Shannon WELCH - Tokyo College
Project Researcher

Shannon WELCH

01 Description of Research

My research examines Japanese Brazilian literature within the context of Japanese imperialism to extend the decolonial critique of transpacific studies into Latin America. Specifically, I look at how Japanese diasporic literary texts call attention to the continuities between the Japanese state’s management of migration to Brazil in the early twentieth century and its simultaneous practices of colonization in East Asia and the Pacific. Despite the connection between these two forms of imperial expansionism, disciplinary boundaries (especially those based in area studies traditions) tend to obscure the links between Japanese immigration and imperialism. My doctoral dissertation, Transpacific Anomalies and Alterities: Decolonial Possibilities through Japanese Brazilian Literature, addresses this oversight by reading twentieth-century Japanese Brazilian prose fiction through a decolonial feminist lens to generate a critique of the hegemonic power relations in the transpacific tied to legacies of Japanese imperialism. In particular, I focus in on stories told from traditionally marginalized perspectives that provide insight into the innerworkings of Japanese migration-led settler colonialism in Brazil and its intersection with other systems of domination such as racial capitalism and heteropatriarchy. Ultimately, I utilize this reflection on questions of race, gender, sexuality, and imperialism as a way to envision alternative forms of ethical and non-hegemonic social relations and work toward decolonial liberation in the transpacific.

02 Short Biography

2022 December Ph.D. in Literature with a Specialization in Critical Gender Studies, University of California, San Diego

2016 June M.A. in Comparative Literature, Dartmouth College

2013 June B.A. in English and Spanish, Villanova University

03 Publications and Other Research Activities

“Belonging without Borders: Japanese Brazilian Stories of Diasporic Return without a ‘Homecoming.’”Verge: Studies in Global Asias 9.1 (Spring 2023), edited by Tina Chen. (forthcoming).

04 Honors and Awards

2020 Kobe College Corporation Japan Education Exchange Graduate Fellowship, Kobe and Tokyo, Japan

2019 Toshiba International Fellowship for research at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies, Yokohama, Japan                                                                                                           

2018 Nippon Foundation Fellowship for study at the Inter-University Center for Japanese

Language Studies, Yokohama, Japan                                                                  

2018 Joseph Naiman Fellowship in Japanese Studies, University of California, San Diego                       

2014 Fulbright Brazil English Teaching Assistant Fellowship, the Federal University of Maranhão, São Luís, Maranhão, Brazil