Associate Professor of Japanese, University Massachusetts Amherst
Professor Baird’s primary research topic is the Japanese avant-garde dance butoh about which he has published several articles. More recently, he has taken an interest in manga, anime and Japanese video games. His book, Hijikata Tatsumi and Butoh: Dancing in a Pool of Gray Grits (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) is an epic leap forward in archiving, describing and analyzing the important art form of butoh, in English. Hijikata Tatsumi's explosive 1959 performance Forbidden Colors sparked a new genre of performance - butoh: an art form of contrasts, by turns shocking and achingly serene. Hijikata Tatsumi and Butoh traces the rollicking history of the creation and initial maturation of butoh, and locates Hijikata's performances within the intellectual, cultural, and economic ferment of Japan from the sixties to the eighties.
professor of comparative literature and film & media studies, university of california, berkeley
Professor Sas teaches Japanese literature, film, theater, and dance, and has interests in avant-garde and experimental visual and literary arts, with an emphasis on cross-cultural views of the 1920s-1930s and 1960s-1970s arts in Japan. She is the author of two books, Experimental Arts in Postwar Japan: Moments of Encounter, Engagement, and Imagined Return (Harvard UP, 2011); and Fault Lines: Cultural Memory and Japanese Surrealism (Stanford UP, 2001). She is currently working a book project on Japanese experimental film and film theory, and working on articles on pink film and Japanese experimental animation. She has written numerous articles in English, French, and Japanese on subjects such as Japanese futurism, cross-cultural performance, and butoh dance.