Sexuality, Maternity, and (Re)productive Futures: Women's Speculative Fiction in Contemporary Japan

Modern East Asian Literature Research Cluster presents

Emerging Research on Modern East Asian Literature



Speaker: Kazue Harada

Associate Professor of Japanese | Department of German, Russian, Asian, and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, Miami University

Moderator: Daniel Poch

Associate Professor | Department of Japanese Studies | University of Hong Kong

DATE: 19 Oct (Wed) 9:00 am-10:30 pm (Zoom, HKT)

Contemporary Japanese female speculative fiction writers of novels and manga employ the perspectives of aliens, cyborgs, and bioengineered entities to critique the social realities of women, particularly with respect to reproduction, which they also reimagine in radical ways. Various meanings of reproduction are examined, as informed by feminist and queer studies. Close readings of works by novelists Murata Sayaka, Ōhara Mariko, Ueda Sayuri and manga artists Hagio Moto and Shirai Yumiko are offered. This book shows how their work can be seen as a response to particular social norms and government policies. This presentation explores how reproductive futures are imagined by these authors as a case study. Their imaginings counter ideologies of reproductive futurism through the narrative techniques they use—a circularity of the past, endless repetitions of the present moment, or the absence of a future for humanity. Therefore, understanding their techniques provides an alternative way to understanding futurity.


Kazue Harada is an associate professor of Japanese at Miami University, Ohio, and earned her PhD from Washington University in St. Louis in 2015. Her research focus is contemporary Japanese speculative and science fiction with an exploration of gender and sexuality. She is the author of Sexuality, Maternity, and (Re)productive Futures: Women’s Speculative Fiction in Contemporary Japan. Her articles have appeared in several academic journals.


The series is coordinated by Dr. Su Yun Kim (suyunkim@hku.hk), Dr. Pei-yin Lin (pylin@hku.hk) , and Dr. Alvin Wong (akhwong@hku.hk) .


For registration of the seminar, go to www.meal.hku.hk or https://linktr.ee/mealhku


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