The Tale of Genji

With Dennis Washburn and Sachi Schmidt-Hori


Join us for a conversation with translator Dennis Washburn and Sachi Schmidt-Hori on why The Tale of Genji has endured as an often-read and taught work.


Dennis Washburn is the Burlington northern Foundation professor of Asian studies at Dartmouth College. He holds a Ph.D. in Japanese Language and Literature from Yale University and has authored and edited studies on a range of literary and cultural topics. In addition to his scholarly publications, he has translated several works of Japanese fiction. In 2004 he was awarded the Japan Foreign Minister’s citation for promoting cross-cultural understanding.

Sachi Schmidt-Hori is associate professor of Japanese literature at Dartmouth College. She was born in Kanazawa and grew up in Tokyo. Her research focuses on representations of gender, sexuality, and class in pre-17th century Japanese prose literature. Her book, Tales of Idolized Boys: Male-Male Love in Medieval Buddhist Narratives, aims to relativize the modern, secular, and moralistic interpretations of the medieval Japanese literary genre of “acolyte tales” and offers more historically nuanced readings of such texts. Her current project is on “symbolic milk kinship” in pre-1600 vernacular tales. Through this line of research, Sachi theorizes the ontology of milk kinships in premodern Japan and proposes new ways of analyzing such relationships in Japanese classics, including The Tale of Genji.


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