Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Asian Languages & Civilizations

First Advisor

Faye Y. Kleeman

Second Advisor

Janice C. Brown

Third Advisor

David C. Atherton


This thesis utilizes Michael Warner's theory of counterpublics to engage with two novellas by Shirin Nezammafi, Salam and White Paper. I critically reconsider the use and reception of ekkyo bungaku ("border­-crossing" literature) in contemporary Japanese literary criticism. I intend to shift the critical framework of ekkyo literature away from strictly defined Westphalian nation-state identities, proposing instead a more nuanced view of ekkyo that engages with systemic and societal boundaries that exist beyond the context of national borders. I situate Shirin Nezammafi, Salam, and White Paper within this discourse, positing ways in which she both adheres to and complicates a narrowly defined vision of ekkyo that emerges from national boundaries.