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Dr Mark Morris


During the late 1960s and early 1970s I was fortunate to receive scholarships for study at several large American universities, the sort of places where an amateurish interest in Japanese and East Asian culture could encounter serious training and some excellent teachers. Other scholarships took me to Japan for the first time in 1970, then back for PhD research in 1973-74 at Kyoto University. I taught briefly in the US, but most of my experience has been in Australia and Britain. Australia in the 1980s was full of intellectual and political energy. I owe my continuing interest in many things - Japanese film, feminist cultural history, cultural studies/theory and socialism - to colleagues and students, from a number of countries, encountered there. I also had the freedom to participate in a wide range of film festivals and conferences – this is a kind of activity I have returned to in recent years.

I mainly taught Japanese modern fiction, and Japanese and Korean film. I was co-founder and co-ordinator of the first Cambridge course on Asia/East Asian cinema and a member of the planning committee for the M Phil degree Screen Media and Cultures.

Research Interests

From graduate study through the 1980s, my research focused for the most part on several problematic areas of 'classical' literature plus literary theory and poetics. The Harvard Journal of Asiatic Studies offered me a forum for some relatively unconventional work that would eventually find readers: 'Sei Shônagon's Poetic Catalogues' (1980); the monograph-length 'Buson and Shiki' (1984 & 1985); 'Waka and Form, Waka and History' (1986). During the same period and later I have engaged, from time to time, in a bit of polemic with the more conservative aspects of Japanese cultural studies by means of book reviews in academic journals, the TLS and NYTBR.

Since coming to Cambridge in 1989, I have tried to convert myself into something of a modernist, teaching reading courses, introductory surveys and seminars involving modern fiction. I have written on the representation of minorities in modern fiction, particularly the work of Nakagami Kenji.

Key Publications

‘On the Trail of the Manchurian Western’, in Korea Yearbook 2010,
ed. by Ruediger Frank, James E. Hoare, Patrick Koellner and Susan Pares, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2010.

Dicovering Korean Cinema (Booklet to accompany the Firth London Korean Film Festival). Co-edited with Daniel Martin (London: Korean Cultural Centre, 2010)
Includes my short article: ‘Sorrow and Spectacle: The Korean War Film’.

‘The Political Economics of Patriotism: Korean Cinema, Japan and the Case of Hanbando’

‘The New Korean Cinema looks back at Kwangju: The Old Garden and May 18’, in
Korea Yearbook 2008, ed. Frank et al., London and Boston: Brill, 2009, pp 171-98.