Carnegie Mellon University

Christopher Lowy

Christopher Lowy

Assistant Professor of Japanese Studies

341 Posner Hall
Department of Modern Languages
Carnegie Mellon University
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Education: Ph. D., University of Washington, Japanese Literature. MA, University of Washington, Japanese Literature. BA Florida State University, English Literature & Japanese


I was born and raised in Miami, Florida, did my graduate work in Seattle, Washington, and spent much time studying and researching in Tokyo, Japan. I teach courses focusing on contemporary Japanese literature and culture, queer literature, contemporary thought, and literary representations of illness and disease. My research focuses on two main topics: the role of written language in Japanese literature and depictions of HIV/AIDS in Japanese literature from the 1980s and 1990s.

The first project primarily examines the dynamic role written language plays in Japanese-language fiction. There I establish the vocabulary needed to discuss the role of script in literature and provide the first analytical toolkit for examining Japanese language texts. I am currently serializing a 12-part series on this topic for Hituzi Syobo (link:

With the second project I examine representations of HIV/AIDS in Japanese literature and culture from the early 1980s to mid-1990s. In addition to literary fiction, I survey and analyze various media such as poetry, manga, art, and submissions to gay journals. I am also interested in comparing the early critical discourse on HIV/AIDS to early discourse on COVID-19 and, more recently, monkeypox. I have published on this topic in various Japanese journals. I hope to teach courses related to both topics here at CMU!

  • Contemporary Japanese Literature and Criticism

  • East Asian Literary Criticism

  • Writing Systems

  • Introduction to Japanese I
  • Anime: Visual Interplay between Japan and the World

Department Member Since 2022