Field: Japanese Literature
Advisor: Haruo Shirane
Oliver is a Ph.D. candidate in early modern Japanese literature. His research investigates cultural production, adaptation, and reception in late 18th and early 19th century popular literature. At the core of the dissertation is the cluster of texts centred on Jippensha Ikku’s (1765-1831) Tōkaidōchū hizakurige (Hoofing it Along the Eastern Seaboard Highway), published 1802-1822, and now better known as Hizakurige. The project investigates the roots, development and reinventions of the Hizakurige phenomenon, and poses the following questions: What were the causes of its commercial success and enduring popularity? How did the series develop over the course of its twenty years of publication? What impact did it have upon the world of popular culture in the closing years of the Edo period (1603-1868)? And how can it help us arrive at new, more nuanced understandings of 19th century popular culture, literature, and theatre? Before joining the program at Columbia, Oliver received his B.A. (2015) and M.Phil (2016) from the University of Cambridge.