Queering Our Worlds: A Tribute to Mark McLelland

Thursday, February 25, 2021
7:00-8:30pm Eastern (US) Time
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Co-sponsored by Japanese Studies Association of Australia
Consulting organizers: Vera Mackie and James Welker

Mark McLelland (1966-2020) was a pioneering scholar, whose work served as an inspiration to so many people in various fields—Japan Studies, Queer Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Cyberculture Studies, and more. This memorial roundtable captures some of that richness. Speakers come from a broad roster of scholars to share their reflections on Mark’s contribution to their own work and to the field. James Welker and Vera Mackie have helped organize the roundtable and its speakers to encompass the richness of Mark’s legacy. Mark will certainly be missed, but this roundtable reflects some part of the community of scholars that he and his work created. His inspiration lives through the multiplicity of voices in this roundtable and beyond.

Queering Our Worlds: A Tribute to Mark McLelland Transcript

Session Participants

Alisa Freedman

Professor of Japanese Literature, Cultural Studies, and Gender

Alisa Freedman is a Professor of Japanese Literature, Cultural Studies, and Gender at the University of Oregon and the Editor-in-Chief of the U.S.Japan Women’s Journal. Her books include Tokyo in Transit: Japanese Culture on the Rails and Road, an annotated translation of Kawabata Yasunari’s The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa, Japan on American TV: Screaming Samurai Form Anime Clubs in the Land of the Lost, and co-edited volumes on Modern Girls on the Go: Gender, Mobility, and Labor in Japan, and Introducing Japanese Popular Culture. Alisa thanks Mark McLelland for encouraging her research on Japanese popular culture.

Peter A. Jackson

Emeritus Professor in Thai History and Cultural Studies

Peter A. Jackson is Emeritus Professor in Thai history and cultural studies in the Australian National University’s College of Asia and the Pacific. Peter specialises in studies of religion, gender and sexuality as well as critical approaches to Southeast Asian area studies and cultural studies. In 2001, together with Mark McLelland, Audrey Yue and Fran Martin, Peter established the AsiaPacifiQueer Network to promote the then nascent field of Asian Queer Studies. In July 2005, The AsiaPacifiQueer Network initiated and convened the First International Conference of Asian Queer Studies in Bangkok.

Vera Mackie

Honorary Senior Professor in Humanities and Social Inquiry

Vera Mackie is Honorary Senior Professor in Humanities and Social Inquiry at the University of Wollongong. Publications include IVF and Assisted Reproduction: A Global History (PalgraveMacmillan, 2020, with S Ferber and NJ Marks);  The Reproductive Industry: Intimate Experiences and Global Processes (Lexington 2019, with N Marks and S Ferber); Remembering Women’s Activism (Routledge 2019, with S Crozier-De Rosa); The Social Sciences in the Asian Century (ANU Press 2015, with C Johnson and T Morris-Suzuki); Ways of Knowing about Human Rights in Asia (Routledge 2015); The Routledge Handbook of Sexuality Studies in East Asia (Routledge 2015, with M McLelland); Gender, Nation and State in Modern Japan (Routledge 2014, with A Germer and U Wöhr); Feminism in Modern Japan: Citizenship, Embodiment and Sexuality (Cambridge 2003); Gurōbaruka to Jendā Hyōshō [Globalisation and Representations of Gender] (Ochanomizu Shobō 2003); Human Rights and Gender Politics: Asia–Pacific Perspectives (Routledge 2000, with A-M Hilsdon, M Macintyre and M Stivens); Creating Socialist Women in Japan: Gender, Labour and Activism, 1900–1937 (Cambridge 1997).

Laura Miller

Endowed Professor of Japanese Studies

Laura Miller is the Ei’ichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Endowed Professor of Japanese Studies and Professor of History at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Miller has served as President of the Society for East Asian Anthropology (AAA), president of the Midwest Conference on Asian Affairs, and chair of the Midwest Japan Seminar. She has published more than ninety articles and book chapters on Japanese culture and language. She is the author of Beauty Up: Exploring Contemporary Japanese Body Aesthetics (2006), and co-editor of four other books, including Diva Nation: Female Icons from Japanese Cultural History (with Copeland, 2018).

