Reiko Abe Auestad

Professor - Japan Studies
Image of Reiko Abe Auestad
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47 22856050
Room 321 PAM
Visiting address Niels Henrik Abels vei 36 P. A. Munchs hus 0371 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 1010 Blindern 0315 OSLO

Academic interests

My areas of interest include modern Japanese literature, cultural and social developments in contemporary Japan, especially vis-a-vis woman’s position in it. My methodological approach has been mainly a text-based and context-oriented analysis of literature and culture. Although my doctoral thesis was on Natsume Sôseki, I have written on various other modern authors, as well as on the family politics and welfare system in Japan and Norway from a comparative, sociological perspective.

In connection with centenary of his death (2016), Natsume Sôseki has received renewed critical attention, to which I have also made a few contributions.  My monograph, Rereading Sôseki: Three Early Twentieth-Century Japanese Novels (Harrassowits Verlag 1998), is now available for free download in CEAS Reprint Series for Rare and Out of Print Publications at Yale University.  I have also co-edited Japanese and English anthologies of essays on Sôseki together with Alan Tansman and J. Keith Vincent (2019). 

My most current research project, “Affect and Cognition in Modern Japanese Literature” (working title), examines novels by Natsume Sôseki, Ôe Kenzaburô, Tsushima Yôko, Kirino Natsuo, and Kawakami Mieko with a focus on how affect and cognition play out in interpersonal relationships both within and outside fictional worlds.  

I have been involved with developing a new international collaborative research project, “Animating Objects” (although still in a planning phase).

I am also a member of the research and education initiative, Literature, Emotion and Cognition.


I teach an introductory bachelor’s course on modern Japanese literature, and a master’s course on modern and contemporary Japanese novels besides teaching Japanese at all levels.

Ongoing research

Educational Background and Appointments

  • Wigeland Visiting Professor, University of Chicago, Fall 2017
  • Council member of the EAJS (European Association for Japanese Studies), 2011-2014.
  • Officer/Secretary of the EAJS (European Association for Japanese Studies), 2008-2011.
  • Council member of the EAJS (European Association for Japanese Studies) 2005-2008.  
  • Professor, University of Oslo from 2001
  • Guest researcher, Tokyo Univesity, 1998-1999
  • Defending Ph.D thesis, University of Oslo, 1995
  • Associate Professor, University of Oslo from 1994
  • Honorary Fellow, University of Wisconsin, 1992
  • Research Fellow, University of Oslo 1992 - 1993
  • MA in Japanese literature and language,  University of Wisconsin, 1982
  • BA in English and American literature, Sophia University, Tokyo, 1980
  • BA in Humanistic Studies, University of Wisconsin, 1979
Tags: Japan, Modern Japanese literature and culture, Women 's position in Japan
Published June 24, 2010 2:08 PM - Last modified May 11, 2021 8:44 PM