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Florida Gulf Coast University

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Department of Language and Literature

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Masami Sugimori

Assistant Professor
Phone: (239) 590-7356
Office: RH 132

Ph.D. University of Kansas (2009)
M.A. University of Virginia (2002)
B. of Integrated Human Studies Kyoto University, Japan (1999)

Primary Teaching Areas
American Literature and Culture, Modernism, African American Literature

Research Focus
American Modernism, Harlem Renaissance, Critical Race Studies, Literature of Racial Passing

Professor Sugimori taught at University of Kansas and University of South Alabama before coming to FGCU in 2012. His current book project, The Language Trap: U.S. Passing Fiction and its Paradox, examines American novels of racial passing to demonstrate how narrative as a representational medium enables and compromises writers' challenges to hegemonic racial ideology. This paradox, he argues, derives ultimately from the problem that language, due to its inevitably ideological nature and dichotomizing function, prevents the writers from capturing racial passing in its radical indeterminacy. Examined authors include William Faulkner, James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, and Jessie Fauset.

A Japanese native who spent his formative years in industrial Toyota City and historic Kyoto, Professor Sugimori also publishes stories exploring the manners and mores of the postwar Japan.

Critical Articles

  • "Narrative Order, Racial Hierarchy, and 'White' Discourse in James Weldon Johnson's The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man and Along This Way." MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 36.3 (2011): 37-62.
  • "The 'New Negro' and Passing Fiction: The Ideals and Paradox of the Harlem Renaissance" (written in Japanese). Novelists' America: How Dreams Turned into Nightmare. Ed. Kazuko Fukuoka, and Yasushi Takano. Kyoto, Japan: Shoraisha, 2010. 121-47.
  • "Racial Mixture, Racial Passing, and White Subjectivity in Absalom, Absalom!" Faulkner Journal 23.2 (2008): 3-21.
  • "Signifying, Ordering, and Containing the Chaos: Whiteness, Ideology and Language in Intruder in the Dust." Faulkner Journal 22.1&2 (2006/2007): 54-73.

Short Stories

  • "Hinanjo—Evacuation Shelter." Imagination & Place: Weather. Ed. Kelly Barth. Lawrence, KS: Imagination & Place Press, 2012. 30-33.
  • "Three A.M." Hawai'i Pacific Review 24 (2010): 55-56. Co-authored with Kevin Rabas.

Conference Presentations

  • "Teaching Critical Theory in Introductory Literature Courses: Overcoming Challenges through Collaboration and Creativity." University of South Alabama Conference on Teaching and Learning. 2012.
  • "Resisting the Suicidal Blue(s): Text, Voice, and Music in Langston Hughes and Charles Mingus's Weary Blues." Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities. 2012. Co-authored with Kevin Rabas.
  • "The Passing Paradox: Representation of Racial Chaos within the Symbolic Order in Nella Larsen's Passing." American Literature Association Convention. 2010.
  • "Racial Mixture, Racial Passing, and White Subjectivity in James Weldon Johnson's The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man." American Literature Association Convention. 2008.

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