Kazumi Nagaike

Professor of Japanese Culture

Kazumi Nagaike is a Professor of Japanese Culture at Oita University, Japan. She is the author of Fantasies of Cross-dressing: Japanese Women Write Male-Male Erotica (Brill Academic Publishers, 2012) and co-editor of the collection Boys’ Love Manga and Beyond: History, Culture and Community in Japan (University Press of Mississippi, edited by Mark McLelland, Kazumi Nagaike, Katsuhiko Suganuma, and James Welker, 2015), Shōjo Across Media: Exploring Popular Sites of “Girl” Discourse in Japan (Palgrave, edited by Jaqueline Berndt, Kazumi Nagaike and Fusami Ōgi, 2019), and Women’s Manga in Asia and Beyond: Uniting Different Cultures and Identities (Palgrave, edited by Fusami Ōgi, Rebecca Suter, John Lent and Kazumi Nagaike, 2019). 

Kristine (Khursten) Michelle Santos

Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the Japanese Studies Program

Kristine Michelle Santos is an assistant professor in the Department of History and the Japanese Studies Program at Ateneo de Manila University. Her research interrogates young women and their contributions to the development of queer transformative literacies and practices that challenge normative consumption of and expression in popular media. She also researches the transnational flows and neoliberalization of these transformative literacies across Southeast Asia. Her recent publications, “Queer Affective Literacies: Examining “Rotten” Women’s Literacies in Japan” in Critical Arts (2020) and “The Bitches of Boys Love Comics: The Pornographic Response of Japan’s Rotten Women,” in Porn Studies (2020) highlight these transformative literacies and their transnational impacts.

Katsuhiko Suganuma

Lecturer in the School of Humanities

Katsuhiko Suganuma is Lecturer in the School of Humanities at the University of Tasmania. His writing has looked at the intersection of gender, sexuality, race, and nationality. His recent works include ‘When Princess(es) Will Sing: Girls Rock and Alternative Interpretation’ in Re-Orienting the Fairy Tale: Contemporary Adaptations Across Cultures (Wayne State University Press 2020); ‘The Queen of Polka Holes’ in Queer Objects (Otago University Press 2019). He is currently working on a new project that examines the queer affect of being alone and happy.

John Treat

Professor Emeritus in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures

John Whittier Treat is Professor Emeritus in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale University and is currently affiliated with the University of Washington. He is the author of Writing Ground Zero: Japanese Literature and the Atomic Bomb (Chicago, 1995); Great Mirrors Shattered: Japan, Homosexuality and Orientalism (Oxford, 1999) and The Rise and Fall of Modern Japanese Literature (Chicago, 2018). His current book project is tentatively entitled Too Close to the Sun: Collaboration in Korea, Japan and the World.

james welker portrait

James Welker

Professor in the Department of Cross-Cultural Studies

James Welker is a professor in the Department of Cross-Cultural Studies at Kanagawa University in Yokohama, Japan. He is the author of Transfigurations: Redefining Women in Late Twentieth-Century Japan (forthcoming, Hawai‘i) and the editor of Queer Transfigurations: Boys Love Media in Japan (forthcoming, Hawai‘i), BL ga hiraku tobira: Hen’yō suru Ajia no sekushuariti to jendā [BL opening doors: Sexuality and gender transfigured in Asia] (Seidosha, 2019) and “Queer(ing),” a special issue of Mechademia: Second Arc (2020). He is also a co-editor of Rethinking Japanese Feminisms (Hawai‘i, 2018; with Julia Bullock and Ayako Kano), Boys Love Manga and Beyond: History, Culture, and Community in Japan (Mississippi, 2015; with Mark McLelland, Kazumi Nagaike, and Katsuhiko Suganuma), Queer Voices from Japan (Lexington, 2007; with Mark McLelland and Katsuhiko Suganuma).