Japanese Studies Program Director, Associate Professor of Japanese Studies
Office: Washington Hall 315B
Phone: (757) 221-2072
Teaching and Research
Michael Cronin's research concerns the role of the local in Japanese literature, cinema, and other popular culture. His monograph, Osaka Modern: The City in the Japanese Imaginary (Harvard East Asian Monographs, 2017), examines the relation between Japan's merchant capital and the imperial nation in film and literature of the transwar period, from the 1930s to the 1950s. He has translated Tanizaki Jun'ichirō's final novel, The Maids (New Directions, 2017). His most recent article, "Between Jeju and Hanshin: Intimate Migration" (Japanese Studies, 2022), looks at the historical link between Osaka and the Korean island of Jeju as represented in late works by the writer Oda Makoto. He is currently pursuing a book-length project that explores the pivotal year 1995 as represented in anime, manga, literature, and film.
Michael received his BA from Boston College and his PhD in Japanese Studies from the University of California, Irvine (2010). He has been a visiting researcher at Hosei University, in Tokyo, working with Professor Kawamura Minato (2004-05), and at Ritsumeikan University, in Kyoto, with Professor Nakagawa Shigemi (2012-13). Before entering graduate school, Michael lived and worked in the Hanshin (Osaka-Kobe) region of Japan for eight years. He joined the faculty of William & Mary in 2009, and teaches courses on Japanese literature and culture, including "Anime Explores the Posthuman" (JAPN 100); "What if: Japan's Alternate Histories" (COLL 150); Japan's Ghosts and Demons" (JAPN 208); and "The Japanese City" (JAPN 320).