NEWFeminist/Queer Utopias & Dystopias—Alternative Worlds Imagined Through Non-Normative Desires and Bodies

Tuesday,January 19,2021

Categories: ,

010621_FUQD_Poster 英語.jpg


Feminist/Queer Utopias & Dystopias—Alternative Worlds Imagined Through Non-Normative Desires and Bodies

Date: March 21st , 2021 (Sun.)

Time: 09:00 – 13:40 (GMT +9)

Place: Zoom Webinar


Language: English (with Japanese interpretation)

Planning and Organization:

Asami Nakamura

Stefan Wuerrer

Hosted by:

Culture and Representation Course, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo

(JSPS KAKENHI No. 19H01205; No. 16K13134)

Asami Nakamura (JSPS KAKENHI No. 19K13119)

Center for Gender Studies, International Christian University


NISHANT SHAHANI (Washington State Univ.)

IKOMA NATSUMI (International Christian University)

ASAMI NAKAMURA (Rikkyo University)

STEFAN WUERRER (University of Tokyo, International Christian University)

AKIKO SHIMIZU (University of Tokyo)

MAYU IIDA (Goldsmiths, University of London)


09:00-09:10 Opening Remarks

09:10-10:00 Keynote Lecture

Nishant Shahani (Washington State Univ.)

“Sensing Another World: A Materialist Critique

of Utopia through a Dystopian Present”

10:00-10:20 Coffee Break (5 min.) & QA (15 min.)

10:20-11:10 Research Presentations I

Natsumi Ikoma (International Christian Univ.)

“From Frankenstein to The Handmaid’s

Tale: Reproduction and Feminist Dystopia”

Asami Nakamura (Rikkyo Univ.)

“Queer Nostalgia in ‘San Junipero’ (2016)”

11:10-11:40 Coffee Break (15 min.) & QA (15 min.)

11:40-12:30 Research Presentations II

Stefan Wuerrer (Univ. of Tokyo, ICU)

“Transcending the Gendered Body?

Revisiting the Utopian Horizons of Shōno Yoriko’s

Uramizumo Dorei Senkyō (2018)”

Mayu Iida (Goldsmiths, University of London)

“30 Years on: Revisiting the Utopian Legacy

of Cyberfeminism”

12:30-13:10 Lunch Break (25 min.) & QA (15 min.)

13:10-13:40 Round Table (Chair: Akiko Shimizu)


Recent years have been witnessing an increase in the number of popula cultural works that present themselves as feminist or queer. Curiously enough, many of these works are set in alternative utopian or dystopian worlds. Even more interesting is the fact that queer and feminist representations in these

genres seem to be respectively coagulating around two separate poles: queer representations tend to be the locus of utopian hope, rather than dystopian despair, as seen for instance in Sense8 (2015-2018), or the two Black Mirror episodes “San Junipero” (2016) and “Striking Vipers” (2019); while representations of feminist issues within alternative worlds tend to be set in dystopian rather than utopian frameworks, with

The Handmaid's Tale (2017-) being a prominent example.

This raises some important questions: Is the inclusion of queer issues as utopian horizon merely the result of market-oriented image politics and political correctness? Or do these utopian representations of queer issues offer us new ways of imagining alternative, better futures? If so, how? And for whom? How do dystopian representations of feminist issues correspond to the present reality of intersectional feminist politics? Addressing these questions, this symposium aims to critically reflect on how feminist/queer perspectives intersect with utopian and dystopian imagination in recent works of popular fiction.

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