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Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies



This is a brand-new research project started with generous funding from the Cambridge-Cambridge-Stockholm Collaborative Research Grants Scheme. In this project Dr Moretti explores books and ephemera that delighted readers with riddles, rebuses, visual and verbal puzzles, jokes, board games, magic tricks, invented script, and much more. The ultimate goal of the project is to explore a mode of reading that differs from aesthetic or efferent; a mode of reading that enables play and gifts readers with rewarding moments of insight. 

So far the project has led to the following activities.

1. Paper at International Symposium ‘Playing Japan’ (23 September 2020; Stockholm University). Invited talk: “Play Spaces. Books and Playful Reading in Early Modern Japan”. 

2. Higher seminar at Stockholm University (14 April 2021). Invited talk: “Playful Reading in Early Modern Japanese Graphic Narratives.”

3. Kyoto Lectures hosted by ISEAS in collaboration with the Ecole Française d’Extrême-Orient and the Center for Research in Humanities of Kyoto University. Invited talk: “The Circulation of Playful Energy in Early Modern Japanese Popular Culture.”

4. Book chapter “Occupied by Play. Playful Reading in Kusazōshi.” Part of the edited volume Grass Books. Graphic Narratives from Early Modern Japan (working title), which Dr Morett is co-editing with prof Sato Yukiko (The University of Tokyo.

Faculty Researchers