School of Modern Languages

Staff Profiles

Dr Michael Tsang

Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow

Background

I am Leverhulme Early Career Fellow based at the School of Modern Languages. Prior to this appointment I was Research Associate on the AHRC-funded project, 'Gendering Murakami Haruki', hosted at the same School. My degrees include a doctorate in English and Comparative Literary Studies from Warwick, an MPhil in Gender Studies and a BA in English from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

My main research interest is postcolonial and world literatures with an East Asian focus, specialising in Japanese, Hong Kong, and Chinese literatures. 

In addition to the Murakami project, I am one of the founding editors of Hong Kong Studies, the world's only bilingual academic journal specifically devoted to Hong Kong. I am also staff reviewer at Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, where I have established an extensive profile of reviews of Asian literature (see here for a list of reviews I have published).



 

Research

World Literature and 20th East Asia: Literary Culture and Institutions

This project investigates how political, economic and cultural contact with the West helped revolutionise a literary culture in 20th century Japan and China. By ‘literary culture’, I refer to a collective of conditions that includes the broader intellectual environment, presence/absence of freedom of thought or other governmental intervention, availability of publishing avenues, vibrancy of print culture, robustness of cultural exchanges, and key theoretical reflections on literature and thought.

Drawing on B. Venkat Mani's concept of 'bibliomigrancy' which describes the influence of publishing companies, book series and government authorities on global book circulation, I examine how literary contact with the West inspired the emergency of book series, literary magazines, bookstores and libraries in 20th century China and Japan, shaping the two countries' literary cultures.    

I argue that while literary culture had existed before contact with the West, such contact in the 20th century reshaped literary culture in an unprecedented way and allowed writers and intellectuals in these two countries to engage with the world and imagine themselves as part of a world literary community; hence, the two literary scenes responded differently to global literary influences according to each nation’s shifting sociopolitical circumstances in the century.

Transmediality and Murakami Haruki

The Gendering Murakami Haruki project took place in 2018 and coincided with the 40th anniversary of the moment when Murakami Haruki first came up with the idea of writing a novel. 

As part of the research output to the Gendering Murakami project, Dr Gitte Hansen and I are co-editing a forthcoming special issue on Murakami Haruki at Japan Forum, with a co-written article on the politics of transmediality in Murakami's Bakery Attack stories and their adaptations. We have also secured with Routledge a contract for an edited volume based on our academic conference (forthcoming).

Other research outputs

In addition to research in the Murakami Haruki project, I am also published in the following publications:


 


Teaching

2017-Present. School of Modern Languages, Newcastle University

  • SML2013: Surveying East Asian Literatures *NEW MODULE 2019/2020*
  • JPN1005: Introduction to Japanese History and Society
  • JPN2004: Contemporary Japanese Popular Culture 
  • JPN4006: Literary and Cultural Expressions in Contemporary Japan

2012-2017. Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, The University of Warwick

  • Modern World Literatures
  • Global City Literature
  • New Literatures in English
  • Modes of Reading

2009-2011. Department of English, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

  • Gender and Literature
  • Introduction to Literature
  • Renaissance to Enlightenment

Publications