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28 November 2012

Madonna Verde: New Reproductive Technologies in Japanese Popular Culture

Professor Vera Mackie

Date: Wednesday 28 November 2012
Time: 4::30pm - 6:00pm
Place: Room 2.16, Run Run Shaw Tower HKU

click to see poster

Since the late twentieth century, assisted reproductive technologies have brought new challenges to our understanding of the family and gender relations. In Japan, as in many other countries, there are ever-widening gaps between medical practice, legal regulation and the everyday realities of family relationships. A series of recent popular cultural texts have explored the issues raised by non-commercial surrogate motherhood. This seminar will focus on two novels by medical practitioner and popular novelist Kaido Takeru – Gene Waltz and Madonna Verde – and the associated film and television series. This seminar will place these texts in their social and cultural context with reference to medical, legal and popular discourses on new reproductive technologies in contemporary Japan. New reproductive technologies have the potential to force a rethinking of masculinity, femininity, parenthood, family, and gender relations. These popular texts, however, also draw on existing ways of thinking about masculinity, femininity and the relationship between science, nature and society.

About the speaker:
Professor Vera Mackie is an ARC Future Fellow in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Wollongong. She has varied teaching, research, administrative, and supervisory experience in the fields of Japanese language and linguistics, as well as Japanese history, gender studies, and cultural studies. In addition to previous positions at Swinburne, the University of Adelaide, the University of Melbourne and Curtin University of Technology, she has been a Visiting Professor at Victoria University, Ochanomizu University, and Hitotsubashi University. Her recent publications include 'Feminism in Modern Japan: Citizenship, Embodiment and Sexuality' with Cambridge University Press and 'Gurobaruka to Jenda Hyosho' (Globalization and Representations of Gender) with Ochanomizu Shobo in 2003. She is currently working on a research project on human rights in the Asia-Pacific Region.

Japanese Studies HKU