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Department of Language and Literature

Department of Language and Literature

Masami Sugimori

Associate Professor
American Literature
Phone: (239) 590-7356
Office: RH 132


Ph.D. University of Kansas (2009)
M.A. University of Virginia (2002)
B. of Integrated Human Studies Kyoto University, Japan (1999)

Primary Teaching & Research Areas: American Literature and Culture, Modernism, Literary Theory, Critical Race Studies, Literature of Racial Passing


Professor Sugimori taught at University of Kansas and University of South Alabama before coming to FGCU in 2012. His current book project, U.S. Passing Fiction and Modernism, examines early-twentieth-century American novels of racial passing (novels that feature light-skinned “black” characters who live as “white”) by James Weldon Johnson, Walter White, Jessie Fauset, Nella Larsen, Fannie Hurst, and William Faulkner. His analysis reveals how those works reflect nuanced influences—both thematic and narrative—from the interrelation among the fast-paced, fluid, and alienating modern society, the increased mobility across identity categories, and literary modernism which emerged simultaneously as a product of such society and as a mode of discourse invented to capture the society’s attributes.

As a creative writer, Professor Sugimori has published short stories in national journals and conferences. A Japanese native who spent his formative years in industrial Toyota City and historic Kyoto, he explores in his stories the manners and mores of Postwar Japan in relation to subtle socio-cultural influences from the U.S.


Critical Articles

  • “Black Subjects’ ‘Literal’ Resistance in Jessie Fauset’s ‘Emmy’ and ‘There Was One Time!’” (Forthcoming in MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States)
  • “Teaching ‘Passing Fiction’ of the Harlem Renaissance.” (Forthcoming in Teaching the Harlem Renaissance, edited by Venetria K. Patton, Modern Language Association of America)
  • “Resisting the Suicidal Blue(s): Text, Voice, and Music in Langston Hughes, Leonard Feather and Charles Mingus’s Weary Blues.” Re-Markings 13.1 (2014). 78-85. Co-authored with Kevin Rabas.
  • “Narrative Order, Racial Hierarchy, and ‘White’ Discourse in James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man and Along This Way.” MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States 36.3 (2011): 37-62.
  • “The ‘New Negro’ and Passing Fiction: The Ideals and Paradox of the Harlem Renaissance.” Novelists’ America: How Dreams Turned into Nightmare. Ed. Kazuko Fukuoka, and Yasushi Takano. Kyoto, Japan: Shoraisha, 2010. 121-47. (Written in Japanese)
  • “Racial Mixture, Racial Passing, and White Subjectivity in Absalom, Absalom! Faulkner Journal 23.2 (2008): 3-21.
  • “Signifying, Ordering, and Containing the Chaos: Whiteness, Ideology and Language in Intruder in the Dust.” Faulkner Journal 22.1&2 (2006/2007): 54-73.

Book Reviews

  • Review of New Perspectives on James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, edited by Noelle Morrissette. (Forthcoming in African American Review)
  • Review of Challenges of Diversity: Essays on America, by Werner Sollors. (Forthcoming in Studies in American Culture)
  • Review of A Companion to the Harlem Renaissance, edited by Cherene Sherrard-Johnson. MELUS: Multi-Ethnic Literature of the United States, vol. 42, no. 2, Summer 2017, pp. 212-14.
  • Review of The Road to Citizenship: What Naturalization Means for Immigrants and the United States, by Sofya Aptekar. Studies in American Culture, vol. 39, no. 1, Oct. 2016, pp. 132-33.

Short Stories

  • “Hawaii.” Cottonwood, vol. 71, Fall 2014, pp. 64-75. (Co-authored with Kevin Rabas.)
  • “Hinanjo—Evacuation Shelter.” Imagination & Place: Weather, edited by Kelly Barth, Imagination & Place Press, Mar. 2012, pp. 30-33
  • “Three A.M.” Hawai'i Pacific Review vol. 24, Fall 2010, pp. 55-56. (Co-authored with Kevin Rabas.)