Professor Yoshifumo Kato, Ehime University, Japan, conducted a week-long research visit in early August 2009 in the University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections. He is this year’s recipient of the Steinbeck Research Award in honor of Dr. John M. Ditsky. The topic of his research concerned the representation of Spanish- Mexican’s and Japanese American’s legacies as seen in the work of Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck.
At Ehime University, Professor Kato is Assistant Dean in the Department of Humanities, Faculty of Law and Letters, and Professor of English. He serves as director of the John Steinbeck Society of Japan and vice-president of the Chu- Shikoku American Literature Society. He is co-editor of the book John Steinbeck: Global Frameworks, and he has published several journal articles on Steinbeck. His most recent research is on the diversification of ethnic identity focusing on west coast literature in America.
Professor Kato was accompanied by his wife Chisa Kato. After completing his research at Ball State, Mrs. Kato and he traveled to California to conduct additional research before returning to Japan. The Steinbeck Research Award was established by Mrs. C. Suzette Ditsky in honor of her late husband, noted Steinbeck scholar Dr. John M. Ditsky. The award is intended to assist and encourage emerging and established Steinbeck visiting scholars and/or doctoral candidates in conducting research using the outstanding, nationally recognized Steinbeck collection in the Ball State University Libraries’ Archives and Special Collections. For more on the Steinbeck Research Award, contact John B. Straw, Assistant Dean for Digital Initiatives and Special Collections, JStraw@bsu.edu, 765-285-5078.