BA, Ph.D. Università degli Studi di Napoli “l’Orientale.”
Room 547, Brennan-MacCallum Building A18
+61 2 9351 6766
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.
- 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
My research interest 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 postcolonialism and globalization.
My first monograph, The Japanization of Modernity: Murakami Haruki between Japan and the United States, 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 and a broader understanding of the increasing popularity of Japanese literature and popular culture in the English-speaking world.
Building on this research, my ARC DP for 2010-12 looked at the interpretations of Christianity in modern Japan, from early twentieth century literature to contemporary manga, anime, videogames and television. I presented on the project at numerous conferences and wrote a few shorter pieces; I am now in the process of completing a book manuscript and a co-edited collected volume.
My new project, tentatively titled "Middle West: Italy and Australia in the Japanese imagination," looks at representations of Italy and Australia in Japanese popular culture, particularly shôjo (women's) subcultures, as an alternative to the Anglo-American model of Western culture. In the next year or so, I plan to present a two conferences and write a journal article about it, and build on the feedback received to prepare another ARC DP application for 2014-16.
I am also involved in another project, focusing on representations of disaster in popular fiction. After the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear incident in Northeastern Japan 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 am participating in several publishing projects related to this effort.
- The Japanisation of Modernity: Murakami Haruki between Japan and the United States. Harvard University Press East Asia Series, 2008.
- “From Jusuheru to Jannu: Girl Knights and Christian Witches in the works of Miuchi Suzue.” Mechademia 4, Minnesota University Press, 2009.
- “Immagini Anglo-Americane del Giappone.” Valerio Alberizzi and Marco Montanari, eds. Ricercando in Giappone. Rome, Domograf, 2008.
- “Kawaii/Kowai: the Reception of Manga in the United States.” Donatella Izzo, Giorgio Mariani, Paola Zaccaria. American Solitudes: Individual, National, Transnational. Rome, Carocci Editore, 2007.
- "Chainizu bokkusu/ireko: modernism and postmodernism in 'Tairando' and 'Airon no aru fûkei' by Murakami Haruki", in Donatella Izzo, ed. 'Contact Zones': Rewriting Genre Across the East-West Border, Naples, Liguori, July 2003.
- “Adrian Tomine tra Geek Chic e Gekiga.” ACOMA 38, Fall 2009.
- "From Genbun-icchi to JSL (and beyond?): phonocentrism and heterolinguism in Japanese language teaching", Aldo Tollini (ed.), The Third Conference on Japanese Language and Language Teaching. Proceedings of the Conference, Rome, 2005.
- "Rewritings Between East and West: Shiga Naoya's 'Kurodiasu no nikki'", Orientalistica, A.I.O.N., 63/1, 2003.
- "'Sorry, I don't Speak Japanese'. Interculturality in Kazuo Ishiguro's Novels", Anglistica, A.I.O.N. (Annali Istituto Orientale Napoli), 1999, 3/1.
- "'We're like Butlers': Interculturality, Memory and Responsibility in Kazuo Ishiguro's The Remains of the Day", Q/W/E/R/T/Y, Arts, Littératures et Civilizations du Monde Anglophone, P.U.P. (Publications de l'Université de Pau), October 1999.
- Saiyuki - Journey to the West, Japanese adaptation by Matsueda Shigeo (1985) from the Chinese original Xiyouji by Wu Cheng'en, Bologna, Kappa Edizioni, April 2005.
Translation of manga
- Akaishi Michiyo, Alpen Rose
- Anno Moyoco, Happy Mania
, In The Clothes Named Fat
- Asano Inio, Subarashii Sekai – What a Wonderful World
, Hikari no machi – City of Light
- Atsushi Kaneko, Bambi
- Igarashi Yumiko, Mayme Angel
- Kaneyoshi Izumi, Sonnanjaneeyo
- Katayama Kyoichi, Kazui Kazumi, Sekai no chûshin kara ai o sakebu
- Kazune Kawahara, Kôkô debyü
- Kitô Mohiro, Bokurano
- Matsunaga Toyokazu, Ryuguden – Castle of the Dragon
- Mimori Ao, B.O.D.Y.
