Ayako Kano

Penn Humanities Forum Faculty Fellow

20112012 Forum on Adaptations

Ayako Kano

Associate Professor of Modern Japanese Literature

Religion, Politics, and Sexuality in Euro-American Adaptations of a Classical Japanese Performance Genre

“Religion, Politics, and Sexuality in Euro-American Adaptations of a Classical Japanese Performance Genre" will analyze cross-cultural artistic transformation of the medieval Japanese genre of noh by three European artists, the Irish poet William Butler Yeats, the German playwright Bertolt Brecht, and the British composer Benjamin Britten. I have completed three years of research, focusing on the processes of adaptation and the divergence in religious and political dimensions in these three cases of adaptation. Through participation in the Penn Humanities Forum, I plan to forge a new theoretical framework for understanding these cases, incorporate examples of contemporary American adaptations, including those by my students, and explore the dimension of sexuality that lies close to the surface of this all-male performance genre and its transformations.