Katherine Saltzman-Li

East Asian Languages & Cultural Studies


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).