity in Japanese popular culture. Asian Currents, 1, 10-11.
  • Suter, R. (2011). Science Fictions as Subversive Hypothesis: Henkaku tantei shosetsu between Entertainment and Enlightenment. Japanese Studies, 31(2), 267-277. [More Information]

2010

  • Suter, R. (2010). Japan/America, Man/Woman: Gender and Identity Politics in Adriane Tomine and Yoshihiro Tatsumi. Paradoxa: studies in world literary genres, 2010 (22), 101-122.
  • Suter, R. (2010). Review of James Dorsey's "Critical aesthetics: Kobayashi Hideo, modernity, and wartime Japan". Asian Studies Review, 34(4), 533-535.

2009

  • Suter, R. (2009). Adrian Tomine tra Geek-Chic e Gekiga. Acoma, 38(spring), 44-60.
  • Suter, R. (2009). From Jusuheru to Jannu: girl knights and christian witches in the work of Miuchi Suzue. Mechademia: an annual forum for anime, manga and the fan arts, 4(4), 241-256.
  • Suter, R. (2009). Review of Rachel DiNitto's "Uchida Hyakken: a critique of modernity and militarism in prewar Japan". Japanese Studies, 29(2), 311-313.

2008

  • Suter, R. (2008). Covering Japan: Rappresentazioni Angloamericane del Giappone. In Valerio Luigi Alberizzi, Marco Montanari (Eds.), Ricercando in Giappone, (pp. 116-140). Rome: Domograf.
  • Suter, R. (2008). Modanizumu and science fiction: Naoki Sanjûgo's Henkaku Tantei Shôsetsu. The 17th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA), Australia: Monash Asia Institute.
  • Suter, R. (2008). The Japanization of Modernity: Murakami Haruki between Japan the the United States. Cambridge, Massachusetts USA: Harvard University Asia Center.

2007

  • Suter, R. (2007). Kawaii/Kowai: Manga in the United States. XVIII Biennial Conference of AISNA. Carocci editore.

2005

  • Suter, R. (2005). From Genbun-icchi to JSL (and beyond?): phonocentrism and heterolinguism in Japanese language teaching. The Third Conference on Japanese Language and Language Teaching, Rome: Libreria Editrice Cafoscarina.

2003

  • Suter, R. (2003). Chainizu bokkusu/ireko: modernism and postmodernism in "Tairando" and "Airon no aru fûkei" by Murakami Haruki. In Donatella Izzo & Elena Spandri (Eds.), "Contact zones." Rewriting genre across the east-west border, (pp. 107-131). Naples: Liguori Editore.
  • Suter, R. (2003). Rewritings Between East and West: Shiga Naoya's 'Kurodiasu no nikki'. Annali dell'istituto universitario orientale, 63(1), 171-195.

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