Ph.D. in African American Studies, with a primary field in English
Class of 2014
Class of 2014
Michio Arimitsu is Associate Professor at Keio University in Tokyo. His interests include the transnational diffusions of literary and cultural capital (multi-directional flows that traverse Africa, Asia and North America since the dawn of modernity), critical race theory, gender studies, ethnic studies, postcolonialism, comparative histories of the Asian and African diaspora, and the politics and poetics of translation.
His PhD dissertation, "Black Notes on Asia: Composite Figurations of Asia in the African American Transcultural Imagination, 1923-2013," sheds new light on the hitherto neglected engagements of African American writers and thinkers with various literary, cultural, and artistic traditions of Asia in general and on African American poets adaptations of haiku in particular.
He is currently working on a project that historicizes the discursive invention of kokujin-bungaku [black literature] in post-WWII Japan.
His recent works include “From Vodou to Butoh: Hijikata Tatsumi, Katherine Dunham, and the Trans-Pacific Remaking of Blackness.” Ed. Bruce Baird and Rosemary Candelario, The Routledge Companion to Butoh Performance. Routledge, 2018. 37-51; “De-Occidentalized ‘Projections in the Haiku Manner’: Poetics of Indeterminacy and Transcultural Reconfiguration of ‘Frog Perspectives’ in Richard Wright’s Last Poems.” The Japanese Journal of American Studies 29 (2018): 45-65; “‘The Color of Your Song’: Sonia Sanchez’s African American Haiku as Cosmopolitan ‘Green’ Poetry.” Ed. John Zheng, Sonia Sanchez’s Poetic Spirit through Haiku. Lexington Books, 2017. 17-31; “Playing the Dozens on Zen: Amiri Baraka’s Journey from a ‘Pre-Black’ Bohemian Outsider to a ‘Post-American Low Coup’ Poet.” Ed. William H. Bridges IV and Nina Cornyetz, Traveling Texts and the Work of Afro-Japanese Cultural Production: Two Haiku and a Microphone (New Studies in Modern Japan). Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. 79-98.