Aaron Gerow appointed Alfred W. Griswold Professor

Aaron Gerow
January 10, 2022

Aaron Gerow, an authority on Japanese and East Asian cinema and literature who has transformed scholarly and popular understandings of Japanese media, has been appointed the Alfred W. Griswold Professor of East Asian Languages and Literatures and of Film and Media Studies, effective immediately.

He is a member of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures and the Film and Media Studies program.

Gerow joined the Yale faculty in 2003 after holding a faculty position at Yokohama National University while also teaching at Meiji Gakuin University. He is a theorist and critic of cinema, and for over a decade served as a film critic for The Daily Yomiuri, one of Japan’s major English language newspapers. He is the author of four books, all of which have or are in the process of being revised and translated into Japanese. “Kitano Takeshi” (2007) is a pioneering volume on the impact of Kitano’s films in Japan and beyond. “A Page of Madness” (2008) reframes and reimagines the legacy of a canonical Japanese silent film. His “Research Guide to Japanese Film Studies” (2009) (with Abe Mark Nornes) is a field-defining work and indispensable tool for scholars of Japanese film. Finally, “Visions of Japanese Modernity” (2010) is an ambitious study of film and film criticism in the first three decades of Japanese cinema.

In addition to these volumes, Gerow has co-edited more than a dozen journal volumes, anthologies and exhibition catalogues, authored dozens of scholarly articles, and contributed to documentary films. He had contributed commentary and subtitles for numerous film releases and manages Kinema Club and KineJapan, online portals devoted to Japanese film scholarship. His impact is broad: his speaking engagements have taken him to Hokkaido University, the University of Vienna, Ewha University, the University of Melbourne, Harvard, and other institutions, as well as to film festivals, around the world. For this work, Gerow had been awarded fellowships by the University of Melbourne, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Japan Foundation, and other organizations. Gerow is, in short, one of the most prolific and influential scholars of Japanese film working today.

At Yale, Gerow teaches undergraduate courses in Japanese and East Asian cinema, world animation, film genre, Japanese literature, introduction to film, and close analysis of film, as well as graduate seminars on Japanese film theory and historiography, television, and cultural theory. He currently chairs the department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, a role in which he serves with distinction. He also coordinates the innovative combined Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literatures and Film and Media Studies. He actively serves the profession and the university, organizing symposia and events at Yale that enhance the university’s strength as a home for film studies and studies of Japanese culture.

He earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from Columbia, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Iowa.

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