Dr. Kathryn Hemmann

Dr. Kathryn Hemmann

Lecturer in Japanese Studies

Kathryn Hemmann is the author of numerous essays on Japanese fiction, graphic novels, and video games. Their book Manga Cultures and the Female Gaze (available from Palgrave) argues that an awareness of female and queer writers and readers can transform our understanding of media that is often assumed to take a straight male audience for granted. Kathryn runs the blog Contemporary Japanese Literature (japaneselit.net), which features reviews of fiction in translation and short articles on gender, society, and popular culture.


BA, Emory University, 2006
MA, University of Pennsylvania, 2009
PhD, University of Pennsylvania, 2013

Research Interests

Kathryn is currently studying Japanese console-based role playing games, including those in the Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Pokémon series. They are especially interested in readings that focus on environmental issues, such as attitudes toward the natural world, the politics of geography, and the ontological formation of the human, the inhuman, and the posthuman.

Courses Taught

EALC 1251: Tokyo Stories in Contemporary Japanese Fiction
EALC 3251: Japanese Science Fiction and Fantasy
EALC 3252: Japanese Ghost Stories

Selected Publications

I Coveted That Wind: Ganondorf, Buddhism, and Hyrule’s Apocalyptic Cycle
Games and Culture
16, No. 1 (January 2021): 3-21.

Between Fans: History and National Identity in Online Debates on Axis Powers Hetalia
In The Korean Wave from a Private Commodity to a Public Good, edited by Yeonhee Yoon and Kiwoong Yang, 145-154. Korea University Press, 2020.

Illusion, Reality, and Fearsome Femininity in Takashi Miike’s Audition
In Gender and Contemporary Horror in Comics, Games and Transmedia, edited by Steven Gerrard, Samantha Holland, and Robert Shail, 109-120. Emerald Publishing, 2019.

The Legends of Zelda: Fan Challenges to Dominant Video Game Narratives
In Woke Gaming: Digital Challenges to Oppression and Social Injustice, edited by Kishonna L. Gray and David J. Leonard, 213-228. University of Washington Press, 2018.

The Cute Shall Inherit the Earth: Postapocalyptic Posthumanity in Tokyo Jungle
In Introducing Japanese Popular Culture, edited by Alisa Freedman and Toby Slade, 81-90. Routledge, 2018.

Dangerous Women and Dangerous Stories: Gendered Narration in Kirino Natsuo’s Grotesque and Real World
In Rethinking Modern Japanese Feminisms, edited by Julia C. Bullock, Ayako Kano, and James Welker, 170-184. University of Hawai’i Press, 2018.

The Precarity of the Housewife in Kirino Natsuo's "Rusted Hearts"
Japanese Language and Literature 52, No. 1 (April 2018): 201-240.

CV (url)