Loading Events
This event has passed.

Postfeminism, Love, and Work in Japanese Literature: A Reading of Hayashi Mariko’s Novel Anego

An online public lecture conducted on Zoom. All are welcome.
Zoom registration is required.

Date: 3 May 2021 (Monday)
Time: 12:00 PM (HKT)

Zoom URL: https://hku.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_crRTvsfTTC2VBs72Fs1WHA

Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/480574219757523

Speaker: Dr. Luciana Sanga (Visiting Assistant Professor, Asian Languages and Cultures, Northwestern University)

How do labor relations and romance intersect in the lives of contemporary Japanese women?

Hayashi Mariko’s novel Anego (Big Sis, 2001-2003) offers one possible answer. The novel depicts the quest of an OL (office lady) for love and marriage. It is in fact an updated version of the “office lady novel,” which typically ends with the heroine receiving a marriage proposal and exiting the paid, full-time workforce. But instead of such an enthralling happy ending, the protagonist of Anego never finds a husband and even loses her elite corporate job. At the end of the novel the protagonist is still single and employed, this time as a contract worker. In this talk I argue that Hayashi’s novel normalizes a new postfeminist female identity complete not as a subject-in-love but as a subject-into-employment, be that contingent and underpaid.

Luciana Sanga is a visiting assistant professor in the Asian Languages and Cultures at Northwestern University. She holds a PhD in Japanese literature from Stanford University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Review of Japanese Culture and Society and Japanese Language and Literature. She is currently working on her book manuscript titled The Production of Genre: Love Novels in Contemporary Japan.

Moderator: Dr. Grace En-Yi Ting (Gender Studies, University of Hong Kong)

This event is organized as part of the Gender Studies Programme Spring 2021 Seminar Series at the University of Hong Kong.

Enquiries: genderst@hku.hk or 39174182