Bruce Suttmeier

Dean of the College, Associate Professor of Japanese

Albany Quadrangle 201, MSC: 30

Bruce Suttmeier joined the Lewis & Clark faculty in 2001 after receiving his doctorate in Asian Languages (Japanese Literature) from Stanford University. His early research examined the resurgence of WWII memories in postwar Japan, tracing its effects in writers such as Kaiko Takeshi, Oda Makoto, Oe Kenzaburo, and others. He continued this theme in several works, including an article on the uncanny return of a Japanese soldier from the jungles of Guam in 1972. He has also written on the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, focusing on the extraordinary building spree that accompanied the Games. His recent scholarship has focused on counterfactual history, work that has been supported by grants from The American Philosophical Society (2019) and The Japan Foundation (2020). He has led two semester-long overseas programs, first to Vietnam in 2010 and then to Siena, Italy in 2015. Since his return from Italy in Summer 2015, Bruce has served in the Dean’s Office, first as Associate Dean for Faculty Development, then Interim Dean, and since 2017, Dean of the College. As Dean, he oversees all academic departments and programs, as well as the library, overseas programs, advising, and several academic support offices. He loves to teach and continues to do so, including a Spring 2021 senior seminar called “Contemporary Japan Through its Literature,” an exploration of works from the past two decades. 

Specialty

Postwar Japanese Fiction

Academic Credentials

 PhD 2002 Stanford University: Asian Languages

 A.M. 1994 Stanford University: East Asian Studies

 BS 1991 University of Rochester: Computer Science/Mathematics (Magna Cum Laude; High Honors)

 BA 1991 University of Rochester: Japanese Literature (Magna Cum Laude; Highest Honors)

Teaching

Spring 2021:

JAPN 299: Contemporary Japan Through its Literature

Spring 2020

JAPN 298: Contemporary Japanese Literature

Fall 2018:

JAPN 498: Advanced Japanese Language Study

Spring 2017:

JAPN 230: Intro to Japanese Literature: 1000 years of Ghosts and Monsters

Course Summary:

JAPN 101/102: Beginning Japanese

JAPN 310: Readings and Composition in Japanese

JAPN 420: Advanced Readings in Japanese, Fiction and Nonfiction

JAPN 230: Introduction to Japanese Literature: Post-bubble Blues - Making Sense of Contemporary Japan

JAPN 290: Topics in Japanese Literature: Voices of Modernity

JAPN 290: Topics in Japanese Literature: After the Ashes - Post-disaster culture in 20th and 21st century Japan

Research

Translation of “A Story of A Strange Belly” by Fukushima Jiro in Queer Subjects in Modern Japanese Literature: Male Love, Intimacy, and Erotics, 1886-2014 (forthcoming)

“Eating Amid Affluence: Kaiko Takeshi’s Adventures in Food” in Devouring Japan (Oxford University Press), ed. Nancy Stalker, 2018.

“Held Hostage to History: Okuda Hideo’s ‘Olympic Ransom’” in Tokyo: Memory, Imagination, City (Lexington Books), eds. Barbara Thornbury and Evelyn Schulz, 2017.

On the Road in Olympic Era Tokyo” in Cartographic Japan: A History in Maps, (University of Chicago Press), eds Kären Wigen, Fumiko Sugimoto, and Cary Karacas, 2016.

“Speculations of Murder: Ghostly Dreams, Poisonous Frogs and the return of Yokoi Shōichi” in Perversion and Modern Japan: Experiments in Psychoanalysis, (Routledge) eds. Keith Vincent and Nina Cornyetz, 2010.

“Ethnography as Consumption: Travel and National Identity in Oda Makoto’s Nandemo mite yarō” Journal of Japanese Studies (35:1), Winter 2009

 “Assassination on the Small Screen: On Images and Writing in Ōe Kenzaburō” Mosaic:  a journal for the interdisciplinary study of literature (41: 2), June 2008.

“Seeing Past Destruction: Trauma and History in Kaikō Takeshi” positions: east asia cultures critique (15:3), Winter 2007.