Jamie Newhard

Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Literature
Director of Graduate Studies in Japanese
PHD Columbia University
research interests:
  • Premodern Japanese narrative
  • Premodern poetry and poetics
  • History of literary scholarship and thought
  • Medieval and early modern reception of classical literature
  • History of reading
  • Book and publishing history
  • Gender issues in premodern literature
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    • Washington University
    • CB 1111
    • One Brookings Drive
    • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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    Jamie Newhard is a professor of Japanese language and literature with a focus on premodern literature.

    Jamie Newhard has been at WashU since 2007. She received her PhD in Japanese Literature from Columbia University in 2005. She was previously an Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages and Literatures at Arizona State University. Her specialty is premodern Japanese literature and language, and although she likes pretty much everything written in that span (712-1868), she has a particular interest in courtly narrative of the Heian period (The Tale of Genji, Tales of Ise, poetic diaries, etc.) and its reception in later ages. She is also very interested in the history of literary scholarship, the history of reading, book and publishing history, and gender issues in premodern Japanese literature. She has just finished a book manuscript titled, Knowing the Amorous Man: A History of Scholarship on Tales of Ise, and is working on a second project titled A Market of Their Own: ‘Books for Women’ in 17th and 18th Century Japan.

    Courses Taught

    L05 332C The Classical Voice in Japanese Literature

    L05 460 Pre-Modern Japanese I

    L05 461 Pre-Modern Japanese II

    L05 450 Masterworks of Early Japanese Literature: The Tale of Genji in Japanese Literary History

    L05 537 Proseminar: Methods and Materials Used in Conducting Research in Japanese Studies

    L05 567 Seminar: Poetics and Nativism

    Selected Publications

    Knowing the Amorous Man: A History of Scholarship on the Tales of Ise (Harvard University Asia Center, 2013.)

    Knowing the Amorous Man: A History of Scholarship on Tales of Ise

    Knowing the Amorous Man: A History of Scholarship on Tales of Ise

    Tales of Ise (Ise monogatari) is traditionally identified as one of the most important Japanese literary texts of the Heian period (794–1185). Since its enshrinement in the classical literary canon as early as the eleventh century, the work has also been the object of intensive study and extensive commentary. Its idiosyncratic form—125 loosely connected episodes recounting the life and loves of an anonymous courtier—and mysterious authorship have provoked centuries of explication.

    Jamie Newhard’s study skillfully combines primary-source research with a theoretically framed analysis, exploring commentaries from the medieval period into the early twentieth century, and situating the text’s critical reception within an evolving historical and social context. By giving a more comprehensive picture of the social networks and scholastic institutions within which literary scholarship developed and circulated, Newhard identifies the ideological, methodological, and literary issues that shaped the commentators’ agendas as the audience for classical literature expanded beyond aristocratic circles to include other social groups. Her approach illuminates how exegesis of Tales of Ise ultimately reflects shifting historical and social assessments that construct, transform, and transmit the literary and cultural value of the work over time.