Lecturer, University Committee on Asia and the Middle East Postdoctoral Research Scholar
MA: Columbia University
PhD: Columbia University
AHUM UN1400 Colloquium on Major Texts: East Asia
EAAS GU4425 Women, Body, and Borders in Japanese Literature and Culture
Yiwen Shen is a scholar of Japanese literature and culture whose research focuses on premodern prose fiction, visual culture, and intersections of literature, religion, and art. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University in 2021. Her research interests include Japanese and Chinese literature, with particular focus on the literary and visual analyses of the netherworld. Her doctoral dissertation titled “The Female Body, Motherhood, and Old Age: Representations of Women in Hell in Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Japan” examines the literary and visual representations of women in hell in late medieval and early modern Japan. The project engages a group of otogizōshi texts and hell paintings, looking into a constellation of new hells emerged in the late Muromachi period that had serious ramifications for women. Her current research examines what was viewed as the danger of parental attachment and the conception of childhood and motherhood in the late Muromachi and early Edo periods. She also examines woman as erotic object, as mother, and as aging body from a comparative Japan-China perspective.