Edward Kamens

Edward Kamens's picture
Sumitomo Professor Emeritus of East Asian Languages & Literatures

B.A., Yale University, 1974

Ph.D., Yale University, 1982


I have been a member of EALL faculty since 1986; I taught previously at U. of Chicago, UCLA, and U. of Washington.  At Yale I have served as EALL’s Director of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Graduate Studies, and Chair; I have also been the Associate Master and Master of Saybrook College. My teaching covers Japanese literature from the earliest periods into the 19th century; my research interests focus primarily on the poetry and prose genres of the Nara, Heian and Kamakura periods.  Major publications include Utamakura, Allusion and Intertextuality in Traditional Japanese Poetry (1997); The Buddhist Poetry of the Great Kamo Priestess: Daisaiin Senshi and Hosshin wakashū (1990); and The Three Jewels: A Study and Translation of Minamoto Tamenori’s Sanbōe (1988); Heian Japan, Centers and Peripheries, ed. with Mikael Adolphson and Stacie Matsumoto (2007); and articles in Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies and Journal of Japanese Studies.  My most recent book is Waka and Things, Waka as Things,  published by Yale University Press in autumn 2017.  Please see https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300223712/waka-and-things-waka-things

I am also coordinating The Tekagami-jō Project, to produce a complete interactive digital presentation of this 17th century calligraphy masters’ sampler (in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library) on the basis of research by an international team of scholars, curators, conservators and materials scientists.  The project is supported by a grant from the Digital Humanities Lab, Yale University, and by the Council on East Asian Studies, Yale University. The project web site, under construction, can be viewed here.

My current projects include a chapter on Heian-period court literature for the new Cambridge History of Japan;  an essay on interiority, exteriority and poetry in the Tale of Genji, for a volume in the Oxford University Press Literature and Philosophy series; and a comprehensive update and revision of my translation and study of Sanbōe, with Ethan Bushelle.