Luciana Sanga

Luciana Sanga's picture
Lecturer in East Asian Studies
115 Prospect Street, Room 242, New Haven, CT 06511
Areas of interest : 
Modern Japanese Literature

Luciana Sanga studies modern and contemporary Japanese fiction, with a focus on popular literature, genre, and gender studies. Her work has appeared in the U.S. Japan-Women’s Journal, Japanese Language and Literature, Review of Japanese Culture and Society and Proceedings for the Association of Japanese Literary Studies. She is currently completing her book manuscript of the genre of love novels in Japan.  

Luciana holds a Ph.D. in Japanese literature from Stanford University and a B.A. in history from the University of Tokyo. 

Before coming to Yale, she taught Japanese literature and language at Northwestern University and was a visiting research scholar at the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies at Harvard University. At Yale she teaches classes on Japanese literature.  

Selected publications: 

From Girls’ Novels to Love Novels: Female Friendship in Yuikawa Kei’s Sayonara, Insecurity and Sweetheart Nearby = 少女小説から恋愛小説へ: 唯川恵の小説における女同士の友情 (

Tanabe Seiko, Feminism, and the Making of a Love Novel | Japanese Language and Literature (


EAST 410, EALL 234

Japanese Detective Fiction

This class offers an overview of modern Japanese literature with a focus on detective fiction. Through detective fiction we can examine key concepts in literature such as narrative voice, point of view, genre, modernism and postmodernism, and learn about debates in Japanese literature, the distinction between highbrow and popular fiction, and the relation between Japanese literature and translated fiction. Detective fiction also allows for the exploration of key issues in Japanese history and society such as consumerism, colonialism, class, gender, and sexuality. Readings include a wide range of texts by canonical and popular writers, as well as theoretical texts on genre and detective fiction. 

Term: Fall 2023
Day/Time: MW 11:35 AM - 12:50 PM
EAST 412, EALL 285

100 Years of Japanese Pop Literature

We cover a variety of genres, from historical fiction to light novels, and authors ranging from Edogawa Rampo to Murakami Haruki. We analyze these works against the literary and socio-historical context of Japan and consider questions of canon formation, literary taste and value(s), and the concept of genre. Occasionally we discuss highbrow or canonical texts and interrogate the validity of the highbrow/popular distinction. 

Term: Spring 2024
Day/Time: T,Th 11:35 AM - 12:50 PM
EAST 422, EALL 286

Reading and Translating Modern Japanese Literature

In this class, we read Natsume Sōseki’s canonical 1908 novel Sanshirō in its original Japanese. One of the most beloved works of modern Japanese literature, Sanshirō features an eponymous protagonist struggling to navigate college life, love, and friendship. I provide vocabulary lists as well as the historical background necessary to understanding the text, with a focus on its format as a newspaper serialization. Students are expected to come to class having carefully read the assigned chapter. We translate selected passages into English and discuss the text in the context of its initial publication venue and beyond. Students gain a deep understanding of this Japanese classic and become more aware of some recurrent challenges in translating Japanese into English.

Term: Spring 2024
Day/Time: W 9:25 AM - 11:15 AM