4. Australian and Japanese Fantastic Arts

Project duration:

6 weeks 29 November 2021 - 10 January 2022

30 hours per week


This is a research project on Australian and Japanese fantasy genres of literature and popular culture (manga, anime, film, fashion). Its main aim is to investigate cross-culture connections between Japan and Australia through fictional works of fantasy – examples include Nahoko Uehashi’s young adult fantasy series Moribito, combining ancient Japan with Uehashi’s knowledge of the Yamatji people of Western Australia; the Japanese anime series Deltora Quest, based on Australian author Emily Rodda’s books; and Australian-authored series that reimagine Japan, such as Lian Hearn’s Tales of the Otori and Jay Kristoff’s The Lotus War.

In practice, students will be asked to assist with some of the following tasks:

  • proofreading and referencing research publications on this topic
  • planning an exhibition or event related to this project
  • updating and developing a literature review and endnote library
  • searching for and reading/watching/listing manga, anime, novels, illustrations, etc, then writing concise, relevant summaries
  • translating relevant fiction and/or criticism from Japanese into English

Expected outcomes and deliverables:

Students will be expected to:

  • Collaborate with other students and the advisor on this project
  • Research and write a literature review of fiction and criticism; detailed, progressive feedback will be provided


  • Co-translate a (short) piece of fiction or criticism

Students who take part in this project can expect to:

  • Improve their general research skills in the humanities
  • Improve technical editing, proofreading, and referencing skills used in the humanities and humanities publishing
  • Develop the ability to write succinctly and clearly
  • Gain knowledge of the field of fantasy in Japan and Australia
  • Gain knowledge of the field of contemporary Japanese popular culture and literary studies
  • Students undertaking the optional translation task will improve their translation ability and experience, and may have the chance to submit the work for publication as a co-translator

Students are also welcome to devise their own personal project related to the topic, to present at the end of the research period and receive detailed feedback from the advisor.

Suitable for: 

This project is open to students who have achieved excellent results in one or more university courses in writing, editing, literature, film, television, popular culture, or similar.

Students who are interested in these fields and who can read and write both Japanese and English at an advanced level are also invited to apply.

Number of participants required: 1

Further information: 

Please contact Dr Lucy Fraser via email