molly's cv

Click to view Molly's current CV in PDF format.

contact molly

The best way to contact Molly is via email, at, or on Twitter @mdesjardin. She'd love to hear from you!

about molly


I originally hail from Rochester, NY, but have been bouncing around all over since college at University of Pittsburgh (BS Computer Science, BA History). I lived for several years in diverse regions of Japan: the rural suburbs of Fukuoka, a slum in Yokohama, and one of the most decidedly uncool wards of Tokyo. In the meantime, I earned a PhD in Asian Languages & Cultures (fieldwork at Nihon University thanks to the Japan Foundation) and an MSI in Library & Information Science at the University of Michigan.

Starting in 2013, I have worked as the Japanese Studies Librarian and liaison for Korean studies at the University of Pennsylvania. In my job, I provide reference and instruction, which includes everything from in-person and virtual one-on-one consultations to classroom tours and instruction, and making research guides and developing workshops. I am also the bibliographer for the Japanese and Korean collections; this means selecting and purchasing books, periodicals, videos, e-resources, and special/rare collections. I also create and maintain collection pages and collection development policies, and manage a sizable budget as well as applying for grants and donations to support the collections. Among other things!

Aside from the usual liaison work, I taught the first survey seminar of East Asian digital humanities ever offered in the English-speaking world in 2018, with ten upper-level students (!). The course covered 13 weeks of varied topics, ranging from mapping to network analysis to text mining to crowdsourcing and way beyond. I learned a ton from working with students from all different backgrounds (many from the History department and some from EALC, mostly PhD candidates, working on many, many topics and regions), and fun was had by all. You can find the syllabus on the publications page and talks I've given about the course on the presentations page Feel free to use the syllabus and repurpose it however you'd like. It's an evolving document so check back to see if it's been updated.

My other unusual work at the Penn Libraries has been co-founding and -organizing text analysis interest community WORD LAB with Katie Rawson -- since 2014 and still going strong!

Currently, I'm continuing my research into book history in modern Japan, working on a handful of articles. You can read (if you want) the dissertation this work is based on or just see a detailed abstract on here. My publications page has citations and what copies I am allowed to post of my other articles, chapters, reviews, and so on. My ongoing interests are "wide-ranging" to describe it charitably; the reality is that I bite off more than I can chew and try to go and do it anyway.

rights reserved, and those not

Please see the bottom of this page for the terms under which all of my work here is licensed, unless otherwise specified. In simple English, it's in the public domain, so you can use it and share it and remix it however you wish, excepting papers and publications. If you make money off of it, I'd love to hear how.