Dr Mark Pendleton


School of East Asian Studies

Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies


Full contact details

Dr Mark Pendleton
School of East Asian Studies
Jessop West
1 Upper Hanover Street
S3 7RA

I am a social and cultural historian who joined SEAS in January 2012 after completing a PhD in history at the University of Melbourne.

My doctoral thesis explored how the 1995 Tokyo subway gassing is remembered politically and culturally in the context of postwar Japan through various forms of life writing and memorial practices.

During my PhD candidature, I was a Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) research scholar at Tokyo University of Foreign Studies, and a visiting fellow at New York University.

I have lived in Japan for a total of about six years, including as a high school exchange student in Kyoto, an undergraduate exchange student in Osaka, and a salaried worker based in Tokyo.

I also worked in a number of non-governmental organisations in Australia.

In the School of East Asian Studies, I look after the Japanese Studies undergraduate programme as the degree tutor.

I have a strong interest in equality and diversity and serve on the Faculty of Social Sciences Equality and Diversity Committee and as faculty representative on the university’s Gender Equality Committee.

I am also available for commentary on any issues related to my research and have been interviewed by various print and broadcast media.

  • BA (Griffith)
  • PhD (Melbourne)
Research interests

My research is interdisciplinary in nature, drawing from history, cultural studies, memory studies, literature, geography and critical theory.

While my core interest lies in the history of twentieth century Japan, I also maintain active research interests in the histories of gender and sexuality, transnational social movement histories, the politics of violence and the relationship between memory and history.

While developing my doctoral research into a book manuscript I have also begun new research projects on modern ruins and industrial heritage in Japan and on queer/LGBT literary figures in postwar Japan.

In 2013, I was part of a consortium with scholars from different UK universities that received an Arts and Humanities Research Council exploratory grant to work on a project called 'The Future of Ruins: Reclaiming Abandonment and Toxicity on Hashima Island' and I am currently part of a team working on a second AHRC grant on ‘Reconfiguring Ruins’.

From August to November 2015, I will be a research fellow at the International Research Centre for Japanese Studies (Nichibunken) in Kyoto.


Edited books

Journal articles


  • Coates J, Fraser L & Pendleton M (2020) Gender and culture in Japan today INTRODUCTION, ROUTLEDGE COMPANION TO GENDER AND JAPANESE CULTURE (pp. 1-7). RIS download Bibtex download
  • Coates J, Fraser L & Pendleton M (2019) 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 RIS download Bibtex download
  • Pendleton M (2017) On Möbius strips, ruins and memory: The intertwining of places and times in Hino Keizō’s Tokyo In Thornbury B & Schulz E (Ed.), Tokyo: Memory, Imagination, and the City Lanham, MD: Lexington Books. View this article in WRRO RIS download Bibtex download
  • Lavery C, Dixon D, Hassall L, Fearnley C, Burke-Gaffney B & Pendleton M (2016) Return to Battleship Island In Shaw DB & Humm M (Ed.), Radical Space: Exploring Politics and PracticeRe Lanham, MD and London: Rowman & Littlefield. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Pendleton M (2015) Memory, Justice and Post-terror Futures In Neumann K & Thompson J (Ed.), Historical Justice and Memory (pp. 202-220). Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Pendleton M (2014) Theme Parks and Station Plaques: Memory, Forgetting and Tourism in post-Aum Japan In Sion B (Ed.), Death Tourism: Disaster Sites as Recreational Landscape Seagull Books RIS download Bibtex download
  • Pendleton M (2014) Transnational Sexual Politics in East Asia In Mackie V & McLelland M (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Sexuality Studies in East Asia London and New York: Routledge. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Pendleton M (2012) The Politics of History, circa 2008 In Wotherspoon K & Ropers E (Ed.), Written Into History: Celebrating Fifty Years of the Melbourne Historical Journal, 1961-2011 (pp. 415-418). Parkville, VIC: The Melbourne Historical Journal. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Pendleton M & Narita R () A History of Mentalities in Japan in the Early 1970s―Premonitions of anxiety in Economic Prosperity In Hein L, Howell D & Tonomura H (Ed.), Cambridge History of Japan Cambridge University Press RIS download Bibtex download

Book reviews


  • Pendleton M, Andrews F, Catterall P, Evans I, Foxhall K, Green A, Gust O, Harris A & Spicer A (2020) LGBT+ Histories and Historians: Report RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

I enjoy research supervision and welcome enquiries from potential students wishing to work on any topic related to my expertise.

Teaching interests

Historical enquiry is about developing a respect for both historical truthfulness (or in other words respecting what we have and don’t have access to from the past) and critical analysis.

As such, I like to use a range of archival materials and primary sources in my teaching, exposing students to the real work of history from early in their academic careers.

As a cultural historian, these materials include film, music, literature, testimony, art and other media, as well as the traditional textual sources of the discipline.

When considered in combination with a range of theoretical and methodological approaches, these primary materials become the foundations for developing both an understanding of the past and the important skills of critical thinking, analytical writing and argumentation that the humanities and social sciences provide.

Teaching activities

I coordinate the following modules:

  • EAS2034 Modern Japanese History
  • EAS2000 East Asian Fieldwork

I also teach into our Level Two Japanese language programme, taking responsibility for a section introducing students to critical reading skills through reading Japanese newspapers, and am part of the teaching team for the interdisciplinary first-year module IPA1010 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* Studies.