Björn-Ole Kamm
Björn-Ole Kamm




Born in 1981 into a family of teachers I have always been interested in knowledge. Especially extraordinary things, the foreign and fantastic arouse my interest. So it was little wonder that I went to Japan for a year as an exchange student in a time, when manga and anime were still considered a freak`s hobby instead of a valued cultural product, when sushi was still answered with reactions of disgust instead of being everyday food for most Germans. Times and values – social realities – do change. Today Japan and J-Culture is IN.

“What is really ‚real‘?” is the most interesting question of them all, and my approach to it is twofold: firstly, as an artist, I construct my own realities through drawings, roleplay and short stories, define what is real in my creation and what is not.
Secondly, as a researcher I want to look at things from different angles. As an insider as well as an outsider – because what is real for the latter must not be real for the former. In my master thesis “Fujoshi – Uses & Gratifications of Boys’ Love Manga in Japan and Germany” I held both positions.

From August 2008 I lived and worked for a year in Ichinomiya City close to Nagoya in Aichi prefecture where the 2005 World Expo was held. I was a participant in the JET-Programme as a Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) which gave me the opportunity to improve my presentational skills as well as hold my first own seminars. During that time I began with the preparations for my PhD project.
I was given the opportunity to conduct a first phase of fieldwork for this project as a Phd student at the German Institute for Japanese Studies Tokyo (DIJ) in 2010. I found a similarly international and fruitful environment for my research at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” at Heidelberg University in 2011. I was also employed as an Assistant Coordinator for the Research Area “Health and Environment” at the Cluster until November 2012.

From November 2012 to February 2013 I was a research fellow at the at the Global Center of Excellence for “Reconstruction of the Intimate and Public Spheres in 21st Century Asia” of Kyoto University.

From early 2013 to March 2015 I co-cordinated the Graduate Programme for Transcultural Studies at the Cluster of Excellence “Asia and Europe in a Global Context” as graduate programme lecturer, where I was responsible for the in-house reading class and colloquium.

In March 2015 I started researching and teaching at Kyoto University as project-specific senior lecturer at the Graduate School of Letters. This included the preparation a new Joint Degree Master Program in Transcultural Studies. This new major was established in October 2017 and since December 2017 I took on the mantle as coordinator of this program as a tenured senior lecturer.