Leila Wice

Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow (2004-2006)


Creator, Freelance Photographer, DekoBoko Design

Japanese Language Instructor, Portland Community College

Spinning and Knitting Teacher, Yarn Shops


Leila Wice has been making clothes since she learned to cut with scissors. At first she glued with her babysitter, then sewed with her grandmother and with her father. Now she knits and sometimes spins, alone or in the inspiring company of friends and neighbors. She is also a scholar of the history of Japanese textiles and dress, which informs many of her designs. You can find her knitting and spinning in Portland OR, where she lives with her partner, their son, and the occasional shoebox full of silk worms.


Ph.D., Columbia University

Japanese History, 2004

Dissertation: Dress Codes: Breaking Rules and Making Meaning in Japan, 1590 – 1890

Oral Fields: Modern Japanese History, Early Modern Japanese History, Cultural History and Histories of Culture, Theories of Visual and Material Culture

M.Phil., Columbia University

Japanese History, 1998

Thesis: Interlacing Histories: Woven Pictorial Haori Linings and Modern Traditions

M.A., Stanford University

Japanese Cultural History, Center for East Asian Studies, 1993

B.A., Stanford Univeristy

Modern Thought and Literature, Humanities Honors Program, 1993