Overview

The research interests of the Department of German Literature lie in the culture, society, literature, and art of German-speaking countries, from medieval to modern times. We utilize linguistic theory, literary theory, cultural and social theory, and textual theory to derive new academic findings. Students at the master’s and doctoral level discuss a range of topics in specialized seminars that include text readings, linguistics, medieval cultural studies, media studies, and theater studies in order to acquire the skills required to perform sophisticated, complex research tasks.

The department also provides opportunities for international joint research between Japan and German-speaking countries, subsidized by grants-in-aid for scientific research. We have presented and authored many new findings in literature, media, film, culture, and theater theory. Graduate students are also given opportunities to present and publish joint research on these topics. Many master’s graduates establish their careers in mass media—publishing and newspapers—as well as at universities and local public organizations. Many of our PhDs go onto academic and research careers at universities across Japan.

Faculty

Name/Position

Department/Specialty/Research Interest/Publication

  • KAWASHIMA, Kentaro
    Professor

    German Literature
    Modern German Literature and Literary Theory. Media Studies

    I do research on German literature and German theoretical thinking from the viewpoint of the media history. Media are a historical a priori for writing and thinking. Media history from printing by way of analog media to digital media changed the relationship of time and space immensely. I try to observe and describe the influences media history has exerted on literary and theoretical discourses.

    Publication
    • 『メディア論:現代ドイツにおける知のパラダイム・シフト』(共著、御茶の水書房、2007)
    • Autobiographie und Photographie nach 1900: Proust, Benjamin, Brinkmann, Barthes, Sebald. Bielefeld (transcript), 2011.
    • Christoph Ransmayrs Arbeit am Zeugen – Jean Améry und der Roman ""Morbus Kitahara"". In: Beiträge zur österreichischen Literatur. Jg. 33 (2017), S. 12–23.
    • Recht und Literatur in Benjamins Essay ”Franz Kafka”. In: Neue Beiträge zur Germanistik. Bd.16, Heft 1. 2017, S, 47–61.
    • Metamorphosis as Origin—Koji Yamamura’s Short Animation ”Franz Kafka’s A Country Doctor”. In: Arts(MDPI) 8 ( 2 ) 4. 2019. https://www.mdpi.com/2076-0752/8/2/54
  • KUMEKAWA, Mario
    Professor

    German Literature
    Goethe's Way of Science, History of Science, History of Sports, Popular Music Studies, and Monster Films

    German poet Jahann Wolfgang von Goethe was also an excellent nature seeker. His literature was invented from his view of nature, and he kept sounding the alarm to modern civilization from his point of view, into which he incorporated the natural sciences. I’m working with an interdisciplinary study group, by which Goethe's way of thinking suggests its starting point. The purpose of my study is, in cooperation with researchers in various areas, to kindle an interdisciplinary discussion for modern civilization from multiple angles, and to explore the teaching of civilization theory to better manage the future of human society.

    Publication
    • 『サッカーのエスノグラフィーへ』(共編著、社会評論社 2002)
    • 『ゲーテ』(共著訳、集英社 2015)
    • 『西洋教育思想史』(共著、慶應義塾大学出版会2016)
    • 『Pazifikismus.Poetiken des stillen Ozeans』(共編著、Könighausen & Neumann 2017)
  • KODA, Yoshiki
    Professor

    German Literature
    Medieval Literature

    My main area of research is in medieval German culture and thought. I'm working on various, diverse research projects on the social, historical background of the Christian mystic Meister Eckhart. I'm also interested in European mythology and ancient literature.

    Publication
    • マクデブルクのメヒティルト『神性の流れる光』(創文社、1999)
    • 『マイスター・エックハルト:生涯と著作』(創文社、2011)
    • 『真理を語る真理:マイスター・エックハルトの神秘的聖書解釈』(岩波書店『イスラーム哲学とキリスト教中世』、2012)
    • 『〈新しい人間〉の設計図:ドイツ文学・哲学から読む』(編著、青灯社、2015)
    • 『魂深き人びと』(青灯社、2017)
  • SHIKINA, Akiyoshi
    Professor

    German Literature
    German Romanticism, History of the German Science Fiction

    My research focuses on German romanticism, especially E. T. A. Hoffmann, who was known for his unusual ideas, which lead to modern fantasy and horror stories. For a long time I have been involved with the scientific and technical fantasies of literary text from the 19th and 20th centuries. Recently I have been interested in the literature of the German-national poets, which German philology cannot endure. How do young nationalists from poor families develop dreams of being "German" and building up a united Germany? This question, of which the Germans are still afraid, remains for us foreign Germanists to discuss.

    Publication
    • [翻訳]ザフランスキー『E.T.A.ホフマン』(法政大学出版局、1994)
    • [翻訳]ヘルマント『理想郷としての第三帝国』(柏書房、2002)
    • Statik und Dynamik in Kriegsschlachten bei Akira Kurosawa, in "Akira Kurosawa und seine Zeit"(Bielefeld, 2005)
    • 「ドイツ語圏SF史概説」(岩波書店『文学』、2007)
    • [翻訳・解説]フケー『水の精(ウンディーネ)』(光文社、2016)
  • TANAKA, Shin
    Professor

    German Literature
    German Linguistics, Language Theory

    I conduct linguistic research on the German language.
    All natural languages share an amazing universality in that they use mechanisms which combine dozens of sounds to represent infinite things. This universality possess structural aspects as well as functionally set properties: humans are naturally endowed with kernels of language, but for what purpose? I am particularly interested in the latter, the functional aspects of language, and try to make new discoveries through comparative linguistics of German, Japanese, and other languages.

    Publication
    • Grammatische Funktionen aus Sicht der japanischen und deutschen Germanistik. (共編著,Helmut Buske,2017)
    • Linguistische Sprachphilosophie. 日本独文学会研究叢書104(共編著,日本独文学会,2014)
    • 講座 ドイツ語学. 第一巻. ドイツ語のシンタクス. (共著,ひつじ書房,2014)
    • Deixis und Anaphorik: Referenzstrategien in Text, Satz und Wort. Linguistik – Impulse und Tendenzen 42. (Walter de Gruyter,2011)
    • The ”passive“ voice in Japanese and German: argument reduction and argument extension. in: Linguistics 44-2. 319-342. (共著,Mouton de Gruyter,2006)
  • HIRATA, Eiichiro
    Professor

    German Literature
    Theatre Studies/Research on German Theatre

    The focus of my research is analyzing the European, German, and Japanese theatre with the methodology of Theatre Studies, which has been developed with its own discipline in the last two decades in Europe/Germany. The theme of my research in recent years has been reviewing the theatrical aspects of presence and absence, the tragedy theory, and the relationship between theatre, as well as the transcultural elements between theatre and politics. The elements of theatre, such as gesture, body, playfulness, and direction, are related to the “theatricality” in our life, especially in a media society in which self-direction, face-to-face communication (as the binary opposition of media), eventuality, and the spectatorship of events take on a crucial role. This kind of theatricality, which has been discussed not only in theatre studies but also in philosophy, political science, and sociology, is another theme of my long-term research.

    Publication
    • 『在と不在のパラドックス――日欧の現代演劇論』(三元社、2016)
    • 『ドラマトゥルク:舞台芸術を進化/深化させる者』(三元社、2010)
    • Theater in Japan(共編著、Theater der Zeit, 2009)
    • 『現代ドイツパフォーミングアーツ』(共著、三元社、2006)
    • 『ポストドラマ演劇』(共訳、同学社、2002)