I am delighted to announce that Professor Reginald Jackson will serve as the new director for the Center for Japanese Studies (CJS) for a three year term, effective July 1, 2020. 

As many of you already know, Reginald Jackson is Associate Professor of Japanese literature and performance. Prior to earning tenure at the University of Michigan, he was faculty at the University of Chicago and Yale University, having earned his Ph.D. from Princeton University in East Asian Studies. In addition to having served as an elected member of the Executive Committee in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and as Faculty Ally for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, he has also been Director of the Accelerated Master’s Degree Program in Transcultural Studies and Director of Graduate Studies for the Center for Japanese Studies. He also is a member of Rackham’s Faculty Committee on Mentoring. Broadly speaking, he is interested in the relationship between aesthetics and politics across a range of media, historical periods, and cultural contexts. More specifically, his research interests include medieval calligraphy and illustrated handscrolls, Noh dance-drama, contemporary Japanese choreography, and the intersections of gender and critical race theory. One goal of his scholarship and teaching is to reimagine the field of Japanese Studies in generative ways that prove more open to diverse archives, questions, and contributions.

He is the author of the scholarly monographs Textures of Mourning: Calligraphy, Mortality, and the Tale of Genji Scrolls (University of Michigan Press, 2018), and A Proximate Remove: Queering Intimacy and Loss in The Tale of Genji (University of California Press, forthcoming 2021). Currently he is revising a book on feminist dance entitled Yasuko Yokoshi: Choreographic Translation Beyond Japanese Culture. His newest research project examines the relationship between slavery and performance in premodern Japan, drawing from black studies and Japanese studies to read beyond their respective disciplinary blind spots. He created the Japanese Performance Theory Workshop to bridge similar conceptual and methodological gaps between Japanese Studies and Performance Studies. His writing appears in Harvard Journal of Asiatic StudiesTDR: The Drama ReviewTheater Survey, boundary 2Asian Theatre Journal, and Women and Performance: a Journal of Feminist Theory. He has been the recipient of fellowships and grants from The Fulbright Foundation, Japan Foundation, Social Science Research Council, Ford Foundation, and Michigan’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender. His scholarly pursuits are enriched by a devotion to illustration, luthiery, and playing electric guitar.

Please join me in congratulating Reggie and thanking him for his willingness to serve in this important role! 

Please also join me in wishing Professor Kiyo Tsutsui all the best as he makes the transition to Stanford University. Kiyo has done an excellent job building the center, expanding its reach both domestically and internationally, and placing it firmly on a successful trajectory. I know we are all grateful for his leadership and will miss him dearly. 

Pauline Jones 

Department of Political Science

International Institute

The center echoes Pauline's sentiments as we say farewell to Prof. Tsutsui, who will be stepping down as the director of the Center for Japanese Studies on June 30th, 2020. He has accepted a position at Stanford University.

While a member of CJS, Kiyo has been an active leader of the CJS community, serving as Associate Director, DGS, and other committee positions before becoming Director in 2016. During his tenure, he has continued to grow the strengths and capacity of CJS to provide world-class scholarship on Japan with the Center marking both its 70th anniversary in 2017 and the 30th anniversary of the Toyota Visiting Professorship in 2018 under his leadership. As director, Kiyo has worked tirelessly to increase Center engagement with the academic community as well alumni and donors. Michigan in Tokyo is one such example.

From Do-Hee:

It has been a pleasure to work with you over the past year, Kiyo. Thank you for helping to make me feel so welcome into my role as the Asia Centers Manager, and for your support in making our relationship such a positive experience. Wishing you all the best in Cali!

From Yuri:

I have worked for Tsutsui-sensei since 2007, and it still amazes me how many balls he can successfully keep in the air. I appreciate all the things I have learned from him especially in the past 4 years during his directorship, and also the Staff Impact Award for which he in coordination with other CJS faculty nominated me last year.

From Barbara:

Kiyo, I am delighted to hear the news that you are off on a new adventure to Stanford, but also, saddened, for I have very much enjoyed working with you these past three years.  You have been a wonderful partner in making sure that the CJS Noon Lecture series provides the most interesting and topical speakers in all areas of study.  Thank you for all your insights and guidance. The very best of luck in your new role, and do come back to visit.

From Robin:

I've had the pleasure of getting to know Kiyo during my time as a CJS MA student, and more recently as a member of the CJS team. Through both he has encouraged hard work, new initiatives and creativity, and I'm very grateful to have had him as a mentor over this past year. Wishing you all the best in where life takes you next!

We are so grateful for your dedication to CJS and to your leadership over the past four years.

While you will be missed, we look forward to your regular visits when you come to see your family member!