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Durham University

School of Modern Languages and Cultures: Japanese Studies

Staff in Japanese Studies

Go to the MLAC staff pages

Dr Fusako Innami, DPhil (Oxon)

Assistant Professor in Japanese and Performance Studies / Director of Studies in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 44349
Room number: ER283, Elvet Riverside II

Contact Dr Fusako Innami (email at


Before joining Durham in 2015, I completed my D.Phil. at the University of Oxford in 2014, conducting research into the phenomenon of touch in modern/contemporary Japanese literature and its relationship to 20th-century European thought (phenomenology and psychoanalysis, in particular), and subsequently lectured at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK (2014-15).

I have been interested in the relationship between writing, the body and arts, which led me to work on the filmic representations of the body for my BA thesis at the International Christian University in Tokyo, and on the sensation of falling bodies for my MA project in Performance Studies at New York University. My questions regarding performative language, embodied experiences and the cross-cultural translation/circulation of critical theories led me to my doctoral work on touch in literature and my current research broadly concerning the senses. I have also contributed articles for performing arts journals and cultural organisations, and commissioned works for organisations including cutural complex Bunkamura in Tokyo, Japanese performing arts journal Danceart and Glyndebourne Opera in Sussex, UK.

Research Interests

My research interests lie in topics involving the body, the senses (touch, vision, olfactory and auditory, including voice), love and intimacy, sleep, as well as, translation issues, including the translation of bodily experiences into language, cross-media translation and the cross-cultural circulation of critical theories. In line with these interests, my research projects include the following:

- Touch 
I am currently completing a monograph, looking at touch and intimacy in 20th-century literature in relation to critical theories. I was a visiting research fellow at Int’l Research Center for Japanese Studies, Kyoto, Japan, funded by AHRC in summer 2016.

- The body and senses
This project pursues various shifts and attempts to search for the body, the senses and identity from the late 19th to 21st centuries in Japan through literature, performance and visual culture. This project is currently funded by BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant.

- Sleep
As a research fellow at the Social Science Research Institute at ICU, Japan, I’ve been examining the phenomenon of sleep through Japanese film, comic books and literature.

I am also interested in intellectual interactions between France and Japan in the 20th century.

Research Projects

Department of History

  • Thinking East Asia

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Other (Print)

  • 2016 ''A figure on a painted screen'', pp. 18-20

Show all publications

Selected Grants

  • 2018: Modern Japan in the Comparative Imagination Conference (Sasakawa Foundation-CI)
  • 2017: In Search of the Body in Postwar Japan, 1945-1997 (BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant)
  • 2016: Skin-ship: Mediating the Touchable and the Untouchable (AHRC)