Associate Professor Emeritus
Ph.D., Indiana University
710 McClung Tower
Phone: (865) 974-3855
Among Jon LaCure's many research interests are the thirty-one syllable Japanese verse form known as the waka, the seventeen syllable haiku, haiku translated into English, and English haiku. A book based on a portion of his dissertation on the creation of a series of computer programs capable of disambiguating the unique rhetorical devices of classical Japanese poetry was published in 1997 by the Edwin Mellen Press. This research also led to articles such as "A Computer Study of Systematic Sound Symbolism in Classical Japanese Verse" which appeared in Computers and the Humanities. Quoting from comments on his research that appeared in the Christian Science Monitor: "Professor LaCure's computer overturned conventional wisdom."
In addition to his numerous articles and book reviews, Professor LaCure has published poetry and prose works in various literary journals. He was the winner of the 2004 British Haiku Society Nobuyuki Yuasa International Haibun Contest. In the adjudication published in Brushwood, Professor Yuasa wrote: "What I enjoyed most about this haibun is the writers social criticism is never expressed directly, but through various forms of irony."
Professor LaCure teaches courses in classical Japanese language and literature. He has also begun teaching a course in contemporary Japanese graphic novels and animation. This course maps the battlegrounds of Japan's postbubble culture wars. The first part of the course focuses on the shōjo realm of tomboys and beautiful young men. It begins with the self-mocking superficiality of Sailor Moon, moves to the many variations of Takahashi Rumiko's dialogic carnival, and ends with CLAMP's satirical renderings of genderbending and the gaze. In the second half of the course the psychotic nightmares of Eva define the skirmish lines across a shōnen Neverland of legendary swordsmen, giant robots, cyborg politics, and Chinpokomon globalization.
Jon LaCure has a B.A in Japanese from University of Oregon, an M.A. in Japanese literature from Ohio State, and a Ph.D. in Japanese literature from Indiana University.