Adam L. Kern

Credentials: Professor of Japanese Literature & Visual Culture

Position title: Office Hours: Tuesdays 9-10am or by appointment


Phone: (608) 262-9592

1270 Van Hise Hall



Areas of Expertise:

The popular literature and visual culture of early modern and modern Japan in comparative transcultural context


Ph.D. Harvard University

Selected Books:

A Kamigata Anthology: Literature from Japan’s Metropolitan Centers, 1600-1750, ed. Sumie Jones and Adam L. Kern (University of Hawai‘i Press. Forthcoming, January 2020)

Manga from the Floating World: Comicbook Culture and the Kibyōshi of Edo Japan (Second Edition with a New Preface)(Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2019)

The Penguin Book of Haiku (London: Penguin Classics, 2018)

Manga from the Floating World: Comicbook Culture and the Kibyōshi of Edo Japan (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2006)

New Directions in the Study of Meiji Japan, ed. Helen Hardacre with Adam L. Kern (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1997)

Selected Media Appearances:

Wisconsin Public Radio interview on The Penguin Book of Haiku, “University of the Air” with Emily Auerbach. First aired December 9, 2018.

Professor Kern was profiled in a TV Ōsaka full-length feature documentary for the national primetime “edutainment” show Wafū sōhonke『和風総本家』(Japan’s Cultural Foundations). The 90-minute special program served as the pilot episode for a new segment titled Sekai no nippon sensei 『世界のニッポン先生』 (Japanologists from Around the World). Filmed in Madison, Tokyo, and Kyoto, January-February 2017. First aired on March 9, 2017.

The show is available for viewing by clicking the links below.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Selected Articles:

“East Asian Comix: Intermingling Japanese Manga and Euro-American Comics.” In Bramlett, Cook, and Meskin, eds., The Routledge Companion to Comics and Graphic Novels (Routledge, 2016)

“Envisioning the Classics: Tales of the Heike in Edo-Period Comicbooks.” In Adolphson and Commons, eds., Loveable Losers: The Taira in Action and Memory (University of Hawai‘i Press, 2015).

Kibyōshi—Edo no jikogenkyūtekina manga.” I. Bijitsu Forum 21. In vol. 24 (December 2011).

“Kabuki Plays on Page—and Comicbook Pictures on Stage—in Edo-Period Japan.” In Kimbrough and Shimazaki, eds., Publishing the Stage: Print and Performance in Early Modern Japan (Boulder: University of Colorado Center for Asian Studies, 2011).

Selected Courses:

Introduction to Comics & Graphic Novels: Theory, History, Praxis (ASIAN 310) – Video Trailer

Comic Imagination in Japanese Literature (LIT TRANS 373 & ASIAN 253)

Early Modern Japanese Literature Survey (LIT TRANS 372)

Early Modern Japanese Literature (ASIAN 573)

Haiku (ASIAN 367 & LIT TRANS 373)

Haikai (ASIAN 574)

Japan Pop: From Basho to Banana (INTER-LS 102 & ASIAN 253) – Video Trailer

Kibyoshi (ASIAN 763 & LIT TRANS 373) – Video Trailer

Manga (ASIAN 376 & LIT TRANS 231) – Video Trailer

Senior Honor Thesis (ASIAN 681)

Spectacular Culture of Early Modern Japan (ASIAN 433 & ASIAN 833) – Video Trailer