Associate Professor Rebecca Suter
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Associate Professor Rebecca Suter

BA, Ph.D. Universita degli Studi di Napoli "l'Orientale".
Associate Professor
Chair of Department
+61 2 9351 6766
A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney
Associate Professor Rebecca Suter

Rebecca Suter's main research interest is in modern Japanese literature and comparative literature.

Her first book,The Japanization of Modernity, focused on contemporary Japanese writer Murakami Haruki, particularly on his role as a cultural mediator between Japan and the United States, as well as on his use of meta-fictional techniques. Her 2010-2014 ARC project looked at representations of the so-called Christian century of Japan (1549-1638) in modern Japanese fiction, including literature, film, manga, anime, and videogames. This resulted in her second monograph, Holy Ghosts: the Christian Century in Modern Japanese Fiction (Hawaii UP, 2015). Her third monograph, Two-World Literature: Kazuo Ishiguro's Early Novels (Hawaii UP, 2020) explored the Nobel-Prize winning author's double cultural positioning and its use to challenge the conventional understanding of World Literature.

Before coming to Sydney in 2008, she has taught Japanese modern literature at Harvard University and at Brown University. She also works as a translator of manga, and has translated works by Shinohara Chie, Anno Moyoko, Miuchi Suzue, Asano Inio, Kitoh Mohiro, Katayama Kyoichi, and Unita Yumi, among others.

  • comparative literature
  • comparative history
  • Asian cultural studies
  • postcolonial studies
  • translation studies


  • JPNS1611 Japanese 1
  • JPNS3676 Monsters and Ghosts: Japanese fantasy and Science Fiction
  • ASNS6905 Asian Popular Culture
  • ASNS2677 Beyond the Geisha/Samurai Binary
  • ICLS1001 World Literatures in Translation
  • OLET1115 (Im)Politeness in Global Society


  • Japanese literature
  • Japanese popular culture
  • Cross-cultural representations
  • Comparative Literature
  • Comparative History
  • Literary Theory
  • Asian Cultural Studies
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Translation Studies
  • Food Studies
  • Cultures of consumption

My research is in Comparative Studies, with a specific focus on Japan’s creative appropriation of Euro-American culture, and the challenges it poses to current views of globalization, multiculturalism, and transnationalism.

My first monograph, The Japanization of Modernity: Murakami Haruki between Japan and the United States (2008), was the first scholarly work to approach the texts of this renowned contemporary author from a cross-cultural perspective, providing an explanation of his reception on both sides of the Pacific.

My second monograph, Holy Ghosts: The Christian Century in Modern Japanese Fiction (2015), investigated modern Japanese fictional representations of the Christian century (1543-1638), to challenge the conventional understanding of Japan’s cross-cultural negotiations and propose an innovative vision of Japanese social and political formations.

My edited volume, Rewriting History in Manga: Stories for the Nation (2016), a collective volume co-edited with Dr. Nissim Otmazgin, looks at the representation and “rewriting” of history in the medium of manga, Japanese comics.

My edited volume, Women's Manga in Asia and Beyond (2019)elucidates social and historical aspects of the Asian wave of manga from ever-broader perspectives of transnationalization and glocalization. With a specific focus on women’s direct roles in manga creation, it illustrates how the globalization of manga has united different cultures and identities, focusing on networks of women creators and readerships.

My third monograph, Two-World Literature: Kazuo Ishiguro's Early Novels (Hawaii UP 2020) explored the Nobel-Prize winning author's double cultural positioning and its use to challenge the conventional understanding of World Literature.

I am currently working on two projects;

The first is a collaborative ARC Discovery Project entitled "Opening Australia's Multilingual Archive." The project looks critically at Australian Anglocentrism to raise important questions about the dynamics of living in a multilingual society. The project aims to mobilise Australia’s considerable and under-utilised non-English language resources in order to rethink our migrant and settler history. It asks what difference language makes in the ways people engage with, and ultimately think of themselves as ‘Australian’ or not. For the first time, a rich multilingual archive will be used to examine Australia’s history from non-English perspectives.

The second project, in collaboration with the Charles Perkins Centre, is a comparative study of Japanese and Australian cultures of soft drink consumption, and their relationship with corporate strategies and health policy. It combines an analysis of the impact of Japanese and Australian soft drinks consumption cultures on the localised marketing strategies of global corporations with a study of the different approaches of these two countries to the institutional regulation of nutrition and health. Through an interdisciplinary and comparative approach, it aims to highlight the importance of the cultural dimension of nutrition, and the need to consider it when formulating policy.

Asian Studies Association of Australia (area representative for Japan)

Japanese Studies Association of Australia(member)

Asian Studies Association(member)

Modern Languages Association (member)

Inoue Yasushi Award for Outstanding Research in Japanese Literature, Culture and Art 2013

Project titleResearch student
Perceptions of student relationships in the second language classroom.Antonella BECONI
Written Meditations: The Introduction of Stoic Texts to JapanRose COUNSELL
A Comparative Analysis on the Critics and Reception of Amitav Ghosh in India, the UK, US and Australia.Jebun GEETI
Escapism as Return: Avenues of Escape in Philippine Speculative FictionEliza VICTORIA


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Selected Grants


  • Enhancing cultural competence and cross-cultural interdisciplinary effectiveness (Open Learning Environment - Undergraduate), Suter R, Penaloza F, Sorbera L, Pitaloka D, Moores S, DVC Education/Small Educational Innovation Grant


  • Writing the World - Transnationalism in Literary Studies, Bandhauer A, Borghesi F, Christie W, Cowan R, Dixon R, Giles P, Karalis V, Kirkpatrick P, Lu Y, Minter P, Morgan P, Parsons N, Rooney B, Suter R, Walsh A, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences/FASS Collaborative Research Scheme

Recent research grants


Opening Australia's Multilingual Archive. (ARC Discovery Project, lead CI prof. Adrian Vickers)


Drink Sokenbicha! Comparing Japanese and Australian soft drink consumption cultures. (FASS Cross-disciplinary Research for Social Impact Support Scheme)


Near West: Italy and Asutralia in the Japanese Cultural Imagination. (FASS Research Support Scheme)

In the media