Carolin Becke


School of East Asian Studies

Research Student

  • Diploma in Fashion Studies, ESMOD Berlin
  • BA Marketing Communication, design akademie Berlin
  • MA Cultural and Creative Industries, King’s College London
Research interests

Thesis Title: Negotiating cultural identity: kimono and its representations in contemporary Japanese society
Academic Supervisors: Dr. Kate Taylor-Jones, Dr. Mark Pendleton

The objective of my thesis is to study the role of kimono within contemporary Japanese society. Regarded by many as Japan’s national dress, kimono has always served as a site for negotiations and mediations in regards to cultural and national ideas, beliefs and sentiments and is therefore an important cultural object to study.

For this particular thesis, I will explore how both the actual kimono and more specifically, representations of kimono within Japanese popular culture engage with, challenge and/or conform to a specific vision of a cultural identity.

I am particularly focused on the narratives behind the representations of kimono within popular culture, as well as the experienced physicality of kimono in a contemporary setting.

Conference presentations

  • Japanese’ aesthetics in popular music videos (part of the panel: Transnational Identity-Making in East Asian Meda Industries), Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) Conference, 8 – 10 January 2020, University of Brighton.
  • Between fashion and tradition: Negotiating kimono in twenty-first century Japan, Fashion, Costume and Visual Cultures Conference, 9 – 11 July 2019, École Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Industries Textiles, Roubaix (France)
  • Mediating the fashion/tradition dichotomy: The case of kimono, CMCI Emerging Voices Conference, 6 – 7 June 2019, King’s College London.
  • The oiran-style kimono trend: (Sub)cultural appropriation and negotiation of Japan's traditional costume, BAJS Conference 2018, 5 - 7 September 2018, University of Sheffield.
  • Images of adolescence: An investigation into the costumes and aesthetics of Japanese idol performers, Fashion, Costumes and Visual Cultures Conference, 17 - 19 July 2018, University of Zagreb.
  • National Identity, Popular Culture and the Role of National Dress in Contemporary Japanese Society, 4th TLLP: Joint seminar and workshop between the Universities of Helsinki, Hokkaido and Sheffield, 11 - 14 September 2017, University of Helsinki.
  • 'Akihabara to all over the world!' - Musical, textual and visual narratives in's 'W.W.D', 8th Annual Postgraduate Symposium: Authenticity, Performance, and ('Post')Truth in Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media, 22 June 2017, Department of Theatre, Film and Television, University of York.

Published articles

Teaching activities
  • Teaching assistant on EAS1000 Exploring Asia (2018-2019)
  • Part of teaching team on EAS6208 Media, Culture and Society in East Asia (2017-18)
  • Teaching assistant on EAS110 East Asian Cinema (Spring 2016-17)
Professional activities and memberships