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Nancy K. Stalker

Core FacultyPh.D., 2002, Stanford University

Associate Professor in the Department of Asian Studies, College of Liberal Arts
Nancy K. Stalker



The relationship between cultural and religious practice and national identity in modern Japan; the conception of traditional Japanese cuisine and gender ideology


Research interests

Professor Stalker's scholarship examines the relationship between cultural and religious practice and national identity in modern Japan. Her first book, on new religious movements in the 1920s-30s, is entitled Prophet Motive: Deguchi Onisaburo, Oomoto and the Rise of New Religions in Imperial Japan. Her next monographic project will examine the role of ikebana, the art of flower arrangement, in constructing national and international Japanese identity in the twentieth century, especially focusing on its rapid expansion in postwar Japan from the 1950s-70s.  Other research interests include the conception of traditional Japanese cuisine and gender ideology. 

Courses taught

Introduction to Japan; Modern Japan; History of Japanese Religions; History of Religions of Asia; Religion and Rebellion in Modern East Asia;  War and Defeat in Japanese History and Memory; Imperial Japan; Readings in Modern East Asia;


Professor Stalker has won research fellowships from the Fullbright Association; the Japan Foundation, Yale University Council on East Asian Studies, Dartmouth College Humanities Institute, Stanford University Institute of International Studies (Stanford University), A.W. Mellon and Hosei University International scholars. 


WGS 393 • Japan: Histories Of Culture

48057 • Fall 2014
Meets TH 400pm-700pm CMA 3.108
(also listed as ANS 383, HIS 382N)

This graduate seminar examines interdisciplinary studies in the history of Japanese culture.  Readings will proceed roughly chronologically, primarily focusing on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries and will address such themes as cultural industries, cultural nationalism, gender, mass media representations of culture, and globalization.

WGS 340 • Gender And Sexuality In Japan

47305 • Spring 2013
Meets T 300pm-600pm JES A218A
(also listed as ANS 372, HIS 364G)

This course examines gender and sexuality in Japan during the classical (Heian), early modern (Tokugawa or Edo) and modern periods.  We will consider the construction and representation of feminine and masculine gender and sexuality, both normative and otherwise.  In addition to introducing important theoretical issues and intellectual frameworks that underpin the study of gender we will employ a wide variety of sources including Japanese primary sources in English translation such as novellas and films and secondary works in Japanese history, literature and anthropology.  We will adopt a historical approach that considers how forms of gender and sexual expression are represented in Heian and Edo literature, how they are promoted, policed and prohibited by the modern Meiji state (1868-1912) and how cosmopolitanism in the Taisho and early Showa periods influence their construction.  We will continue examining culturally and historically specific categories of gender and sexuality through the postwar and contemporary periods. 

Sample of Proposed Readings:

Barbara Molony and Kathleen Uno, editors, Gendering Modern Japanese History (Harvard 2008)

Sabine Fruhstuck and Anne Walthall, editors, Recreating Japanese Men (University of California 2011)

Janet Goodwin, Selling Songs and Smiles:  The Sex Trade in Heian and Kamakura Japan

(University of Hawaii, 2007)

Jennifer Robertson, Takarazuka: Sexual Politics and Popular Culture in Modern Japan

(University of California Press, 1998)

Course Reader containing short stories, plays, academic articles and book chapters


Grading Basis

Course Participation and Attendance: 30%

Weekly Reading Responses: 40%

Final Research Paper: 30%

Curriculum Vitae

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