search/admin/spider_custom.php search/search.php fellowship_survey/survey.php Fellow Follow-up Survey Details - Robert G. SEWELL

PF (1977)

Fellow Information:
First Name
Robert G.
Middle Name
Last Name
Rutgers University
Special Projects Librarian
Contact Address:
Address Type
Address 1
Address 2 (optional)
Zip Code
*Survey URL
1. Are you enaged in Japanese Studies?

Answer: A. Yes, I am engaged in Japanese Studies at a university or research institution.

Field of Study: Literature

2. Please describe what you are currently doing. (If you have your own website or any relevant site, provide its URL.)

Answer: For 21 years until September 2010, I was the Associate University Librarian for Collection Development at the Rutgers University. Since then in a phased retirement plan, I am currently a special projects librarian, work that includes grant writing and some work in the Special Collections Department concerning the William Elliot Griffis Collection of Japanese related material ( In additional, I occasionally lecture in courses on Japanese and Comparative literature.

3. Where did you acquire your most advanced Japanese language training for your research?

Answer: A. I learned it at a university. (Columbia University, U of Wisconsin, U. of Illinois)

4. Have you ever participated in the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme?

Answer: NO

Optional Inquiry:
1. Please describe briefly how the Japan Foundation Fellowship experience influenced your career.

Answer: My educational background includes a Masters degree in Japanese from Columbia University, a Masters degree in Library Science from Illinois and a Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, also for Illinois. My career started as a Japanese language librarian at the University of Illinois. The Japan Foundation fellowship allowed me to deepen my knowledge of Japanese language and culture. It influenced my research in the history of Japanese printing and the book and Japanese library collections as well as in research in suicide as a literary theme in Japanese and world literature. As my career developed, I was drawn to library administration, but still kept my interest in Japan. It also helped my understanding of librarianship as part of an academic community and the important role that area studies and foreign language collections have in academy.

2. The Japan Foundation is planning to create a network or forum among past Japan Foundation fellows. Please let us know if you have any suggestions in terms of themes, format, etc.

Answer: Suicide as a literary and cultural expression History of the book in Japan