Katherine Saltzman-Li

Associate Professor
Area: Japanese and Comparative Literature

Ph.D., Stanford University

Office: HSSB 2237
Office Hours: S14: TH, 10:00-11:30AM and by appointment

Email Address

With a Ph.D. from the Department of Asian Languages at Stanford University, Katherine Saltzman-Li studied Japanese literature and pre-modern performing arts with support from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Whiting Foundation, and Japan Foundation. Her teaching includes courses on pre-modern theatre and literature, Classical Japanese, Japanese folklore, and Comparative Literature. Her research is primarily on pre-modern Japanese theatre, especially kabuki. Her book, Creating Kabuki Plays: Context for Kezairoku, “Valuable Notes on Playwriting” (Brill, 2010) is organized around a study of the only extant Edo-period treatise fully devoted to the work of the playwright. It examines kabuki play creation and playwrights, as well as interactions among various artistic groups of the latter half of the Edo Period.

Saltzman-Li has published studies on other aspects of kabuki and kabuki treatises, as well as translations of two early kabuki plays: the quintessential Edo-style piece “Shibaraku” and the puppet-derived “Sanemori Monogatari.” Current research includes work on jidaimono (“period plays”), woodblock prints of the Noh theatre, and otogizôshi (a genre of medieval and early Edo-period short prose fiction).


Selected Articles, Reviews & Entries

Creating-Kabuki-Plays


  • “Communicating the Power of Identity: The Tsurane of ‘Shibaraku.’” In A Kabuki Reader, History & Performance, ed. S. Leiter. M.E. Sharpe, 2002.
  • “‘Shibaraku’ (Just a Minute!):” Introduction and Translation. In Kabuki Plays on Stage, Vol.1: Brilliance & Bravado, 1697-1766, ed. Brandon & Leiter. U Hi Press, 2002.
  • “‘Sanemori Monogatari’ (The Samemori Story):” Introduction and Translation. In Kabuki Plays on Stage, Vol.1: Brilliance & Bravado, 1697-1766, ed. Brandon & Leiter. U Hi Press, 2002.
  • Creating Kabuki Plays: Context for Kezairoku, “Valuable Notes on Playwriting.” E.J. Brill, 2010.
  • “Romantic Male Role Types: Kabuki’s Nimaime and the Innamorato of Commedia dell’Arte”. InText & Presentation, ed. K. Gounaridou. McFarland & Company Inc., 2010.
  • “Kabuki Knowledge: Professional Manuscripts and Commercial Texts on the Art of Kabuki”. In Publishing the Stage, Print and Performance in Early Modern Japan, ed. K. Kimbrough & S. Shimazaki. Center for Asian Studies, University of Colorado Boulder, 2011.

Courses Taught

  • Japanese 80 Masterpieces of Japanese Literature
  • Japanese 110A: Classical Japanese Literature
  • Japanese 110B:Medieval Japanese Literature
  • Japanese 111: Japanese Folklore
  • Japanese 125: Intermediate Japanese Reading
  • Japanese 149: Traditional Japanese Drama
  • Japanese 169/269: Seminar in Traditional Japanese Drama
  • Japanese 181: Classical Japanese
  • Comparative Literature 31: Major Works of Asian Literatures
  • Comparative Literature 173: Life Stories
  • EACS 4A: East Asian Traditions, Pre-modern
  • EACS 212: Canon Formation, Periodization, and Disciplinarity in East Asian Studies
  • INT 94MC The Cultural Roots of the Japanese Horror Film (Freshman Seminar)
  • INT 94NH Introduction to Comparative Literature (Freshman Seminar)