Susan B. Klein

Professor of Japanese Literature and Culture, East Asian Languages & Literature
School of Humanities

B.A., Williams College, 1980, History of Ideas


M.A., Cornell University, 1987, East Asian Literature


Ph.D., Cornell University, 1994, Japanese Literature

Phone: (949) 824-8165, 2227
Fax: (949) 824-3248
Email: sbklein@uci.edu

University of California, Irvine
479 HIB
Mail Code: 6000
Irvine, CA 92697

picture of Susan B. Klein

Research
Interests
Premodern and modern theater and dance; Japanese religions; feminist critical theory
   
URL www.humanities.uci.edu/eastasian/people/sklein.html
   
Research
Abstract
The main focus of all my work has been on the ways that literature and theater attempt to symbolically resolve certain cultural problematics. In doing so I pay close attention to both thematic and performative aspects of the texts, and how those aspects may be symptomatic of their historical context. As a feminist scholar I am particularly interested in identifying the blind spots and limitations of contemporary Western theory when confronted with texts from differing temporal and cultural contexts. I began my scholarly career examining the political and social context for the emergence in the early 1960s of the postmodern dance form Ankoku Butoh; I then turned my research focus back in time to medieval Japan and Noh theater. I am working on a two-volume research project. The first volume, which was published in 2003 (Allegories of Desire) examines the development of group of secret esoteric commentaries on Ise monogatari and the Kokinshu which were written during the Kamakura period. The second volume, which is currently in progress, will be on the use of those commentaries by Muromachi playwrights to create Noh plays which function as complex religious allegories. In the future I hope to return to a project (which I began working on in 1989) on changing constructions of gender and subjectivity in Japanese literature and theater, with special attention to the historical development of ghosts and other supernatural creatures. I will be using the Dojoji narrative (a woman who changes into a fire-breathing serpent and kills her lover) as a locus for analysis.
   
Publications Allegories of Desire: The Esoteric Literary Commentaries of Medieval Japan (Harvard University Press, 2003)
   
  Ankoku Butô: The Premodern and Postmodern Influences on the Dance of Utter Darkness (Cornell University East Asia Series, first edition 1989; fourth edition 2011).
   
  Chih-Yu Chen, trans., Anhei Wuta: Qian xiandai yu hou xiandai zen anhei wuta shange de yingxiang
(Taiwan: Zoar Press, 2007). Translation of Ankoku Butô: The Premodern and Postmodern Influences on the Dance of Utter Darkness into Chinese. Revised introduction, new photographs, and added interviews.
   
  "Seijiteki gui toshite no nô: Hakurakuten o megutte" [Noh as Political Allegory: The Case of Haku Rakuten], trans. Araki Hiroshi, Osaka Daigaku Daigakuin Bungaku
Kenkyuka Kiyô [Osaka University Graduate Literary Research Seminar Bulletin] (March 2010)
   
  "Turning Damsel Flowers to Lotus Blossoms: Ominameshi and Medieval Commentaries" in The Noh Ominameshi: A Flower Viewed from Many Directions, edited by Mae Smethurst (Cornell University East Asia Series, 2003), pp. 47-88.
   
  “Esotericism in Noh Commentaries and Plays: Komparu Zenchiku’s Meishukushû and Kakitsubata” in The Culture of Secrecy in Japanese Religion, edited by Bernhard Scheid and Mark Teeuwen (New York and London: Routledge Press, 2006).
   
  "Wild Words and Syncretic Deities: Kyôgen kigo and Honji suijaku in Medieval Literary Allegoresis " in Buddhas and Kami in Japan: Honji Suijaku as a Combinatory Paradigm, edited by Mark Teeuwen and Fabio Rambelli (London: Curzon/Routledge Press, 2003), pp. 177-203.
   
  "Allegories of Desire: Poetry and Eroticism in Ise monogatari zuinô," Monumenta Nipponica 52:4 (Winter 1997)
   
  "A Translation of Ise monogatari zuinô (The Essence of The Tales of Ise)," Monumenta Nipponica 53:1 (Spring 1998)
   
  "Fujiwara Tameaki" in Medieval Japanese Writers, a volume in the series Dictionary of Literary Biography (1999)
   
  "Woman as Serpent: The Demonic Feminine in the Noh Play Dôjôji" in Religious Reflections on the Human Body, edited by Jane Marie Law (1994).
   
Other Experience THEATER • Noh and Butoh. Studied shimai (dance) and utai (chanting) with Kita Noh actors Takabayashi Kôji in Kyoto and Tokyo (summer 1985, 2007-2009) and Nakamura Kunio in Tokyo (1987-89, 1994). Studied with various Butoh dancers including Ohno Kazuo and Nakajima Natsu (1987-89, 1994).


   
Link to this profile http://www.faculty.uci.edu/profile.cfm?faculty_id=2779
   
Last updated 06/20/2017