- Miuchi Suzue, Miuchi Suzue Kessakushû – Best Works
- Onozuka Kaori, Crazy Smile
- Q-ta Minami, Cool Pine
- Shinohara Chie, Sora wa akai kawa no hotori – Anatolia Story
, Mizu ni sumu hana – Romance of Darkness
- Shoji Yoko, G.I.D. – Gender Identity Disorder
- Unita Yumi, Sukimasuki
- 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
- Japanese literature
- Japanese popular culture
- Cross-cultural representations
- Comparative Literature
- Literary theory
- Asian Cultural Studies
- Postcolonial Studies
- Translation Studies
- “Cosmopolitanism and anxiety of influence in Akutagawa Ryûnosuke’s Kirishitan mono.” Otago Conference on Japanese Modernism, Otago University, New Zealand, August 14-16, 2009.
- “Cross-dressing as soft power in shôjo manga.” The Japanese Studies Association of Australia Biennial Conference, Sydney, July 13-16, 2009.
“Creative Misreadings of Christianity in Michiyo Akaishi’s Amakusa 1637.” The 18th New Zealand Asian Studies Society International Conference, Victoria University of Wellington, 6-8 July, 2009.
- “Human and superhuman in contemporary Japanese girls’ culture.” The Human and Humanities in Literature, Language and Culture, AULLA (Australasian Universities Language and Literature Association), The University of Sydney, 4-6 February 2009.
- “Gender and Technoculture in Japanese ‘Irregular Detective Fiction.’” Glocalising Sex and Gender: Consumption, Culture, Practice, Sydney University, GCS Department, February 26-27, 2009.
- “Science fiction as subversive hypothesis: henkaku tantei shôsetsu between entertainment and Enlightenment.” Shinseinen: from Entertainment to Enlightenment International Workshop, University of Sydney, December 3-4, 2008.
- “It’s a kind of magic: creative misreadings of Western religion in Akutagawa Ryûnosuke's Kirishitan mono.” AASRN International workshop with professor David Eng, Melbourne, December 11-12, 2008.
- “Lost in translation? Murakami Haruki and the Japanisation of the English language.” Murakami Haruki Symposium, University of California at Berkeley, Centre for Japanese Studies, October 12, 2008.
- “Modanizumu and Science Fiction: Naoki Sanjûgo’s henkaku tantei shôsetsu.” Asian Studies Association of Australia, Melbourne, July 1-3, 2008.
- “Murakami Haruki and the Japanisation of Modernity”, Italian School of East Asian Studies (ISEAS) and Ecole Francaise d’Extrem Orient (EFEO) Kyoto Lectures, Kyoto, March 27th, 2008.
- “Murakami Haruki as paramodernist”, Avant-pop Revolutions Panel, Nippon 2007 SF Worldcon, Yokohama, August 31-September 3, 2007.
- “From Jusuheru to Jannu: creative misreadings of Christianity in the manga of Miuchi Suzue”. PCA/ACA Annual Conference, Boston, April 6-8, 2007.
- "Lost in Translation? Murakami Haruki and the Japanisation of the English Language." Wellesley College, October 25, 2006.
- "Manga as American Literature", PCA/ACA Annual Conference, Atlanta, April 12-15, 2006.
- "Murakami Haruki and the Power of Imagination", Sophia University, Tokyo, December 22, 2005.
- "Murakami Haruki and the Power of Imagination", Japan Forum Lectures, Reischauer Institute for Japanese Studies, Harvard University, December 9, 2005.
- "Kawaii/Kowai: the reception of Manga in the United States", The Asian/American Workshop, Italian Association for North American Studies (AISNA) Biennial Conference, Bari, October 6-8, 2005.
- "From Genbun-icchi to JSL: phonocentrism and heterolinguism in Japanese language teaching", XIII Conference on Japanese Linguistics and Language Teaching (JLLT) at the Japanese Institute of Culture (Nihon Bunka Kaikan) Roma, March 17-19, 2005.
- Invited contributor of a monthly column on foreign fiction for the journal Hayakawa Mystery magazine
- Co-organiser of the Shinseinen from Entertainment to Enlightenment workshop to be held at Sydney university in December 2008