Elaine Gerbert

Elaine Gerbert head shot
  • Associate Professor Emerita

Contact Info


Elaine Gerbert was a University of Kansas faculty member from 1990 to 2021. She completed her graduate work in Japanese literature at the University of Chicago (MA) and Yale University (PhD) after graduating from the University of California in English literature (BA). She has written a variety of articles exploring literary manifestations of Japanese modernity, indigenous religious celebrations, the play element in Japanese culture, the Japanese love of verisimilitude, Japanese education, and other topics. Her research has been awarded support from the NEH, the SSRC, the Hall Foundation, the Department of Education, and the Fulbright Commission (dissertation research).  Her publications have received awards from the U.S.-Japan Friendship Commission and the Comparative and International Education Society. She is currently working on a study of laughter in Japanese culture. From 2002 to 2007 she was the Director of the Center for East Asian Studies. She served the University as Director of the Summer Study Abroad Program in Hiratsuka in 1993, 2012, and 2015 and is currently serving as the Undergraduate Coordinator for the EALC department and as the study abroad advisor for programs in Japan.


Research interests:

  • Modern Japanese literature
  • Japanese theatre
  • Japanese language pedagogy
  • Translation