BROOK, Thomas

Lecturer

PhD (Literature)
Classes: Advanced English 1 & 2, English 1 -4, Research Project 3 & 4

What is language? Is it just a communication tool? What sort of relationship do we create with the language, or the languages, that we hear, and speak, and read, and write? These are the kinds of questions that I want to share with my students. Learning to speak a another language is an important part of intercultural understanding and international dialogue. But learning how to live with language, especially how to live with multiple languages, is just as important. In fact, maybe this is where the real challenge of language learning begins.

Born and raised in England, I first came to Japan when I was 18. For me, Japan and the Japanese language were the doors to the world outside of my own culture, which is Britain. In April 2023, I became a lecturer at the Faculty of International Studies, Otemon Gakuin University. From now on, I am looking forward to thinking about what lies ahead of language learning together with the undergraduate students, while experiencing the joy of language learning.

Research Interests: Cross-border literature, Translation, Japanese literature, Cross-cultural exchange

My research field is contemporary literature in Japanese, with a particular focus on writers who are of foreign origin or whose lives span multiple countries and languages. This is called “transnational literature” for convenience, but compared to the similar concept “transnational literature” in English, “transnational literature” is not yet established as an academic term. Why is it so hard to find words for “this kind of writer” or “this kind of literature”? In a nutshell, I think it echoes the difficulty of truly understanding and accepting diversity in the times we live in. Conversely, by reading and thinking about Japan’s “cross-border literature,” we have the opportunity to actually imagine what lies beyond this era, which is often said to have an “unknown future,” and to actively aim for it. I think you can catch it. I feel that I am able to continue my research activities precisely because I have such thoughts.

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