Linda H. Chance

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Associate Chair
Associate Professor,
Japanese Language and Literature
Contact Information
Office Address: 
852 Williams Hall
Office Hours: 
Thursdays 1:30PM to 2:30PM
Email Address: 


  • PhD, University of California at Los Angeles, 1990
  • MA, University of Washington, Seattle, 1986
Research and Teaching 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 guide my long-term research agenda. My current project concerns literary masquerade across gender (and other) lines.

I am a co-founder of the Faculty Working Group RAMS, Reading Asian Manuscripts. In the past several years, we have hosted two symposia and three Penn-Cambridge Hentaigana and Kuzushiji Reading Workshops. History of the book, manuscripts, and printing are at the top of my current research agenda.

Recent Courses: 
  • Introduction to Japanese Civilization (EALC 2),
  • Possessing Women (EALC 17), Authors and Imitators: Cloning Japanese Women Writers (EALC 19),
  • 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 in Japanese (EALC 302),
  • Readings in Advanced Japanese II (JPAN 512),
  • Japanese for Sinologists (EALC 749),
  • Japanese Literature: Research Methods in the Classical Tradition (EALC 750),
  • Readings in Pre-Modern Japanese Literature (EALC 756),
  • Teaching Methods in Japanese (EALC 758)
Other Professional Activity: 

Prizes, Awards and Fellowships:

Japan Foundation Professional Fellowship, 1997-98
Social Science Research Council Grant, 1993-94


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)