Ran Wei

Ran Wei

PhD candidate in Japanese Language and Literature
Graduate Certificate in Film & Media Studies
research interests:
  • Urban Studies
  • Narrative Theory
  • Japanese Films
  • Sino-Japanese Cultural Exchange
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contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
    MSC 1111-107-115
    One Brooking Drive
    St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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Ran Wei is a PhD candidate in the Japanese language and literature program.

Ran Wei is a Ph.D. candidate in Japanese Literature with a Graduate Certificate in Film and Media Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. She received her first M.A. in Japanese literature from Peking University (2015) and her second M.A. in Japanese literature from the University of Oregon (2018). Ran’s main research interests include the representation of Osaka in modern Japanese literature and cinema, diaspora studies, narrative theory, and the digital humanities.

Ran is broadly interested in conceptions of center and periphery and time and space in Japanese literature and East Asian cinema. Her dissertation, “Constructing a Modern Flow: Literary Representations of Neighborhoods in Osaka (1920s-1970s),” argues that Japanese writers represented the neighborhoods in Osaka as the site that mediates the relationship between the nation and the family and reflects the internal conflict within Japanese modernization. She aims to expand the scholarly study of Osaka literature to a global scale by mapping out a transnational network of migration to and from Osaka within East Asia. Ran’s interest in modern Osaka literature began in 2014 when she was an exchange student at Osaka University. Currently, she is a dissertation research fellow at Kansai University, Osaka, under a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science Fellowship (2022-2023). Ran has also received fellowships from The Japan Foundation (2023) and the Center for the Humanities at Washington University in St. Louis (2022). Further, supported by the “The Divided City” research fellowship (2022) of Washington University, her summer project explores people’s experience of urban division in Osaka during its modernization. In the summer of 2022, she participated in digital humanities workshops at the University of Chicago and Washington University.

Ran has presented her work at conferences including the Harvard East Asia Society Conference (2022),  the 2021 Society for Cinema and Media Studies Conference, and the International Conference on Narrative (2019). Her essay “Solidarity on the Margins: Narrating the Zainichi in Yi Yang-ji’s ‘Woman Diver’ (Kazukime, 1983) and Nakagami Kenji’s ‘Flower Boy’ (Fuaramu, 1980)” has been published in the Special Issue “Revisiting Zainichi” of Transnational Asia 5(1).

Outside her work, Ran loves cooking, traveling, board games, escape rooms, and playing with her cat.


Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Pre/Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2022-2023
The Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Fellowship, 2023
"The Divided City" Summer Research Fellowship, A Mellon-funded Urban Humanities Initiative, Washington University Center for the Humanities, 2022
Humanities Digital Workshop (HDW) Summer Workshop Fellowship, 2022
University of Chicago East Asia Library Travel Grant, 2019   
Stanford University East Asia Library Travel Grant, 2018
Washington University East Asia Studies Travel Grant, 2018