Dr. Strand specializes in premodern Japanese literature and visual culture, with expertise in travel writing, poetry, calligraphy, and landscape painting. Her research is founded in examining the historical contexts in which works of literature and art were created. Her research interests extend to issues of canon and interpretation in literature and art, as well as the ways in which historical themes surface in contemporary popular culture. She is also interested in material culture, particularly aesthetic issues of calligraphy and paper decoration, as well as the history of books, publication practices, and the circulation of texts in medieval and early modern Japan.
She recently organized the 2019 conference "Travel Is Home: Travel and Landscape in Japanese Literature, Art, and Culture" on the UI campus. During her Obermann residency, she will be working on a book manuscript titled Travel Under Clouded Skies: Nijō Yoshimoto, the Ashikaga Shogun, and the Cultural Mapping of a Contested Realm, which examines the links between literary production, sociopolitical power, and representations of geography in medieval Japan. Her study introduces a little-known perspective on the cohort of poet- statesmen and warriors who established the Ashikaga Shogunate, the ruling hegemony from fourteenth- through sixteenth-century Japan.