Margherita Long

picture of Margherita  Long

Associate Professor, East Asian Studies
School of Humanities

Ph.D., Princeton University, 1998, East Asian Studies


University of California, Irvine
476 Humanities Instructional Building
Mail Code: 6000
Irvine, CA 92697
Research Interests
Japanese literature, environmental humanities, feminist theory, eco-documentary
Academic Distinctions
2000-2001. Post-Doctoral Fellow, Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women, Brown University.
1994-1995. Fulbright-Hays Dissertation Grant, Tokyo University. Supervised by Komori Yoichi and Ueno Chizuko.
2003-2015. Assistant and Associate Professor, Department of Comparative Literature, UC Riverside.
1997-2003. Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Literature, SUNY Buffalo.
Research Abstract
My first book was _This Perversion Called Love: Reading Tanizaki, Feminist Theory and Freud_ (Stanford, 2009). Analyzing what Nakagami Kenji calls Tanizaki’s “over-ripe” work from the 1930s, I argue that novels like Yoshinokuzu [Arrowroot] and essays like In’ei raisan [In Praise of Shadows] are drawing many of the same conclusions about subjectivity as Tanizaki’s contemporary Freud, but drawing them much more critically. The book uses Irigaray’s critique of Freud to sketch Tanizaki’s parallel critique of the way the “perversions” we call masochism and fetishism are actually straightforward examples of the impossibility of female subjectivity in modern capitalist life.

My current project is _Care, Affect, Crackup: Literature and Activism after Fukushima_. Here I study novels, stories, activist narratives and documentary cinema to ask how people are using art as a form of carework that alternately intensifies and tames the scary reality of radiation. In full agreement with the a biopolitical critique of neoliberal "recovery," these writers and thinkers nevertheless seek not a morality of justice but an ethics of material response: what Donna Haraway has called “response-ability.” Chapters include:

Introduction // Neoliberal Critique Meets Growling Woman: Two Tsushima Yukos, One Ecopolitics
Chapter 1 // On Being Worthy of the Event: Four Fukushima Stoics
Chapter 2 // Make Kin Not Children! Riding the Maternal Line with Kobayashi Erika and Kimura Yusuke
Chapter 3 // Documentary Cinema as Carework: Kamanaka Hitomi, Doi Toshikuni and Iwasaki Masanori
Chapter 4 // Oe Kenzaburo: Nuclear Paranoia and Reparative Disability
Conclusion // Yu Miri in Minami-soma: How to Be a Woman in the Dunes

Care, Affect, Crackup: Literature and Activism after Fukushima. In process.

2009. This Perversion Called Love: Reading Tanizaki, Feminist Theory and Freud. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Articles & Book Chapters

2018. “On Being Worthy of the Event: Four Fukushima Stoics.” Submitted October 2018.

2018. “Humanism and the Hikari-Event: Reading Oe with Stengers, in Catastrophic Times.” Accepted 8/5/17 at positions asia cultures critique. Also included in Literature after Fukushima, ed. Linda Flores, Routledge (forthcoming).

2018. “Japan’s 3.11 Nuclear Disaster and the State of Exception: Notes on Kamanaka’s Interview and Two Recent Films.” Asia Pacific Journal Japan Focus 16:16 no. 3 (7 August). www://

2017. “Eco-politics and Affect Theory in Oe’s Post-Fukushima Activism: On Shame, Contempt, and Care.” Ecocriticism in Japan, ed. Hisaaki Wake, Keijiro Suga and Masami Yuki. Rowman & Littlefield. 121-138.

2016. “What Kind of Science? Reading Irigaray with Stengers.” Philosophy After Irigaray. Ed. Mary Rawlinson and Sara McNamara. Albany: SUNY Press. 173-194.

2014. “Hagio Moto’s Nuclear Manga and the Promise of Eco-Feminist Desire.” Mechademia 9: Origins. Edited by Christopher Bolton and Frenchy Lunning. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 3-23.

2009. “Two Ways to Play Fort-Da: With Tanizaki and Freud in Yoshino.” Perversion in Modern Japan: Psychoanalysis, Literature, Culture. Edited by Nina Cornyetz and J. Keith Vincent. New York and London: Routledge. 147-161.

2007. “Malice@Doll: Konaka, Specularization, and the Virtual Feminine.” Mechademia 2: Networks of Desire. Ed. Frenchy Lunning. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. 157-174.

2006. “Nakagami and the Denial of Lineage: On Maternity, Abjection, and the Japanese Outcast Class.” differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 17 no. 2 (Summer): 1-32.

2004. “Nakagami to ‘kindai bungaku no owari’ [Nakagami and the ‘end of modern literature’]”. Essay plus zadankai [published round-table] with Aoyama Shinji, Asada Akira, Karatani Kojin, Takazawa Shuji, Tsushima Yuko and Watanabe Naomi. Waseda Bungaku 29.5 (November 2004) 22-53.

2002. “Feminist Film Theory: Osaka, Circa 1866.” differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies 13 no. 3 (Fall): 24-63.

2002. “Tanizaki and the Enjoyment of Japanese Culturalism.” positions east asia cultures critique 10 no. 2 (Fall): 431-469.
2018-2021. Japan Foundation Institutional Project Support (IPS) Grant for “Sustainable Japan” at UC Irvine, $323K.
Professional Societies
Association for Asian Studies (AAS)
American Comparative Literature Association (ACLA)
Association of Japanese Literary Studies (AJLS)
Society for Literature, Science and the Arts (SLSA)
Modern Language Association (MLA)
Last updated