Dr James Garza

Dr James Garza


I am currently an LCS Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Leeds, where I completed my PhD in Translation Studies in 2021. I also hold an MA in East Asian Studies (Japan Area) and a BA in Creative Writing/East Asian Studies (double major) from the University of Arizona.

My doctoral thesis was entitled The Relationship Between Textual and Reader Variables in Literary Perception: An Empirical Approach to the Reception of Japanese Poetry in Translation. It was funded by a Leeds Anniversary Research Scholarship and a John Crump Studentship from the British Association for Japanese Studies.

My project correlated stylistic and reader-response data to re-think the relationships between several legacy concepts in Empirical Studies in Literature (ESL) and Translation Studies (TS): foregrounding, literariness and reader response. My project is also one of the few to have operationalised a major contemporary theory of translation (Venuti’s foreignisation) in an empirical study of literary reading.

I am now preparing a book proposal based on my PhD.

Research interests

  • empirical study of reader response
  • cognitive translation studies
  • Japanese-English poetry translation
  • Italian reception of tanka and haiku
  • translation in the Anthropocene

Academic Publications: Single Author

  • “Dominant Forms and Marginal Translations: Re-reading the Emergence of the Novel in Nineteenth-Century Japan.” Comparative Critical Studies 17, no. 3 (2020): 413–432. DOI: 10.3366/ccs.2020.0372

Academic Publications: As Translator

  • Garza, James, trans. “The Girl Double: On the Shōjo as Archetype in Modern Women’s Self-Expression” by Mizuta Noriko. Review of Japanese Culture and Society 30 (2018): 204–220. DOI: 10.1353/roj.2018.0013
  • Garza, James, trans. “Mizuta Noriko” by Ueno Chizuko. Review of Japanese Culture and Society 30 (2018): 8–10. DOI: 10.1353/roj.2018.0002
  • Garza, James, trans. “In Search of the Listener: Mizumura Minae's Shishōsetsu from left to right by Iida Yuko. SOAS Occasional Translations in Japanese Studies 7 (2017): 1–15. 


Conference Papers

  • Dominant Forms and Marginal Translations: Re-reading the Emergence of the Novel in Nineteenth-Century Japan. Presented at the International Postgraduate Conference in Translation and Interpreting (IPCITI), University of Manchester, October 2018.
  • Literariness is Slippery: Interpreting Conflicting Results in Empirical Research on Literary Effects. Presented at the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies PGR Conference, University of Leeds, May 2017.
  • Disenchanting Japan: Japanese Futurity in Neuromancer and the Science Fiction of Masaki Gorō. Presented at the Western Conference for the Association of Asian Studies, California State University, Northridge, October 2010.

Public Engagement

  • How to Translate a Poem—Japanese. Video lecture for the Stephen Spender Trust YouTube Channel (2020). I created this video with newcomers to literary translation in mind, with the goal of introducing important concepts from Translation Studies in accessible language. In the second half, I explore literary translation as an iterative and re-creative process with examples from my own practice. 


  • Japanese Language Proficiency Test, N1 Certification (August 2015)


  • Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation (2nd Place, Open Category) (November 2021)
  • John Crump Studentship, British Association for Japanese Studies (December 2019)
  • Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation (1st Place, Open Category) (November 2019)
  • Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation (Commended) (November 2018)
  • The Otley Poetry Prize (1st Place, Local Category) (April 2017)
  • Leeds Anniversary Research Scholarship, University of Leeds (September 2016)
  • Graduate College Diversity Fellowship, University of Arizona (Autumn 2007)
  • Hattie Lockett Poetry Award, University of Arizona (November 2005)
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>