This presentation considers hikikomori as willful subjects. The hikikomori are a portion of the Japanese population who withdraw into their homes. These are mostly young people (between 15 and 35) and mostly young men. The focus of this presentation is how hikikomori constitute a challenge to dominant national imaginaries of Japan as a ‘corporate-family system’ (Allison 2013). This presentation analyses popular media and psychiatric representations of hikikomori, particularly from Saitô’s (2013) work as exemplifying Ahmed’s (2014) notion of willful subjects. It is argued that the hikikomori’s apparent willfulness produces them as Queer subjects who are out of place and pace with the dominant heteronormative, masculinist culture of contemporary Japan.
Rosemary Overell completed a doctorate, majoring in cultural studies and Japanese studies, at the University of Melbourne in 2012. Her thesis, Brutal: Affect Belonging In, and Between, Australia and Japan’s Grindcore Scenes, explored how fans of grindcore metal music feel ‘at home’ in scenic spaces. Rosemary’s research included two years of ethnographic fieldwork in Osaka, Japan, as well as in Melbourne, Australia. Rosemary has taught for a number of years at the University of Melbourne in cultural studies, Asian studies, media studies and cultural geography. Between 2011 and 2013 she co-ordinated subjects on popular music cultures and lifestyle and consumer cultures.
In 2014, Rosemary published her book Affective Intensities in Extreme Music Scene with Palgrave. Currently, she is teaching two second-year communications subjects and working on nikkeijin migrants and youth cultures in Nagoya, Japan. She is also interested in experimental ethnographic methodologies.
She is also a member of the Performance of the Real research theme steering group.
20 April 2018
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
NUS Central Library
CLB-04-04, Theatrette 1
If you are an NUS Staff or Student, please register at cnmn.us/queer