SOAS University of London

Japan Research Centre

Women Adrift: Narratives and Memories of Empire in Modern Japan

Women Adrift: The Literature of Japan's Imperial Body
Dr Noriko Horiguchi (University of Tennessee)

Date: 3 December 2014Time: 5:05 PM

Finishes: 3 December 2014Time: 7:00 PM

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings Room: Khalili Lecture Theatre

Type of Event: Seminar


Drawing from her book, Women Adrift: The Literature of Japan’s Imperial Body (University of Minnesota Press, 2011), Horiguchi discusses the literary and visual narratives and memories of Japanese empire and women’s roles in its expansion. She explains the paradoxical positions of representative Japanese female writers and their fictional characters, who asserted their own agency by transgressing the borders of nation and gender, and yet became part of the force that created the empire of Japan. With the focus on migrant women in Hayashi Fumiko’s literary texts and Naruse Mikio’s film adaptations, Horiguchi analyzes how and why their narratives, conducted under various colonial conditions, ended up reinforcing Japanese nationalism, racialism, and imperial expansion.

Speaker Biography

Noriko J. Horiguchi is an Associate Professor of Modern Japanese Literature at the University of Tennessee. During her tenure at UT, Horiguchi has also held various visiting appointments and has received several awards, including a Visiting Associate Professorship at Kobe University (Kobe, 2014) and at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 2009-2010) and a Visiting Scholarship at Tokyo University (Tokyo, 2007). Her monograph Women Adrift: The Literature of Japan’s Imperial Body (University of Minnesota Press 2011) analyzes how women figured in the expansion of the national body of the empire. This book won the Japan Foundation Book Subvention Award (New York, 2011) and has led to invited talks at several institutions, including the University of Cambridge (upcoming 2014), the University of Oxford (upcoming, 2014), the Library of Congress (Washington, D.C., 2013) and Pomona College (CA, 2013). Women Adrift has been reviewed in Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 68 (November 2013); Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific (The Australian National University), Issue 30 (November 2012); and in Choice (July 2012).

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