Field: Japanese Literature
Advisor: Haruo Shirane
Phuong is a Ph.D. candidate in premodern Japanese literature. She is interested in classical literature, visual culture, and performance broadly conceived. Her dissertation, tentatively titled “Lyric Poetry as Social Performance: Ambiguity of Authorial Presence in Classical Poetry,” seeks to investigate the degree of identification between the poet and the poetic persona across the major genres of waka in order to explore the relationship between artistic production and consumption in Heian Japan. This project argues that the ambiguity in the autobiographical presence of the poet in the fabric of the poems is the very quality that makes up the complexity and sophistication of waka, an important component of Japanese court culture.