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Sociology Department Seminar

Date: 20 November 2007 Time: 16.15-18.00

Venue: Institute for Advanced Studies Meeting Room 1.

AMERICAN DREAMS: The Erotics of Democracy in Postwar Japan


The early-to-mid postwar era in Japan (1945-c.1975) has been characterised as a 'politically passionate place' (Hein 1994). In this environment, culture, politics, and history lay at the heart of two crucial debates: what shape Japanese democracy should take, and how the American military, cultural, and economic presence could be negotiated. The ways in which and extent to which these debates influenced Japan's citizens is a central question to the study of postwar Japan.

This presentation will offer new research that seeks to add to this study by introducing a perspective that has to date been overlooked in the context of this history, that of Japan's homo (the men who love men). Based on a textual analysis of a wide-ranging selection of writings and visual culture in publications produced by and for the men who love men, this presentation explores how these men understood and represented manliness within the erotic landscape of their desires. It considers how democracy and America were central to creating and affirming in a variety of ways a highly embodied sense of subjectivity. Ultimately, it argues that the male love of men and manliness was politically inflected and historically integral.

Dr J.D Mackintosh (School of Languages, Linguistics and Culture, Birkbeck College, University of London)


Who can attend: Anyone


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Organising departments and research centres: Sociology


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Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Lancaster University
Lancaster LA1 4YD
United Kingdom

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