Allison Alexy, a cultural anthropologist focused on contemporary Japan, holds degrees from the University of Chicago and Yale University.  Her research explores intimacy, families, divorce, and law in Japan.  An earlier research project focused on how people balance independence and desires for connection as they contemplate divorce.  Her current research investigates international child custody disputes.

“I am excited to be joining the community of scholars here,” says Alexy. “At the moment, I am a bit overwhelmed with all the possible connections between my own interests and colleagues in ALC, as well as many other departments.  Michigan's amazing history of Japanese Studies is obvious in the fantastic programming about Japan, and I'm looking forward to participating in regular talks and other events.  As an anthropologist, I am, of course, looking forward to meeting new colleagues and all the ensuing conversations.”

This fall, Professor Alexy will be teaching courses called “Fantasizing Japan,” and “Family in Japan.”

Erin L. Brightwell specializes in the literature and historiography of the late­ Heian and Kamakura periods. She also maintains interests in the prose writings of Six Dynasties China, as well as the circulation of texts, images, and motifs between Japan and Germany in the Second World War. Prior to coming to University of Michigan, she taught Japanese Literature and Culture at Hiroshima University.

“As someone whose primary specialization is medieval Japan, I do, at times, encounter skepticism about the relevance of my field in the twenty-first century,” says Brightwell.

I am looking forward to joining a department that supports developing research and teaching that takes medieval Japan and tries to place it in a larger context both in terms of pre-modern East Asia as well as long-term developments within Japan. For me, these kinds of explorations are central to understanding contemporary Japan and its role in East Asia even today.”

Reginald Jackson works at the intersection between premodern Japanese literature, performance, and art history. His research explores medieval calligraphy, illustrated handscrolls, and Noh dance-drama. He has completed a book manuscript entitled Textures of Mourning: Calligraphy and Mortality in the Tale of Genji Scrolls and is revising A Proximate Remove: Queering Intimacy and Loss in the Tale of Genji. His work has appeared in Movement Research, Mechademia, and Women and Performance.

"I'm thrilled to join Michigan's intellectual community. Everyone's been so welcoming throughout this transition process and I've been floored by the generosity and professionalism that has marked all my dealings with the university thus far,” says Jackson. “In addition to engaging new students, in the coming year I look forward to working alongside a diverse group of colleagues in Asian Languages and Cultures. I'm excited especially to help build upon Michigan's prevailing strengths in Japanese Studies and Asian Performance."

This fall, Professor Jackson will teach a course entitled “Love and Death in Japanese Culture.”

Se­-Mi Oh’s current research focuses on the architectural and urban practices of Colonial Seoul of the 1920s and 1930s. Her book manuscript entitled Seoul Streets: Surface Matters and Speech Matters examines the relationship between language, text, and media in tracing the discursive formation of modernity and colonialism in Korea through urban space.

“I am very excited about joining one of the most dynamic and fastest growing departments in Asian Studies,” says Oh. “I look forward to working closely with everyone in the department, and sharing my research.  I am particularly looking forward to being part of one of the largest Korean Studies programs in the U.S, and to contributing actively to raising its research and teaching profile.”

This fall, Professor Oh will be teaching courses in the film culture of Korea as well as a course called “Spectacular History of Korea.”