Ph.D. Candidate in Japanese Literature
Kassandra Diaz received her BA in Cognitive Neuroscience and Japanese Language & Culture, and her MA in Japanese from Washington University in St. Louis, where she focused on novelist Enchi Fumiko and her rebranding of folkloric tales of demonic women, or kijo, as a source of female empowerment. Having worked with modern reinterpretations of premodern kijo, Kassandra now plans on tracing the transformative image of kijo and other deviant women in Edo popular culture by focusing on the ways in which female demons, criminals, and vengeful ghosts enact or receive violence in texts and images. She also hopes to make Japanese studies more accessible to underrepresented communities by encouraging other first-generation minority students to explore the field and translating Japanese works into Spanish.