Atsuko Sakaki

Professor of Comparative Literature and East Asian Studies
Affiliations: Research Associate at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University;  Visiting Professor, Department of Comparative Literature and Culture, University of Tokyo (2016)
PhD, UBC; MA, BA, Tokyo

sakakiContact Information

Office: Robarts 14219. CV

Atsuko Sakaki is the author of three English language monographs (theoretical studies of Japanese narrative fiction in 1998; a Sino-Japanese comparative literary study in 2005; and on the photography-narrative relations in Japanese literature in 2015), and one Japanese language monograph (1996), many peer-reviewed and solicited articles and book chapters in both Japanese and English, published in Canada, US, UK, Europe, and Asia. She is a three-time recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) grants. Her current SSHRC project, “Sports Narrated, Sporting Narratology” (2016–2023) has also received the University of Toronto Excellence Awards (2017 and 2019), and its interim research results have been disseminated at international refereed conferences such as American Comparative Literature Association (2021), European Association for Japanese Studies (2021) and the Association for Literary Urban Studies (2021). Her previous SSHRC project, “Photographic Narratives of Modern Japan,” which culminated in one single-authored book (2015) and an edited volume (2012) continues to evolve in various publications including “Surfaces for Practices in Kanai Mieko’s When Treading on Soft Earth,: Translating Sensation from Screen to Novel,” Comparative Literature Studies 54, no. 3 (August 2017). Her earliest SSHRC project, “Corporeality and Spatiality in Modern Japanese Fiction,” has built a foundation for her lasting interest in related topics, for which she earned a Special Project Professorship in the Department of Comparative Literature and Culture at the University of Tokyo (2016), and published several articles, including “M for Mobilities, M for Memory: The Métro, Motorsports, Mass Market and Media, and Migrant Workers in Paris in Horie Toshiyuki’s ‘M’,” Mobility Humanities (July 2022). In June 2022, she completed a book manuscript: “Trains of Intensities: Toward Alternative Narrative Theories.” Another book-length project, “Writing to, on, and for the Likeminded” that has yielded to date two journal articles, “Shapes of Friendship: Commemorative Narratives of and around Horie Toshiyuki” (Journal of Japanese Studies (February 2022) and “Robert Frank to and from Japan,” Revue internationale de Photolittérature (March 2022). She is currently guest-editing the special issue of the journal literature entitled “Things, Space, and Sensation in, around, and through Modern Japanese Literature in Print (circa 1910–1990)” to be published in 2023. She is on the editorial board of Trans Asia PhotographyThe Journal of Japanese StudiesIl Giappone Studi e Ricerche, and Japan Forum. Before she joined the faculty of the University of Toronto (the Department of East Asian Studies) in 2000 and the core faculty at the Centre for Comparative Literature since 2011), she taught at Harvard University (1993–2000) and the University of British Columbia (1992–1993). Her former students and advisees include tenured faculty members at the University of Minnesota, Bryn Mawr College, Nagoya University, the University of Cincinnati, Washington University St. Louis, Yonsei University, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Edinburgh, Kyung Hee College, Toyo University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the past 5 years, she has supervised 4 PhD dissertations and 1 MA thesis, and advised 3 more PhD dissertations, to successful degree completion.