Dennis Washburn

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Dennis Washburn (born July 30, 1954) is the Jane and Raphael Bernstein Professor of Asian Studies at Dartmouth College where he has taught since 1992.[1][2] He has served as chair of the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures and is currently chair of the Comparative Literature Program. Washburn has published extensively on Japanese literature and culture and is an active translator of both modern and classical Japanese fiction. In 2004 he received the Japanese Foreign Ministry's citation for contributions to cross-cultural understanding,[3] and in 2008 he received the Japan-US Friendship Commission Translation Prize.[4]


Yale University: Ph.D. (June, 1991) – Along with Alan Tansman, Dennis earned his Ph.D under the tutelage of Edwin McClellan.

Waseda University: Monbusho Fellow (October, 1983 to March, 1985)

Pembroke College, Oxford University: MA (August, 1979)

Harvard University: BA (June, 1976) – While at Harvard University, Dennis studied with some notable figures in American literature, such as Elizabeth Bishop.

Selected publications[edit]

Translating Mount Fuji: Modern Japanese Fiction and the Ethics of Identity, New York: Columbia University Press, 2006.

The Dilemma of the Modern in Japanese Fiction, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.

Editor with A. Kevin Reinhart, Converting Cultures: Ideology, Religion, and Transformations of Modernity, Leiden: Brill, 2007.

Editor with Carole Cavanaugh, Word and Image in Japanese Cinema, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Selected Translations[edit]

The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu (unabridged with annotations and “Introduction”), New York: W. W. Norton & Co., 2015.[5][6][7][8]

Laughing Wolf (Warai ookami), a novel by Tsushima Yūko, Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 2011.

Temple of the Wild Geese (Gan no tera) and Bamboo Dolls of Echizen (Echizen takeningyō), two novellas by Mizukami Tsutomu, Dalkey Archive Press, 2008.

Shanghai, by Yokomitsu Riichi, Ann Arbor: Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, 2001.


  1. ^ "Dennis Charles Washburn".
  2. ^ Oransky, Ivan (1 June 1992). "EALC Professor Denied Tenure By University". The Harvard Crimson. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  3. ^ "Japanese honor Washburn". Vox of Dartmouth. 17 May 2004. Retrieved 29 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Donald Keene Center".
  5. ^ "The Tale of Genji (unabridged)".
  6. ^ "Book review of The Tale of Genji - Open Letters Monthly - an Arts and Literature Review".
  7. ^ Steven Moore (23 July 2015). "'The Tale of Genji': The work of a brilliant widow 1,000 years ago". Washington Post.
  8. ^ Ian Buruma (20 July 2015). "A New Translation of "The Tale of Genji" - The New Yorker". The New Yorker.