Timothy Unverzagt Goddard

Timothy Unverzagt Goddard
Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Visiting Assistant Professor

Specialization: Modern Japanese Literature, Comparative Literature, Japanese Cinema, Urban Studies

Office: HSSB 2216

Office Hours: By appointment


Timothy Unverzagt Goddard is an intercultural and interdisciplinary scholar of modern East Asian literature. His research interests include language, urban space, and empire, with a particular focus on a historical period spanning the Meiji (1868–1912), Taishō (1912–1926), and early Shōwa (1926–1989) eras. At UCSB, he teaches courses on Japanese literature and cinema from the nineteenth century to the present.

He earned an A.B. Cum Laude in East Asian Studies from Harvard College, studying at Peking University as a Harvard-Yenching Fellow in the spring of 2002. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Asian Languages and Cultures from UCLA, where he worked with Seiji Lippit and the late Michael Marra, among others. From 2010 to 2011, he was a Fulbright Graduate Research Fellow in the Department of Comparative Literature and Culture at the University of Tokyo. Prior to his arrival at UCSB, he taught in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures at UCLA, the School of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Hong Kong, and the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale.

His current book project uncovers traces of Tokyo’s imperial past in the literature of the city, focusing on a period punctuated by two disasters: the 1923 Great Kantō Earthquake and the 1945 Great Tokyo Air Raid. He reimagines Tokyo as an imperial capital (teito) through a comparative reading of Japanese, Taiwanese, and Korean texts. He positions these literary geographies in relation to a rich visual culture of modern urban life, including maps, photographs, films, illustrations, and woodblock prints. Drawing connections between the colonies and the metropole, his analysis posits Tokyo both as a symbolic center of Japanese imperial power and as a key site for the experience of modernity in East Asia.

Courses Taught

Fall 2022
JAPAN 112: Survey of Modern Japanese Literature
JAPAN 144: Advanced Japanese Readings I

Winter 2023
JAPAN 115: Topics in Modern Japanese Literature
JAPAN 145: Advanced Japanese Readings II

Spring 2023
JAPAN 159: Japanese Cinema
JAPAN 180ET: Imagining Edo/Tokyo