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Christopher Bolton

Contact Information

Professor of Comparative and Japanese Literature
Williams College
85 Mission Park Drive
Williamstown, MA 01267
Office Hollander 310
Spring Office Hours Tuesdays & Fridays 9:30-10:30 AM
Office Tel. 413-597-2513
Email cbolton @

Professional Information

I teach comparative and Japanese literature at Williams College, where I have an appointment in the Comparative Literature Program.


My courses include a range of Japanese literature courses in translation, as well as classes on comparative literature and literary theory. In 2016-17 I am teaching an introduction to comparative literature and a survey of premodern Japanese civilization team taught with the history department.


My research interests center on modern Japanese literature, particularly postwar and contemporary fiction and animation. My undergraduate training was in the sciences, and I am particularly interested in the intersection and interaction between science and literature. In more general terms, I am interested in the fuzzy boundaries of what we call literature, and the ways that technology prompts us to rethink those boundaries. This includes the changing ways aesthetic theories have defined and delineated literature across times and cultures, the status of adaptations and reproductions vis-à-vis "original" works, and the relationship between writing and visual or media culture.

Book Projects

My books include Sublime Voices, on the interplay between science and fiction in the work of the Japanese avant-garde writer Abe Kōbō (2009), as well as a new book on Japanese animation, forthcoming in spring 2018. I have also co-edited several volumes of criticism focused on anime and Japanese popular culture: Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams: Japanese Science Fiction from Origins to Anime (2007), and ten volumes of the Mechademia series, for work on Japanese anime, manga, and the fan arts (2006-2015).


I am exploring visual and digital media not only as objects of analysis but also as vehicles for my own critical work and teaching. My efforts so far have included a virtual art museum inside the multi-user online world of Second Life, and a short animated film introducing concepts in poststructuralist literary theory.

Japanese Mac

A popular part of this site is "Japanese for Your Mac," which has information about working with Japanese on a Macintosh.