About Dr Mats Karlsson

Dr Mats Karlsson’s research interests include: modern and contemporary Japanese and comparative literature, Japanese film history, Japanese modern society from a cross-disciplinary cultural studies perspective.

Dr Mats Karlsson’s research interests include: modern and contemporary Japanese and comparative literature, Japanese film history, Japanese modern society from a cross-disciplinary cultural studies perspective.

Dr Mats Karlsson draws on methods ranging from narratology to cultural studies in his research on modern and contemporary Japanese culture and society. Dr Karlsson persistently strives to apply a concerned social perspective in all of his research, focusing on the lower strata of Japanese society. This basic approach is reflected in his current main project, which involves a “revisionist” attempt at reevaluating the vibrant Proletarian Cultural Movement that took place in Japan around 1930. This is an attempt to discern the unrealized possibilities and messages for today inherent in the movement, which was ultimately crushed by reactionary authorities. In a similar fashion, Dr Karlsson throughout endeavors to focus on marginalized voices and counter culture to the dominant mainstream narratives and officially endorsed culture of contemporary Japan. He is currently supervising a PhD project that applies methods of postcolonialism to wartime Japanese literature produced in Taiwan and Manchuria.     

Selected publications

Books

  • The Kumano Saga of Nakagami Kenji. Edsbruk: Akademitryck AB, 2001.

Articles

  • “Kurahara Korehito’s Road to Proletarian Realism,” Nichibunken Japan Review 20, 2008: 231-273.
  • “’Boku wa kono angō o bukimi ni omou…’Akutagawa Ryūnosuke Haguruma, Sutorindoberi, soshite kyōki,” Nichibunken Fōramu 177, 2005.
  • “Nakagami to Fōkunā,” Waseda Bungaku 11, 2003: 40-53.
Book chapters

  • “1968nen no undō o furikaette: Tenba no fu saidoku,” forthcoming.
  • “Narrative aspects of Akutagawa’s Yabu no naka,” in Ulla Frisk, ed. Japan and Korea in a Nordic context. Edsbruk: Akademitryck AB, 2000: 46-55.