Prof. Linda H. Chance

Linda H. Chance

Associate ChairAssociate Professor,Japanese Language and Literature


852 Williams Hall

Office Hours
Fall 2017: Tuesday 3:00PM to 4:00PM
  • PhD, University of California at Los Angeles, 1990
  • MA, University of Washington, Seattle, 1986
Research Interests

My main field is prose of the medieval era, particularly the random essay form (zuihitsu). I am interested in how texts come to be read as they are, which I approach through commentarial and reception histories, as well as genre study. The influences of Buddhist thought, gender, the various types of writing practiced in Japan, and musical modes of transmission are among my interests. My current project concerns literary masquerade across gender (and other) lines.

In my teaching, I give a prominent role to material culture, including clothing and food cultures.

I am a co-founder, with Dr. Julie Davis of Art History, of the Faculty Working Group RAMS: Reading Asian Manuscripts. In the past several years, we have hosted four Penn-Cambridge Hentaigana and Kuzushiji Reading Workshops under the leadership of Dr. Laura Moretti, a Transcribathon, and two symposia. History of the book, manuscripts, and printing are at the top of my current research agenda.

Courses Taught
  • Sushi and Ramen: Making Japanese Food Global (EALC 64),
  • Introduction to Japanese Civilization (EALC 2),
  • Possessing Women (EALC 17)
  • Love and Loss in Japanese Literary Traditions (EALC 152/552),
  • Loyal Warriors in Japanese Literature (EALC 153/553),
  • Loyal Royals in Japanese Literature: Tale of Genji (EALC 154/554),
  • Readings in Classical Japanese I (EALC 251/651/JPAN 491),
  • Readings in Classical Japanese II (EALC 252/652/JPAN 492),
  • War and Literature in Japan: Tales of the Heike (EALC 254/654),
  • Major Seminar: Japan, Reality/Fantasy (EALC 302),
  • Readings in Advanced Japanese II (JPAN 512),
  • Japanese for Sinologists (EALC 749),
  • Japanese Literature: Research Methods in the Classical Tradition (EALC 750)
Selected Publications

"Atom Came from Bugs: The Precocious Didacticism of Tezuka Osamu's Essays in Insect Idleness," in Mechademia 8 (2013)

Formless in Form: Kenkô, Tsurezuregusa, and the Rhetoric of Japanese Fragmentary Prose (Stanford University Press, 1997)

"Accessorizing the Text: the Role of Commentary in the Creation of Readers," Proceedings of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies,Vol. 5 (Summer 2004)

"Zuihitsu and Gender: Tsurezuregusa and The Pillow Book," in Inventing the Classics: Modernity, National Identity, and Japanese Literature, Haruo Shirane and Tomi Suzuki, eds. (Stanford University Press, 2000)

"Education in Asian Languages: Start at the Very Beginning" in Education About Asia 5:2 (Fall 2000)