John R. Yamamoto-Wilson 教授

学 歴  Education

R.S.A. (Royal Society of Arts) Diploma in Teaching English as a Foreign Language
P.G.C.E. (Postgraduate Certificate of Education) Garnett College, Roehampton
B.A. (English Literature) Magdalene College, Cambridge
M.A. (English Literature) Magdalene College, Cambridge
M.A. (Applied Linguistics) University College of North Wales, Bangor
M.Litt. (English Literature) Magdalene College, Cambridge
Ph.D. (English Literature) Magdalene College, Cambridge

専門分野  Research:

Mainly, I work on issues relating to translation issues and Protestant and Catholic discourse in seventeenth-century England.  A record of my publications (together with the complete text of a number of them) is available on

A central purpose of my work in the field of seventeenth-century studies has been to demonstrate the continuing relevance of Catholic literature to Protestant readers. My work in this area was first inspired when I was an undergraduate student by a wonderful book by Louis L. Martz called The Poetry of Meditation, published in 1954. In recent years, I have also been privileged to have had many opportunities to discuss this topic with Peter Milward (a professor emeritus of our department), who, although he does not always agree with my views, has been kind enough to offer advice and encouragement over the years.

511go7fjrl-_sl500_My most recent and most ambitious publication is a work on seventeenth-century attitudes towards suffering, pictured here. I was fortunate to obtain a sabbatical year, and returned to Cambridge, where I researched and wrote this book. It is rather different from most of my other work, in that it focuses on the development of a particular type of discourse, and shows how it changed during the seventeenth century. To explain it briefly, at the beginning of the seventeenth century both Catholics and Protestants, in their different ways, commonly believed that the central purpose of this life was to suffer in order to merit a place in heaven after death. By the end of the seventeenth century, however, most people had come to accept the ‘doctrine of contentment’ (that is, the idea that one has a right to be happy in this life). This is one of the biggest differences between the world of today and the Renaissance world, and this book traces the way in which people’s thinking changed in those days, leading from a society in which animals were tortured and killed for entertainment, criminals were whipped and hanged in public, and suffering was considered an inescapable and necessary part of life, to our modern way of thinking, in which suffering is to be avoided and is even considered taboo. I maintain a blog on issues related to the book, with links links to related sites and extracts from the book itself, here.


担当科目について Teaching

It was a great privilege to be able to spend a whole year working on this topic; I felt as if I had gone back to my days as a postgraduate student! However, I was also happy to return to Japan and get back into the classroom. Don’t worry, though; I don’t teach all that complicated stuff about seventeenth-century discourse in most of my classes at Sophia! A lot of my teaching work in this department is actually work on English language skills (I teach first-year Discussion and Presentation and second-year Writing Workshop and third-year Advanced Academic English). As much as possible, I encourage students to work together in groups, so they get plenty of practice speaking and exchanging ideas. In the Discussion and Presentation class, we go to the computer rooms once a week for computer-assisted language learning (CALL), and the Writing Workshop this year will be mostly in the computer room, though we have a regular classroom we can use as well if we need to. Advanced Academic English will run as a classroom workshop.



British Culture: The Beatles, Open Campus, 2012


I introduce a strong literature component in all of these classes, and students usually read a classic of English literature for homework and watch a video version of the book in class, as a basis for discussion, analysis, written work, etc. The Advanced Academic English class will be based on a study of English poetry.

I also teach a lecture class. The spring term lecture is entitled Literature, Culture & Society, 1500-1700 and the autumn lecture is Literature, Culture & Society, 1700-1900. I use prints, PowerPoint, VideoScribe and other materials for these courses.



I enjoy teaching, and a large part of the pleasure comes from watching students develop a love of literature. The bottom line for me is whether you are – or will become – someone who loves literature. Of course, I want you to pass all your courses and get good grades, but more than that I hope you will be someone who picks up books and reads them for pleasure all through your life!

NOTE: This year will be my last year at Sophia (I retire in March 2018), so I am especially hoping we are going to have a wonderful year!

Please visit my web pages for students for study materials and further information.