James Reichert is Associate Professor of Modern Japanese Literature and Feminist Studies at Stanford University. The majority of his research to date has focused on literature of the Meiji and Taisho eras, but he also researches and teaches early Japanese cinema and the history of popular culture in Modern Japan. He is the author of In the Company of Men: Representations of Male-Male Sexuality in Meiji Literature (Stanford University Press, 2006) and is currently working on a major book on the influential literary and cultural figure Bakin Takizawa (author ofHakkenden), tentatively titled Bakin’s Nineteenth Century: the Rise of Modern Print Media in Japan. Professor Reichert is also the author of scholarly articles and book chapters in both English and Japanese such as “Tsubouchi Shôyô’s Tôsei shosei katagi and the Institutionalization of Exclusive Heterosexuality” (2003) and the chapter “Disciplining the Erotic-Grotesque in Edogawa Ranpo’s Demon of the Lonely Isle” in The Culture of Japanese Fascism (2009). He is also a member of the Stanford University queer studies coaltion.
Prof. Reichert earned his Ph.D. in Japanese literature at the University of Michigan under the supervision of Prof. Ken Ito in 1998. He began his career as a professor at Stanford University, where he still teaches, and he was also a Faculty Fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center in 1999. In addition to his regular classroom teaching, he routinely offers educational and cultural events to the larger community. Notable in this regard are the free film series he has organized, such as this 2005 retrospective of the works of Kinuyo Tanaka and this one about Japanese films of 1960. The films featured are sometimes otherwise inaccessible to audiences today. You can read about these series in this article from the Palo Alto Weekly. Prof. Reichert has also engaged in teaching that reaches beyond the university classroom by incorporating blogging into some of his classes. For example, you can check out the blogs for his courses on Japanese Ghosts and Romance, Desire, and Sexuality.
Prof. Reichert researches and writes about literature, but he also appears in literature. Savvy readers of fiction in Japanese can look for him in novels by the award-winning writer Mizumura Minae. Prof. Reichert’s scholarly book on male-male sexuality in Meiji literature, In the Company of Men, is blurbed by novelist and cultural critic Edmund White.
Christa Coryea, an undergraduate Honours student in East Asian Studies at McGill, interviews Prof. Reichert for today’s podcast. She does a phenomenal job questioning Prof. Reichert about his research on male-male sexuality in samurai culture from the 14th to 19th centuries. Diving deeper into its present manifestations, Coryea seeks a greater understanding of this subversive current in Japanese literature. At the end, Prof. Reichert ends up turning the tables on Coryea, switching the roles of interviewee to interviewer!
If you would like to stream the audio, it’s available below by clicking on the arrow.http://ia600403.us.archive.org/30/items/ChristaCoryeaInterviewsJamesReichert/week_9.mp3″