Skip to main content

Will Gardner


Modern Languages & Literatures-Japanese


  2. Phone: (610) 690-6875
  3. Kohlberg Hall 315
Will Gardner

Will Gardner received his B.A. from Columbia University and his Ph.D. in Japanese literature from Stanford University. He has taught Japanese language, literature, and film at Swarthmore College since 2002. His doctoral research was on Japanese modernist literature of the 1920’s and 1930’s, and he continues to be interested in Japanese modernism, particularly in the  relationships between literary media and visual media including film. His publications in this area include the book Advertising Tower: Japanese Modernism and Modernity (Harvard University Asia Center Publications, 2006).

More recently, Prof. Gardner’s interest in intermedial relationships and urban culture led to a new project on postwar Japanese architecture and science fiction, culminating in the book The Metabolist Imagination: Visions of the City in Postwar Japanese Architecture and Science Fiction (University of Minnesota Press, 2020). Professor Gardner discusses this book on the podcasts How do You Like it So Far? and Interstitial, and an excerpt from the book has been published in the online urbanism and architecture journal Places.

At Swarthmore, Prof. Gardner teaches courses on a variety of topics in modern Japanese literature, film, and culture, including Japanese Film and Animation, Japanese Modernism, Fantastic Spaces in Modern Japanese LIterature, Transnational Graphic Fiction (with Prof. Alexandra Gueydan-Turek). Upcoming courses he is planning to offer include Environment, Cultural Memory, and Social Change in Japan (with Prof. Denise Crossan, spring 2021) and Transational Japanese Literature: Diaspora and Diversity in Modern Japanese Literature (fall 2021).

Additional links:

“Professor William Gardner Analyzes Postwar Japan Through Architecture and Science Fiction. Article by Ryan Dougherty for the Swarthmore News and Events website, July 22, 2020.

A more complete list of Prof. Gardner’s publications is available at his profile page.