Dr Jennifer Coates
School of East Asian Studies
Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies
+44 114 222 8415
Full contact details
School of East Asian Studies
6-8 Shearwood Road
My research and teaching is situated at the intersection of Japanese Studies, Film Studies, History, History of Art, and Anthropology, and can best be characterized as Japanese Cultural Studies.
I was awarded a PhD in Japanese Cinema in 2014 from the Centre for Media Studies in the Faculty of Languages and Cultures at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. My first book, Making Icons: Repetition and the Female Image in Japanese Cinema, 1945-1964 (Hong Kong University Press, 2016) expanded upon my PhD research to develop an extended study of female representation in Japanese film.
My wider research interests include Japanese and East Asian cinema, photography, gender studies, filmmaking, and ethnographic methods. I have published on these topics and others in Cultural Studies, Participations, Japanese Studies, Japan Forum, the U. S.-Japan Women’s Journal and The Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema.
Before joining SEAS, I studied, researched, and taught in many areas of the world. I was an AHRC Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress, Washington D.C. (2012), a Visiting Research Fellow at the Australian National University (2011), Assistant Professor at the Hakubi Center for Advanced Research, Kyoto University (2014-2018), and Senior Lecturer in Japanese Arts, Cultures, and Heritage at the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures at the University of East Anglia.
MA (University of Glasgow), PhD (SOAS, University of London)
- Research interests
I am developing a book manuscript entitled 'Feelings Without Words: Growing Up With the Cinema in Postwar Japan', based on four years of ethnography in Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe. The book explores the role of cinema in the development of a sense of self for those who grew up during the Occupation of Japan (1945-1952) and its aftermath.
Framed as an ethno-history of cinema attendance and reception in the Kansai region of Western Japan, this original study positions cinema as a discursive object in the living memories of the era.
Individual chapters deal with the origin stories of cinema in Japan, gender and the cinema audience, the gap between Occupation authorities’ expectations of the audience and lived experience, and cinema's relation to activism.
Many of my research outputs take a cross-regional and interdisciplinary approach, including publications on Manchurian-Japanese wartime co-production films, postwar Japanese co-productions with Hong-Kong, and transnational star personae.
I have conducted research on the simultaneous development of ethno-fiction filmmaking techniques in France and Japan, and on Taiwanese and Korean co-productions set in Tokyo, and co-authored an article on film-motivated tourism in China. I have also collaborated with affect theory specialists in the UK, USA, and Japan, and with a group of art historians in Zurich on two projects on photography.
Moving beyond traditional research publication methods, I completed a short documentary titled When Cinema Was King (2018) on the topic of Japanese cinema audiences and their memories.
- Rethinking the Young Female Cinema Audience: Postwar Cinema-Going in Kansai, 1945-1952. U.S.-Japan Women's Journal, 54, 6-28. View this article in WRRO
- Introduction: Representing Youth and Gender in Japanese Popular Culture. US-Japan Women's Journal, 54(1), 3-5. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Quietly Critical: Ten Years Japan. Frames Cinema Journal, 15.
- Blurred boundaries : ethnofiction and its impact on postwar Japanese cinema. Arts, 8(1). View this article in WRRO
- Journeys from the east: The popular geopolitics of film motivated Chinese tourism. International Journal of Tourism Anthropology, 6(3), 219-236. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Setsuko Hara vs. the Press: The Post-war Trolling of a Wartime Icon. Frames Cinema Journal, 13.
- Circular thinking: the Yamanote line on film. Japan Forum, 30(2), 224-239. View this article in WRRO
- Mediating memory: Shōjo and war memory in classical narrative Japanese cinema. Cultural Studies, 32(1), 105-125. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO The fragmented family on film: Kinoshita Keisuke's Nihon no Higeki (The Tragedy of Japan) (1953) and the antecedents of the contemporary fragmented family in Japan. Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, 40.
- View this article in WRRO Socializing the audience: Going to the cinema in post-war Japan. Participations: Journal of Audience and Reception Studies, 14(2), 590-607.
- Gambling with the nation : heroines of the Japanese yakuza film, 1955–1975. Japanese Studies, 37(3), 353-369. View this article in WRRO
- How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Female Film Stars and the Housewife Role in Postwar Japan. U.S.-Japan Women's Journal, 50(1), 29-53.
- The Shape-Shifting Diva: Yamaguchi Yoshiko and the National Body. Journal of Japanese and Korean Cinema, 6(1), 23-38.
- Modern Girls on the Go: Gender, Mobility and Labor in Japan. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 15(1), 94-96.
- Victims and bystanders: Women in the Japanese war-retro film. Media, War & Conflict, 6(3), 233-248.
- Creative Context Springer Singapore View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO The Yakuza Film: A Genre 'Endorsed by the People' In Phillips A & Fujiki H (Ed.), The Japanese Cinema Book (pp. 348-360). London: British Film Institute.
- View this article in WRRO Bodies in the Dark: The Postwar Cinema Audience and the Body as ‘Ground Zero’ In Holca I & SĂPUNARU TĂMAŞ C (Ed.), Forms of the Body in Contemporary Japanese Society, Literature, and Culture (pp. 237-257). Lexington
- Creativity at the Margins in the ‘Golden Age’ of Japanese Cinema (1945–1965), Creative Context (pp. 101-117). Springer Singapore
- Gender in digital technologies and cultures In Coates J, Pendleton M & Fraser L (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Gender and Japanese Culture (pp. 240-250). Routledge View this article in WRRO
- Introduction: Gender and culture in Japan today In Coates J, Fraser L & Pendleton M (Ed.), The Routledge Companion to Gender and Japanese Culture (pp. 1-7). Routledge View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO The Making of an Auteur: The Early Films (1958-1959), Killers, Clients and Kindred Spirits: The Taboo Cinema of Shohei Imamura (pp. 21-40). Edinburgh University Press
- Alternative Viewership Practices in Kyoto, Japan, The Palgrave Handbook of Asian Cinema (pp. 221-241). Palgrave Macmillan, London
- 時を超えて出会いは再び訪れる:李香蘭／山口淑子／シャーリー・ヤマ グチ In Wada I & Katsura K (Ed.), 他者との邂逅は何をもたらすのか: 「異文化接触」を再考する (pp. 18-48). Showado
- Pleasures of Recognition and Mediation in the Spectacle of the Nation In Drummond P (Ed.), The London Film and Media Reader 3: The Pleasures of the Spectacle The London Symposium
- Promiscuous Media: Film and Visual Culture in Imperial Japan, 1926–1945 by Hikari Hori. The Journal of Japanese Studies, 45(2), 415-419. View this article in WRRO
- Scripted Affects, Branded Selves: Television, Subjectivity and Capitalism in 1990s Japan. The Asia Pacific Journal of Anthropology, 13(3), 299-301.
- Noriko J. Horiguchi, Women Adrift: The Literature of Japan's Imperial Body (Review). Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, 30.
- Teaching activities
Jennifer teaches on the following undergraduate modules:
- EAS2032 Contemporary Japanese Society
- EAS3033 Researching Japan 2
- EAS3034 Japan Research Project 2