University Lecturer Premodern Japanese History and Culture
Angelika Koch-Low is University Lecturer Premodern Japanese History and Culture at the Leiden Institute for Area Studies. She specializes in Edo-period (1600-1868) culture and language, with a particular focus on the history of genders/sexualities and history of medicine.
I specialize in Edo-period (1600-1868) culture and language, with a particular focus on the history of genders/sexualities and history of medicine.
I completed a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a Master’s degree in Japanese Studies at the University of Vienna, with periods of study at Università Ca’ Foscari in Venice and Meiji University in Tokyo. My Master’s thesis focused on the depiction of male same-sex desire in comic literature of the Edo period. This was followed by a PhD in Japanese Studies at the University of Cambridge. My PhD thesis Sexual Healing. Sexuality, Health and the Body in Early Modern Japan (1600-1868), which I am currently preparing for publication with Cambridge University Press, explored medical views of sex as a health and disease concept in the Edo period. Following an appointment as visiting lecturer in pre-modern Japanese literature and language at Yale University and a research fellowship at the University of Ghent, I joined the University of Leiden in 2020. My new research project focuses on the imagination of the medical body in early modern Japan, with a particular focus on late 18th- and early 19th-century popular fiction and prints.
I am also part of the collaborative project Timing Day and Night: ‘Timescapes’ in Pre-modern Japan, which explores time as a set of social practices prior to the introduction of the Western time system. In April 2015, I convened the international conference Timing Day and Night at the University of Cambridge (for select papers see the special issue of Kronoscope 17/1 ).
Beyond this, my academic and teaching interests extend to modern and contemporary Japan. I have co-edited a volume on genders and sexualities in contemporary Japan titled Manga Girl Seeks Herbivore Boy: Studying Japanese Gender at Cambridge (LIT 2013) and a second volume on contemporary masculinities titled Cool Japanese Men: Studying New Masculinities at Cambridge (LIT 2017). The third and final volume on contemporary femininities (Beyond Kawaii: Studying Japanese Femininities at Cambridge, LIT 2020) was published in June 2020.
I supervise graduate students who wish to work on subjects relating to Edo-period history and literature, genders and sexualities.
Upcoming and New Publications
- (forthcoming) ‘Medicine as Metaphor: The Medical Body in Late Eighteenth-Century Popular Fiction.'
- (forthcoming) 'Jippensha Ikku’s The Essentials of Healthy Living Inside the Abdomen (Hara no uchi yōjō shuron 腹内養生主論, 1799). An Introduction and Annotated Translation''
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