Adam L. Kern

Position title: Professor of Japanese Literature and Visual Culture


Phone: (608) 262.9592

1270 Van Hise Hall
Office Hours: By appointment.

Adam L. Kern


Ph.D. Harvard University

Research Interests
The popular literature, culture, poetry, theater, and visual culture of early modern and modern Japan (1600–1900) in comparative transcultural context. Transcultural comics in Japan (manga, kibyôshi, etc.) and beyond.

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

Manga from the Floating World: Comicbook Culture and the Kibyōshi of Edo Japan, 2nd ed. with a new preface (Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center, 2019).

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

“East Asian Comix: Intermingling Japanese Manga and Euro-American Comics,” in The Routledge Companion to Comics and Graphic Novels, edited by Frank Bramlett, Roy T. Cook, and Aaron Meskin, 106–16 (London: Routledge, 2017).

“Envisioning the Classics: The Tale of the Heike in Edo-Period Comic Books,” in Lovable Losers: The Heike in Action and Memory, edited by Mikael S. Adolphson and Anne Commons (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2015).

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

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

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).

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

ASIAN 300: Introduction to Comics & Graphic Novels: Theory, History, Praxis
LIT TRANS 373/EASIAN 253: Topics
– Comic Imagination in Japanese Literature
LIT TRANS 372: Early Modern Japanese Literature Survey
EASIAN 573: Early Modern Japanese Literature
ASIAN 367/LIT TRANS 373: Haiku
EASIAN 574: Haikai
INTER-LS 102/ASIAN 253: Topics
– Japanese Culture
Japan Pop: From Bashô to Banana
ASIAN 763/LIT TRANS 373: Kibyôshi
ASIAN 376/LIT TRANS 231: Manga
ASIAN 681: Senior Honors Thesis
ASIAN 433/ASIAN 833: Topics in East Asian Visual Cultures
Spectacular Culture of Early Modern Japan