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Sex, Gender, and Society: Rethinking Modern Japanese Feminisms

Keynote Speakers

Vera Mackie

Vera MackieVera MACKIE, professor of Asian studies and Australian Research Council Future Fellow at the University of Wollongong, is a historian who specializes in the study of Japanese feminist theory and activism. Her book Feminism in Modern Japan (2003) was the first (and as of now, only) comprehensive English-language history of the evolution of Japanese feminism. In addition to this landmark work of feminist history, Mackie has published widely in both Japanese and English on topics related to gender and human rights in the Asia-Pacific region, including the following book-length studies: Creating Socialist Women in Japan: Gender, Labour, and Activism (1997), Human Rights and Gender Politics: Asia-Pacific Perspectives (co-edited volume; 2000), and Globalisation and Representations of Gender (2003).

Barbara Molony

Barbara MolonyBarbara MOLONY, professor of Japanese history at Santa Clara University, specializes in research on women’s rights and the construction and representation of gender in Japan and East Asia. She has published 21 article-length studies on these topics alone, including “Activism among Women in the Taisho Cotton Textile Industry” (1991), “Equality vs. Difference: The Japanese Debate over Motherhood Protection, 1915-1950” (1993), “Japan's 1986 Equal Employment Opportunity Law and the Changing Discourse on Gender” (1995), “The State and Women in Modern Japan: Feminist Discourses in the Meiji and Taisho Eras” (1999), and “Citizenship and Suffrage in Interwar Japan” (2004). Her book-length publications include Gendering Modern Japanese History (co-edited volume; 2005), Asia’s New Mothers: Crafting Gender Roles and Childcare Networks in East and Southeast Asian Societies (co-edited volume, 2008), Modern East Asia: China, Korea, and Japan in World History (co-authored; 2010), and Ichikawa Fusae: A Political Biography (co-authored; forthcoming).

Ueno Chizuko 

Ueno ChizukoUENO Chizuko, professor emerita of sociology at Tokyo University, is perhaps the best-known Japanese feminist in the Japanese- and English-speaking worlds. She helped to pioneer the academic discipline of women’s studies in Japan, and continues to play a leading role in furthering awareness of gender and feminist issues through both academic research and mass-media appearances that target the broader Japanese public. In recent years she has become more involved in issues surrounding aging and caretaking, which resulted in her work, Sociology of Care (2011). She now serves as chief council of the NPO Women's Action Network, a portal site for feminist activism in Japan. Her publications in English and Japanese on gender, sexuality and feminist theory are too numerous to list in their entirety, but include Patriarchy and Capitalism (1990), The Rise and Fall of the Modern Japanese Family (1994), Nationalism and Gender (1998), The Erotic Apparatus (1998), Gender and Japanese History (1999), The Politics of Difference (2002), The Modern Family in Japan (2009), Misogyny (2010) and many others. [Photo: Mikuriya Shinichiro]