Wesleyan portrait of Scott W. Aalgaard

Scott W. Aalgaard

Assistant Professor of East Asian Studies

Fisk Hall, 309


BA University of Victoria
MA University of Victoria
MA University of Chicago
PHD University of Chicago

Scott W. Aalgaard

Scott W. Aalgaard works on cultural production in modern and contemporary Japan, with particular emphases on popular music and literature. His work addresses geopolitics, political economy, regional and social histories, nationalism, fascism, and disparate modes of protest and critique, among other topics. His current book project examines the interplay between music and everyday life, and how music is used by artists, fans, and others in imagining and re-imagining the social in Japan. It is oriented toward understanding the ways in which artists, authors, and individual social actors use music to understand the world, and to envision different possibilities for living in it.

Scott's work deals with textual analysis, but also with the particuarities of lived experience in local regions such as Kagoshima and Fukushima. He pursues fieldwork at these sites in order to interrogate some of the dispaarate ways in which social actors navigate the terms of their own lives. He is particularly interested in Japan's singer-songwriter and critical folk music traditions, and in the ways in which the critical legacies of the late sixties and early seventies continue to thread their way through conditions of life in modern and contemporary Japan. In addition to his ongoing book project, Scott is also developing projects that examine strategies for the enunciation of critique in modern Japanese literature, and that grapple with the mechanics of grassroots hate in contemporary Japan.

Academic Affiliations

Office Hours

Thursdays, 1:00PM to 2:30PM, or by appointment. Everyone is welcome, whether you are taking my classes or not.


Fall 2022
CEAS 201 - 01

CEAS 300 - 01
Storytelling in Japan's Empire