Assistant Professor

Edwin Michielsen

Japanese Studies
PhD University of Toronto


Edwin is a scholar of modern Japanese and East Asian literature and culture. His book manuscript tentatively titled “Symbiotic Solidarity: Proletarian Arts and the Assembling of a Global Movement in East Asia” examines theories and practices of international solidarity during the 1920s and 1930s in East Asia found in various proletarian literary writings and cultural activities. Probing solidarity surrounding international festivals (May Day), language movements (Esperanto), birth control politics, and antiwar activism, this study aims to illuminate the transnational networks and connections among proletarian cultural movements in East Asia.

Besides his current research, he is interested in exploring postwar and contemporary literature and culture in Japan with a focus on questions surrounding ecology, mental health, indigeneity, and technology in relation to semiotic and immaterial capitalism.

Research Interest:

*Modern and Contemporary Japanese and East Asian Literature
*Proletarian and marginalized literature
*Transnational studies
*Critical theory


“Hirabayashi Taiko ‘Seryōshitsu’: Puroretaria bungaku to sanjiseigen to no kakawari o haikei ni,” (Hirabayashi Taiko’s “In the Charity Ward”: Proletarian Literature and Birth Control), The Bulletin of The National Institute of Japanese Literature, no. 48 (2022): 259-288.

“Fighting Fascism with 'Verbal Bullets': Kaji Wataru and the Antifascist Struggle in Wartime East Asia.” Fascism 9, no. 1-2 (2020): 9-33.

“A Marxist Sherlock Holmes: Itō Ken and the Proletarian Detective in 1920s Shanghai.” Japan Focus 17:6, no. 6 (2019): 1-16.

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