2021 Annual Staley Lecture

An Art of Listening: Murakami Haruki and the Structure of Literature

This event is sponsored by the School of International Letters and Cultures and made possible through a generous endowment by Mr. Robert C. Staley.

 Date & Time: Tuesday, April 6 & Monday, April 12, 2021 at 4:00 pm

One-time registration is required to attend both the Lecture on April 6 & the Round-table Discussion on April 12. 

Register Here

Presented by Professor Michael Emmerich of UCLA

Michael Emmerich is Professor of Japanese in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of California, Los Angeles and a world-renowned scholar of premodern and contemporary Japanese literature.  He is the author of The Tale of Genji: Translation, Canonization, and World Literature (Columbia University Press, 2013), and has translated over a dozen book-length works by authors ranging from the Nobel Prize laureate Kawabata Yasunari to immensely popular contemporary writers like Yoshimoto Banana and Takahashi Gen'ichirō.


Murakami Haruki is exceptional in many ways, among them the extent of the popularity his works have achieved in translations around the world, and the persistence with which critics have framed this very popularity as an index of his failure to be “Japanese” enough. Taking as its starting point the notion that one might speak of a “Murakami generation” of scholars of Japanese literature and the question of what this might mean, this talk will propose a new way to think about the structure of literature as a global phenomenon—and specifically to our understanding of the relationship of so-called literary centers and peripheries—that better accords not only with Murakami’s career as a writer, but also with a broadly shared understanding of what it is professors of literature are trying to accomplish in the classroom.

Haruki Murakami

Photo Credit: New York Times

Murakami Haruki is a Japanese novelist, essayist, and translator, whose best-selling works include The Wind-Up Bird ChronicleNorwegian Wood1Q84, and Kafka on the Shore. His work has received numerous awards, both in Japan and internationally, including the Franz Kafka Prize, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award, and the Jerusalem Prize.

Recommended Reading

Primary Reading

PDF icon emmerich_japanesetojapanese.pdf

Supplementary Readings

PDF icon emmerich_beyondbetween.pdf

PDF icon emmerich_turningtranslation.pdf

Contact information: Asia@asu.edu.