Karen Laura Thornber, 'Negotiating and Reconfiguring Japan and Japanese Literature in Polyintertextual East Asian Contact Zones: Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan'.
Drawing on dozens, even hundreds of works of literature and biography written in Japanese, Chinese and Korean, (as well as a vast secondary literature in multiple languages), Thornber ties together loose cultural, literary, and biographical strands held in memory with many sources she has discovered herself. The result is a polyintertextual East Asian hybridity, competition, and exchange. Never before has the Reading Committee read a dissertation so clearly destined to become an influential book (or two, since it is nearly a thousand pages long!). Starting from the stance that literature travelled widely and was frequently contested and rewritten, Thornber has composed a highly empirical account that shows Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and Taiwanese writers reading, borrowing from, and recasting literary vernaculars in the (semi)colonial context of the 1895-1945 years. Her accomplishment took the Reading's Committee breath away.