Defying flexibility: Dialogues on women, sexuality and literature

Wednesday,January 10,2018

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Poster PDF(A3, 0.7MB)

From the 1980s, within queer studies there has been a focus on the concept of “flexibility”(adaptability, variability, and fluidity) as a property that promises the disruption and transformation of various norms about gender and sexuality. Similarly, from the 1990s, in Japanese literature we find a focus on representations of fluid bodies and expressions of gender and sexuality that do not fit into the existing hetero-normative gender binary, as well as experiences of spatial migration and hybridity that move beyond homogeneous frameworks of nation, ethnicity and native language. These kinds of literary representations have been praised as opening up a new horizon within Japanese literature under the name of postmodernity.

However, we should not overlook the fact that when we praise the transgression of boundaries by non-normative figures and people, there is a risk of indirectly idealizing the resources, bodies and strength necessary when crossing borders. Even if deviating from and failing to conform to norms is disruptive, who is able to bear the disadvantages that come along with deviation? And what about the difference between the freedom of being able to move and go beyond, and having no choice but to move and go beyond?

With these questions as our point of departure, in this symposium we would like to explore broadly the relationship between various forms of flexibility and gender and sexuality within Japanese literature. In order to do so, we will take a closer look at Shono Yoriko and Matsuura Rieko, whose works deal with flexibility in different ways, and oppose to the hetero-normative gender binary.

Date & Time: March 4th, 2018 (Sunday) 13:00-17:45 (It opens from 12:30)

No reservation, no entrance fee

Venue: International Conference Room, Dialogue House 2F, ICU

Language: Japanese (no interpretation available)

KUROSAWA, Ariko(Professor Dept. Japanese Culture, Okinawa International University)
KUROIWA, Yuichi(Lecturer, Ferris University)
WÜERRER, Stefan(CGS-RIA, PhD Student, Tokyo University)
ASANO, Urara(Lecturer, Asia University)

Coordinator and Moderator

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