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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Adam L. Kern

Specializing in Japanese literature, visual culture, and popular culture, particularly manga (Japanese-styled comics) and haiku.

Professor of Japanese Literature and Visual Culture, Department of Asian Languages & Culture Work: 608-262-8731 — Home and cell phones available upon request Home page


  • Japanese comic books, from kibyôshi to manga
  • Japanese literature and popular culture of the early modern (1600-1868) and modern periods
  • Japanese visual culture of the early modern (1600-1868) and modern periods, including ukiyoe, manga, kibyôshi, haiga, and so on
  • history of haiku in Japan, including senryû, bareku, haikai and so on
  • Japanese comic literature (gesaku 戯作) of the early modern and modern periods


  • Subject of a documentary for the Japanese national primetime “edutainment” show "Wafû sôhonke" (Japan’s Cultural Foundations) that aired in March 2017.
  • Research Professor at the University of Tokyo
  • Visiting Professor at the National Institute of Japanese Literature (Kokubungaku Kenkyû Shiryôkan 国文学研究資料館), Tokyo, Japan
  • Author, "The Penguin Book of Haiku" (London: Penguin Classics, forthcoming, 2018)
  • Author, "Manga from the Floating World: Comicbook Culture and the Kibyoshi of Edo Japan" (Harvard University Asia Center)
  • Staff reporter for a major metropolitan Japanese newspaper "Kyoto Shimbun"
  • Editorial intern with the manga weekly "Young Magazine" at Kodansha Publishers
  • On the faculty at Harvard University for nearly a decade