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Seventh installment of Stanford University–J. F. Oberlin University Commemorative Lecture Series to be held on December 12

“Beyond the Binary: Representations of Gender in Anime”

The seventh lecture in the Stanford University–J. F. Oberlin University Commemorative Lecture Series will be held from 16:10 to 17:40 on Friday, December 12, in room A204 in Meimeikan, on Machida Campus. The lecturer will be Professor Gerry Yokota of Osaka University, and the title of her lecture will be “Beyond the Binary: Representations of Gender in Anime.” All students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend.

Japanese anime and manga are popular topics online and in personal intercultural communication. But have you ever found yourself harboring concern about a problematic representation of gender, sexuality, or violence in a work that you otherwise find not only entertaining but intellectually engaging? In this talk, Professor Yokota will introduce recent examples from three prominent subgenres—mechas, cyborgs, and beautiful fighting girls—and invite you to join her in a border-crossing adventure. She will explore how metaphors and symbols in anime such as Gundam, Ghost in the Shell, and Madoka Magica are embodied and often engendered but not universal, and she will consider the potential effects of these metaphors and symbols on cognitive processes.

SpeakerGerry Yokota, Professor of English and Contemporary Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies, Osaka University
DateFriday, December 12, 2014
LanguageEnglish (Q & A may be in Japanese)
PlaceMeimeikan A204, Machida Campus

Professor Yokota teaches Gender Studies as well as courses on contemporary Japan at Osaka University. Recently she has been examining the meaning of tradition in contemporary Japanese culture, taking a cognitive linguistic approach and expanding on her earlier studies of the representation of women in medieval noh drama. She explores how the concept of tradition serves as a bridge between premodern and modern culture. She is the author of The Formation of the Canon of Noh: The Literary Tradition of Divine Authority (Osaka University Press, 1997) and the editor of Gender and Japanese History (two volumes, Osaka University Press, 2000).

This lecture series was established within the framework of an Agreement of Academic Cooperation between J. F. Oberlin University and Stanford University. Speakers in the series are prominent non-Japanese scholars who studied, earlier in their careers, at the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies (IUC). Founded in 1963 and administered by Stanford University on behalf of sixteen U. S. and Canadian universities, the IUC is located in the Minato Mirai district of Yokohama.