Catherine Ryu
(517) 353-6656

B359 Wells Hall
619 Red Cedar Rd
East Lansing, MI 48824

FacultyLinguistics, Languages, and Cultures

Associate Professor
Japanese Studies Program

ORCID: 0000-0001-8290-0173


Ph.D., Asian Languages and Cultures (Japanese), University of Michigan

Catherine Ryu is associate professor of Japanese literature & culture and affiliated faculty of Digital Humanities. She received her PhD at the University of Michigan and was a visiting scholar there at the Nam Center for Korean Studies for the 2022-23 academic year. Her teaching and research interests include Classical Japanese, Japanese culture and literature, Korean literature, Zainichi literature, translation studies, children’s literature, digital humanities, global studies, and more. She also holds a U.S. patent for a language learning platform and is the principal investigator of several projects. One of them is Tone Perfect, a multimodal Mandarin Chinese audio database ( that received the 2018 Esperanto Access to Language Education Award and the 2019 Open Scholarship Award.

Her recent publications include a book chapter, “How to Develop Gamified Pedagogical Strategies: A Case Study of Classical Japanese Poetry in the Undergraduate Classroom,” in Teaching Games and Game Studies in the Literature Classroom, edited by Tison Pugh and Lynn Ramsey and published in 2022 by Bloomsbury; another book chapter, “A Flight of Cultural Imagination in Heian Japan: The Image of Yang Guifei in Genji monogatari and ‘Chang hen ge,’” in Crossing Boundaries & Confounding Identity: Chinese Women in Literature, Art, and Film, edited by Cheryl C.D. Hughes and published in 2023 by SUNY Press; and a review article, “More than a Woman: Illuminating the Multifaceted Nature of Yamauba/Yamamba,” in the Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 82, issue 2, 2023. She is one of the co-editors of Passing, Posing, Persuasion: Cultural Production and Coloniality in Japan’s East Asian Empire, which will be published in November 2023 by the University of Hawaii Press. She is currently leading a translation project with six other translators. Once completed, it will be the very first English translation of 13 short stories authored by ethnic Koreans in China known as Chaoxianzu (朝鮮族) or Chosŏnjok (조선족) in Korea. Related to this project is a digital humanities initiative with Olivia Hale, “Movements through Time and Space: Visualizing a Literary Journey by Ethnic Koreans in China,” which utilizes network analysis to delineate spaciotemporal dimensions such as recollections and future projections within stories that cannot be visualized through geospatial data-based mapping.

About U.S. Patent

About Cube2Cube Technology

About Tone Perception Experiment

About Korean Studies CIC e-School

University News

MSU Faculty Member Shares How Global Context and History Can Help Us Understand Other Cultures More Fully
Published May 31, 2022 in College of Arts & Letters
In this Faculty Voice, Catherine Ryu, Associate Professor of Japanese Literature and Culture in the Department of Linguistics, Languages, and Cultures at Michigan State…Read now »
Professor Creates Unique Teaching and Research Tool
Published August 30, 2018 in College of Arts & Letters
A multimodal interactive database that includes all monosyllabic sounds in the Mandarin Chinese language is providing educators, students, and researchers with a unique resource in which to help…Read now »
Join the Beat to Celebrate East Asian
Published October 14, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
illustration of three white silhouettes on yellow circles on red background
Traditional Performance Arts at MSU Join the Beat, the MSU Asian Studies Center’s most ambitious cultural program to date, will celebrate East Asian traditional performance arts in a…Read now »
Instructor’s Song Performed by Japanese Students
Published June 30, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
close up of music sheet
Miyuki Kamiya, an Instructor in MSU’s Department of Linguistics, Germanic, Slavic, Asian, and African Languages, recently worked with her former student, Tiara Harris, to compose a song…Read now »
Learning Mandarin from Birds
Published March 16, 2016 in College of Arts & Letters
a women with short hair wearing glasses and a orange shirt showing her laptop
Catherine Ryu, associate professor of Japanese literature and culture, has received a patent for the technology behind her languagelearning game, Picky Birds. Scholars of the Mandarin…Read now »