Sam Malissa entered the program in 2010 after completing an MA in East Asian Studies at Yale. His research interests include interactions between Japan and other cultures through media in translation, the systems and contexts that surround the production of literature, and the literary structuring of memory in narrating the past. He grew up in Philadelphia and earned a bachelor’s degree in US History at the University of Pennsylvania. Before starting his graduate studies, he spent two years teaching English in Nara, Japan through the JET Program, then worked for three years as the assistant director of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia. He enjoys hiking, playing frisbee, translating Japanese short stories, and singing sea chanteys.