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Susan Furukawa

Academic Specialties and Other Interests

I am a professor in the department of Modern Languages and Literatures and the director of the Japanese Program. I teach courses on Japanese language, literature, and culture (including pop culture) and advise students majoring and minoring in Japanese as well as those interested in going to study abroad in Japan. My courses are cross-listed in Environmental Studies, Critical Identity Studies, Media Studies, and Asian Studies, and they are tied to different channels including Sustainability, Worldbuilding, and the Arts.

My research looks at popular historical fiction about samurai and considers how and why history and popular culture intersect in the ways they do. Many of my courses draw from my research interests; some of my favorites are Nightmare Japan, The Way of the Samurai, Japanese Popular Culture in Fiction and Film, and Japanese Women Writers. My goal as a professor is to create classes that are international, experiential, and accessible in ways that stretch students to discover their passions and to develop skills that will help them well beyond their time at Beloit..

As a graduate of a small liberal arts college myself, I have always known I wanted to teach at a place like Beloit. Faculty at Beloit are creative and collaborative, and students are intelligent, enthusiastic, and engaged. I have enjoyed the many opportunities to do research with students in Japan and here at home. What I love most about Beloit, though, is that it’s a place where if you can dream it, you can probably do it. This is true for faculty and students alike! I’m not sure you will find a more vibrant college community.

Outside of class, my life is a bit chaotic with three kids, two cats, and a dog. I enjoy camping, hiking, and writing. And, I love watching and playing sports. I look forward to getting to know you and helping you navigate your time at Beloit!

  • Susan Furukawa

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