Dr. Kathryn Hemmann

Headshot Of Dr. Kathryn Hemmann Standing In Front Of A Bookcase

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 2251: Demonic Women in Japanese Fiction
EALC 3251: Japanese Science Fiction and Fantasy
EALC 3252: Japanese Ghost Stories

Selected Publications

How Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker Navigated Fan Expectations
Sidequest, May 2023

Caelid and the Environmental Horror of Elden Ring
Unwinnable, March 2023

A Monstrous Little Mermaid Story
Cosmic Double, January 2023

The Role of Dōjinshi in Comic Fanzine Discourse
Women Write About Comics, October 2022

The End of the Line for the Shinra Corporation: Avalanche and Japanese Environmental Activism in Final Fantasy VII
Return to the Planet, January 2022

Cosmic Horror and the Ruins of Capitalism in Night in the Woods
Entropy, May 2021

Sympathy for the Villain: A Queer Memoir of Online Video Game Fandom
Queer Life, Queer Love: An Anthology, January 2021

I Coveted That Wind: Ganondorf, Buddhism, and Hyrule’s Apocalyptic Cycle
Games and Culture
, January 2021

Between Fans: History and National Identity in Online Debates on Axis Powers Hetalia
The Korean Wave from a Private Commodity to a Public Good, February 2020

Illusion, Reality, and Fearsome Femininity in Takashi Miike’s Audition
Gender and Contemporary Horror in Comics, Games and Transmedia, September 2019

The Legends of Zelda: Fan Challenges to Dominant Video Game Narratives
Woke Gaming: Digital Challenges to Oppression and Social Injustice, November 2018

Dangerous Women and Dangerous Stories: Gendered Narration in Kirino Natsuo’s Grotesque and Real World
In Rethinking Japanese Feminisms, January 2018

The Precarity of the Housewife in Kirino Natsuo's "Rusted Hearts"
Japanese Language and Literature, April 2018

The Cute Shall Inherit the Earth: Postapocalyptic Posthumanity in Tokyo Jungle
Introducing Japanese Popular Culture, December 2017

CV (url)