Skip to main content Skip to footer

Joshua Scott Mostow

College positions:
Visiting Fellow
Japanese Literature and Visual Culture
Department of Asian Studies
Contact details:
Professor Joshua Scott Mostow is a Professor in the Dept. of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver.

Joshua Mostow was born in Los Angeles, California, and received his BA in Oriental Studies (1979) and his PhD in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory (1988) from the University of Pennsylvania.
His research focusses most broadly on text and image inter-relations. Within this compass he has explored classical Japanese vernacular literature (poetry, romance, and women’s memoirs) and painting; the reception and appropriation of this classical literature in early modern (1600-1868) popular culture; and what he terms “national erotics,” or the use of representations of sexuality to define cultures.

His publications include Pictures of the Heart: The Hyakunin Isshu in Word and Image (1996), At the House of Gathered Leaves: Shorter Biographical and Autobiographical Narratives from Japanese Court Literature (2004), The Ise Stories: Ise monogatari (translator, with Royall Tyler, 2010), Courtly Visions: The Ise Stories and the Politics of Cultural Appropriation (2014), and A Third Gender: Beautiful Youths in Japanese Edo-Period Prints and Paintings (1600-1868) (with Asato Ikeda, 2016).

He has been a visiting professor or researcher at the University of California, Berkeley; Gakushūin University (Tokyo), the University of Heidelberg, and INALCO (Paris), among other institutions.
He has been the recipient of research grants from several organizations, including the Japan Foundation, the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, and the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2015.

At Clare Hall, Joshua is accompanied by his wife, Sharalyn Orbaugh, Professor and Head of the Dept. of Asian Studies at UBC, and a specialist in modern Japanese literature and popular culture.

Departmental webpage: