Contemporary Japanese literature; politics and theory of translation; animal studies and posthumanism; music, media, and film
In 2017, Tyran Grillo received his doctorate in Japanese Literature from Cornell University, where his research focused on (mis)representations of animals in Japanese popular culture, as well as intersections of Asian Studies and Posthumanism. His dissertation, “Cats, Dogs, and Cyborgs: Transcending the Human-Animal Divide in Contemporary Japanese Literature,” is a study of Japanese animal-themed writings from the mid-1990s to the present that visualizes the role of genre, impacts of recent national history, and the influences of Japan’s woefully unrecognized “pet boom.”
Before pursuing a Ph.D., Grillo completed his M.A. in Japanese Language and Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His M.A. thesis examines the Japanese novel Murder in the Red Chamber by Ashibe Taku, who spent a full decade rewriting Cao Xueqin’s Chinese classic Dream of the Red Chamber as a murder mystery. Grillo would go on to publish his translation of Ashibe’s novel in 2012. On that front, Grillo has been a professional translator for over a decade, translating 12 books of Japanese fiction into English to date, including: Parasite Eve by Sena Hideaki (Vertical, 2005), Paradise by Suzuki Kōji (Vertical, 2006), and Mr. Turtle by Kitano Yūsaku (Kurodahan Press, 2016), with three more full-length translations set to be published by early 2018 next year.
Alongside his academic life, Grillo is an avid arts critic, having written over one million words of impressionistic reviews and essays on music, performance, and film on his website, Between Sound and Space. He is also a regular contributor to jazz magazines such as DownBeat and The New York City Jazz Record, and has a book about the legendary ECM Records label due out in 2018.
Between Sound and Space (forthcoming Rey+Naranjo, 2016)
Writing the Animal in Contemporary Japanese Literature (in progress)
“More than Meets the Eye: Blindness as Alterity in a Japanese Guide-Dog Narrative,” Trans-Scripts Vol. 4 (2014)
“Japanese History Through a Dog’s Eyes,” Society & Animals Vol. 23, No. 5 (2015)