Scholars and pundits of contemporary Japan regularly note statistics that point to an alarming downturn in population growth (shōshi kōreika). The forecast of population decline has led to a renewed focus on “reproductive futurism,” which is the belief that humans must reproduce to ensure a stable future. In Japan, female science fiction and speculative fiction writers have offered provocative critiques of reproductive futurism in order to resist discourse pertaining to reproductive family structures and sexuality.
In this talk, we will look at how these authors use nonhuman perspectives and entities such as aliens, cyborgs, and bioengineered entities to defamiliarize the familiar images of reproduction, sexuality, and ideal family structure produced by contemporary Japanese social discourse. The talk will explore specific cases of how these female authors re-engineer alternative futures of reproductive bodies and reproductive family to critique the extant reproductive heterosexual and patriarchal family system.
- This is an exclusively online event. Prior registration is required. A secure link to the lecture will be sent to the registered email address before the start of the event.
Dr. Kazue Harada is an Assistant Professor of Japanese in the Department of German, Russian, Asian, and Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures, at Miami University, Ohio. She studied at the University of British Columbia and Washington University in St. Louis. Her research interest is modern and contemporary Japanese literature, with a focus on the exploration of gender and sexuality via speculative and science fiction. She is currently working on a book manuscript titled Re-engineering (Re)productive Futures: Sexuality, Mother, and Kinship in Japanese Speculative Fiction. Her articles have appeared in U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal and Japanese Language and Literature. She is also a former recipient of the Japanese Foundation dissertation fellowship in 2012.