Kendra Strand, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Kendra specializes in premodern Japanese literature and visual culture, with expertise in travel writing, poetry, calligraphy, and landscape painting. Her research is founded in examining the historical contexts in which works of literature and art were created.

She has translated four medieval travel diaries by political elites of the fourteenth century for publication and for my dissertation, Aesthetics of Space: Representations of Travel in Medieval Japan. In her book manuscript, she investigated the acts of traveling to famous places, describing the landscape, and composing poetry as a part of the ongoing effort for social-political success by warrior elites of fourteenth-century Japan. In travel journals of this time, the journey is an act that constitutes the landscape, and composing poetry is a means of redefining history. Understanding how humans approach and interact with important places, as well as the ways in which the symbolic power of geographical sites are developed at different points in history, will also help to illuminate the relationships between human cultures and the landscapes they create.

Research Interests

Her research interests extend to issues of canon and interpretation in literature and art, as well as the ways in which historical themes surface in contemporary popular culture. She is also interested in material culture, particularly aesthetic issues of calligraphy and paper decoration, as well as the history of books, publication practices, the circulation of texts in medieval and early modern Japan.

Courses Taught

  • JPNS:1506 - Asian Humanities Japan
  • JPNS:3202 - Traditional Japanese Literature in Translation
  • JPNS:3207 - Japan Illuminated: Literature & Visual Culture
  • JPNS:3601 - Contemporary Japanese Culture
Research areas
  • Japanese
Kendra Strand
Ph.D. in Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan
M.A. in Asian Languages and Cultures, University of Michigan
B.A. in Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, University of Montana
Contact Information

667 Phillips Hall (PH)
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States