Berkeley English Faculty

Andrew Way Leong

Andrew Way Leong

Assistant Professor

404 Wheeler
On sabbatical 2022-2023; office hours by appointment only.

Professional Statement

I am a comparativist who works primarily in Japanese and English with additional interests in Spanish and Portuguese. I approach the study of Asian American literature (and literatures of Asia and the Americas) with special attention to the generative frictions within and among multiple languages.

My research focuses on the literature of Japanese diasporas in the Americas as well as queer and critical theoretical approaches to the study of literary genre, gendered embodiment, and generational time. I am the translator of Lament in the Night (Kaya Press 2012), a collection of two novels by Shōson Nagahara, an author who wrote for a Japanese reading public in Los Angeles during the 1920s. I am also completing a manuscript entitled A Queer, Queer Race: Orientations for the Lost Generation of Japanese/American Literature. This book examines Japanese and English language texts written by Shōson, Sadakichi Hartmann, Arishima Takeo, and Yoné Noguchi—authors who resided in the United States between the opening of mass Japanese emigration in 1885 and the ban on Japanese immigration imposed by the Immigration Act of 1924.

Since 2021, I have served as one of two scholar-editors for the Issei Poetry Project at the Japanese Community and Cultural Center (JACCC - Los Angeles). I have also been working on translations of early Japanese American drama -- most recently in the form of a (2022) staged reading of Nagahara Hideaki's 1928 play Sariyukumono (The Ones Who Leave).

Prior to joining the faculty of UC Berkeley in 2018, I was an assistant professor of English and Asian Languages and Cultures at Northwestern University (2012-2018). I received my Ph.D. in Comparative Literature (English, Japanese, Spanish) from UC Berkeley in 2012, and completed my B.A. in Comparative Literature (English, Spanish, Mathematics) at Dartmouth College in 2003.

I have taught courses on 19th and 20th century Japanese literature, American literature, Asian American literature, modernist literature in Asia, international law and literature, manga and graphic novels, and Westerns and Japanese period drama.

Third-person pronouns: he/him.

Lament in the Night
Lament in the Night

Winner of the 2014 Outstanding Book Award -- Creative Writing, Association of Asian American Studies. Lament in the Night collects two remarkable novels by the author Shōson Nagahara, translated from the Japanese for the first time. The title nove....(read more)

Roots of the Issei: Exploring Japanese American Newspapers
Roots of the Issei: Exploring Japanese American Newspapers

Winner of the 2017 Japanese Diaspora Initiative Award. Roots of the Issei presents a complex and nuanced picture of the Japanese American community in the early twentieth century: a people challenged by racial prejudice and anti-Japanese immigra....(read more)

Selected Publications and Papers Delivered

Articles and Book Chapters:

“Bridging Work and Global Asias: Stars and Sandbars.” The Journal of Asian Studies 80, no. 4 (2021): 1011–21. doi:10.1017/S0021911821001601.

"Osato-san's Hands: Untimely Tales Gesture to Humanity's Horizons." In Asian American Literature in Transition: 1850-1930, edited by Josephine Lee and Julia Lee, 227-244. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021. doi: 10.1017/9781108914048.015 

"Influence and Influenza: Arishima Takeo’s Revisions of Leo Tolstoy, 1904–1918." In Japan's Russia: Challenging the East-West Paradigm, edited by Olga Solovieva and Sho Konishi, 37-56. Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2020.

“Critique Is Not That Old, Composition Is Not That New: Sadakichi Hartmann’s Conversations with Walt Whitman.” Chapter. In The New Walt Whitman Studies, edited by Matt Cohen, 185–202. Twenty-First-Century Critical Revisions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019. doi:10.1017/9781108296830.012.

Early Japanese American Literature, 1815-1900.” Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature. 28 Aug. 2019. doi: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190201098.013.838.

"There is No Middle Road/ That Itself is the Middle Way." Comparative Literature Studies. 55.4. (2018), 897-905.

“Anomaly without Analogy: Morimoto Tazuko’s U.S. Mexico Border Tanka,” in “Critical Approaches between Asia and Latin America: A Critical Renga,” curated by Christopher Bush and Andrea Bachner. Verge: Studies in Global Asias. 3.2. (Fall 2017), 63-66.

“The Pocket and the Watch: A Collective Individualist Reading of Japanese American Literature,” Verge: Studies in Global Asias. 1.2. (2015), 76-114.

Web Publications:

"Pauses in Japanese and American Literature," How to Read (podcast), hosted by Milan Terlunen, produced by Olivia Branscum. December 2019.

"Sparking Joy: Religion, Representation & Marie Kondo," with Grace En-Yi Ting and Tara Fickle. The Revealer. February 2019.

“Post-64?: Epiphoric Epiphora, the Crying Camry, and Transformers: The Age of Extinction. Post-45: Contemporaries. December 7, 2015.

English Department Classes