Dr Thomas McAuley
BA (Sheffield), PhD (London)
ProfileI first arrived in Sheffield as an undergraduate student in 1985, where I read for a degree in Japanese and Linguistics. During my undergraduate work, I took a year's leave to study in Japan at Osaka University of Foreign Studies as a Monbusho scholarship grantee. Returning to Sheffield, I graduated in 1990 with First Class honours and was awarded a British Academy State Studentship to study for a PhD at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London between 1990-1993. Subsequently, I taught Japanese and Japanese Studies at the University of Limerick, Eire, for several years before coming to Sheffield in 1997. My main research interests lie in the fields of classical Japanese linguistics and literature, translation, and Japanese popular culture.
Since 1998 I have been involved with the School’s Distance Learning MA in Advanced Japanese Studies, teaching Japanese-English Translation, and have pioneered various new approaches to language teaching using on-line techniques and technologies. I have twice been awarded grants from the university’s Learning and Teaching Development Fund: in 2006 to develop audio-visual translation tutorials and synchronous teaching using the Wimba Collaboration Suite; and in 2009 to experiment with audio-visual feedback to students.
In 2001 I combined my interests in classical Japanese literature and new technologies to establish the Japan 2001 Waka website and mailing list as part of the national Japan 2001 Festival, translating 2001 classical Japanese poems in the course of the year. This work has continued, with over 3000 translated poems now available, and more added on a weekly basis.
In addition, I write the ‘Thoughts on Japan’ column for the National Institute of Japanese Studies’ website, and also represent the White Rose East Asia Centre nationally on the Special Interest Group for Less Widely Taught Languages. I am also currently serving on the council of the British Association for Japanese Studies.
Dr McAuley currently teaches on the following modules:
EAS200 Japanese Language III
EAS210 Japanese Language IV
EAS332 Japanese Language V
EAS333 Japanese Language VI
EAS364 Japanese Popular Culture
EAS6114 Practical Japanese-English Translation II
If I had to sum up my teaching philosophy in a single phrase, it’s that I want to motivate students to learn for themselves. To that end, in my language classes, I don’t provide a single ‘right’ answer – there aren’t any when translating advanced level texts – but seek to provide skills students can apply to any situation, so that when they encounter words, phrases, texts and situations which are unfamiliar, they can feel confident in how to approach them, and discover the challenge and the joy of studying a foreign language and culture. In my studies classes, the focus is on encouraging students to use the materials, whether it be my lectures, or Japanese anime, manga, television, film or music, as a starting point for their own deeper analysis of intricacies of Japanese society, culture and language, and thereby enable them to develop their own understanding.
I am currently engaged in a project studying the judgements in classical poetry competitions with a view to analysing how they functioned as criticism and their role in the construction of mediaeval Japanese poetics.
I welcome the opportunity to supervise promising PhD students in a broad range of areas related to translation, linguistics and literature.
I am currently supervising a thesis on ideological and propaganda content of children’s songs in the pre-war Japanese school curriculum.
I am available to media organisations to discuss various aspects of Japanese language, literature and culture.
(2001) Language Change in East Asia. Richmond: Curzon Press.
(2010) ‘Genji monogatari eiyaku ni okeru kakushu apuroochi no hikakuteki kōsatsu: ikoku bunka no domesutikeeshon’ in Kyoto daigaku daigakuin bungaku kenkyū ka (eds) Sekai no naka no genji monogatari sono fuhensei to gendaisei. Kyoto: Rinsen Shoten: 101-126.
(2002) ‘Switch-Reference and Semantic Discontinuity in Late Old Japanese’ Journal of Japanese Linguistics 18: 29-58.