Naoki Yamamoto

Assistant Professor of Film and Media Studies

Curriculum Vitae

Ph.D., Yale University, 2012
M.A., Yale University, 2008
M.A., Meiji Gakuin University, 2003
B.A., Meiji Gakuin University, 2000


2417 Social Sciences & Media Studies



film theory; Asian cinema; documentary films; avant-garde art movements; cultural theory; Japanese popular culture


Naoki Yamamoto specializes in film theory, Asian cinema, documentary and political filmmaking, avant-garde art movements, post-colonial studies, and Japanese cultural history. His first book, tentatively entitled “Realities That Matter: The Development of Realist Film Theory and Practice in Japan, 1895-1960,” articulates a new platform for transnational histories of film and media theory by examining the previously neglected work of Japanese thinkers who, in parallel with their Western counterparts, strove to theorize cinema’s unprecedented ability to alter the very notion of the real, as well as its penetrating power to mediate between the masses and their everyday life, in the age of mechanical reproduction. He has published in both English and Japanese on a wide range of topics including the reception of early American cinema in 1910s Japan, wartime Japanese-German co-productions, Japanese New Wave filmmakers of the 1960s, and recent Hollywood blockbuster films. Before joining UCSB in 2013, he was a postdoctoral associate at the Council on East Asian Studies at Yale.


Dialectics without Synthesis: Realism, Film Theory, and Japanese Cinema. In progress.

Tenkei-ki no mediorojii [Mediology in Postwar Japan], co-edited with Toba Kōji. Tokyo: Shinwa-sha, forthcoming.

“Anbako kara no tōshi: Haniya Yutaka no sonzaironteki eigaron [As Seen through the Camera Obscura: Haniya Yutaka and His Ontological Film Theory].” In Tenkei-ki no mediorojii, forthcoming.

“Dialectics without Synthesis: Tracking Japanese Documentary Theory.” In A Companion to Documentary Film History, edited by Joshua Malitsky and Malin Wahlberg. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming.

“Kikai Jidai no geijutsu [The Work of Art in the Age of Machine],” In Nihon senzenn eigaron shūsei [Anthologies of Prewar Japanese Film Theory], edited by Aaron Gerow, Iwamoto Kenji, and Markus Nornes. Tokyo: Yumani shobō, forthcoming.

“‘Our Dream Cinema’ Revisited: Soviet Montage Theory and Japanese Film criticism.” In Japanese Cinema Book, edited by Hideaki Fujii and Alastair Phillips. London: BFI, forthcoming.

“Eye of the Machine: Itagaki Takao and Debates on New Realism in 1920s Japan”

In “Geopolitics of Film and Media Theory,” Framework, 56.2 (Fall 2015), guest edited by Masha Salazkina

“Where Did the Bluebird of Happiness Fly? Bluebird Photoplays and the Japanese Reception of American Films in the 1910s.”

InIconics 10 (2010): 143-166.

“Tōkī riarizumu e no michi [The Road to Talkie Realism]”.

In Nihon eiga wa ikite iru dai 2 kan: Eigashi wo yomi naosu [Japanese Cinema is Alive! Vol. 2: Rereading Film History], edited by Yomota Inuhiko, et al. Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten, 2010. Pp. 211-239.

“Eiga e no kaiki: Mainoritī repōto saikō

[A Return to Cinema: Minority Report Reconsidered].” In Nyūmon Hariuddo eiga kōgi [Contemporary Hollywood Cinema: An Introduction], edited by Fujii Jinshi. Kyōto: Jinbun Shoin, 2008. Pp. 41-66.

“Yoshida Kijū’s Early Days: Critiquing ‘Phlegmatic’ Postwar Japan.” Translated by Patrick Noonan, in Yoshida Kijū: 50 Years of Avant-Garde Filmmaking in Postwar Japan, edited by Dick Stegewerns. Oslo: Norwegian Film Institute, 2010. Pp. 21-31.