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Faculty Profile

Alex Bates

Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Literature (2006)

Contact Information

Stern Center for Global Educ Room 009


Professor Bates is a specialist in modern Japanese literature and film. In addition to survey courses in these areas, he has taught courses in Japanese youth culture, war in fiction and film, ecocriticism, East Asian film, and cinematic adaptations of Japanese literature. Professor Bates's book on representations of the 1923 earthquake that destroyed Tokyo was published by the University of Michigan, Center for Japanese Studies Press in 2015. His research in this area has continued into other natural disasters in modern Japanese culture, including Japan's 2011 tsunami and nuclear disaster. Other research interests include ecocriticism, urban modernism, and early post-war Japanese literature and film.


  • B.A., Brigham Young University, 1998
  • M.A., University of Michigan, 2001
  • Ph.D., 2006

2019-2020 Academic Year

Fall 2019

JPNS 201 Intermediate Japanese
The aim of this course is the mastery of the basic structure of Japanese language and communicative skills. The student will have an opportunity to get to know more of Japanese culture. Prerequisite: 102 or permission of the instructor.

JPNS 361 Advanced Japanese II
The emphasis in this course is placed on polishing and refining the students' language skills. Emphasis is placed on covering more sophisticated materials such as newspapers, magazine articles, film and literature. Prerequisite: 232 or permission of the instructor.

EASN 480 Critical Dialogues in EASN
To help prepare students for completing their senior research project, this course introduces current dialogues and research strategies in East Asian Studies. Students will study influential scholarly texts on and from the region and apply insights gleaned from them toward analysis of primary source data. Students will also learn to better identify and evaluate competing views presented by secondary sources. By the end of the course, students will have chosen a research topic, identified suitable sources, and developed a proposal for their senior project. The content and direction of the course will reflect the research interests of students and the instructor.Prerequisite: EASN, CHIN or JPNS major and 200-level EASN course.

EASN 500 Independent Study