Mark Pendleton

Dr Mark Pendleton

Lecturer in Japanese Studies

BA (Griffith), PhD (Melbourne)

Contact details
Tel: 0114 222 8440
Room: C05

Twitter: @mark_pendleton


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.


SEAS Research Cluster

East Asian Text and Culture

Associated Research Groups and collaborators

Centre for Contemporary and Modern History (COMO) - Steering Committee Member
History Workshop Journal editorial collective - Member

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.

Research Supervision

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

Media Expertise

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


I coordinate the following modules:

EAS129 Gender in East Asia
EAS205 Contemporary Japanese Society
EAS250 Modern Japanese History
EAS368 Memory & History in East Asia

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.

Teaching Philosophy

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.



After Homosexual: The Legacies of Gay Liberation, edited by Carolyn D'Cruz and Mark Pendleton, Perth: UWA Publishing, 2013.

Articles and Research chapters

 'Storytelling, Oral History and ‘the Japanese Psyche’ after the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack', Ethnologie Française, 49, 1 (2019): 141-152.

'Thinking from the Yamanote: Space, Place and Mobility in Tokyo's Past and Present,' with Jamie Coates, Japan Forum, 30, 2 (2018): 149-16.

'Bringin little things to the surface: intervening into the Japanese post-Bubble impasse on the Yamanote,' Japan Forum, 30, 2 (2018): 257-276.

López Galviz, Carlos; Nadia Bartolini; Mark Pendleton & Adam Stock (2017) 'Reconfiguring Ruins: Beyond Ruinenlust', GeoHumanities, 3 (2): 531-553.

Pendleton, Mark (2017) “On Möbius Strips, Ruins and Memory: The Intertwining of Places and Times in Hino Keizō’s Tokyo," in Tokyo: Memory, Imagination and the City, ed. Barbara Thornbury and Evelyn Schulz, Lexington Books, pp. 45-68.

'Engaging Hashima: memory work, site-based affects, and the possibilities of interruption', with Deborah Dixon and Carina Fearnley, GeoHumanities 2, 1 (2016): 167-187

'The Tokyo /chikatetsu/', in Global Undergrounds: Exploring Cities Within, edited by Paul Dobraszczyk, Carlos López Galviz and Bradley Garrett, London: Reaktion Books (2016)

'Return to Battleship Island', with Carl Lavery, Lee Hassall, Deborah Dixon, Carina Fearnley and Brian Burke-Gaffney', in Radical Space: Exploring Politics and Practice, edited by Debra Benita Shaw and Maggie Humm, London: Rowman & Littlefield (2016), pp. 87-108.

‘Memory, Justice and Postterror Futures.’ In Historical Justice and Memory, edited by Klaus Neumann and Janna Thompson, Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2015, pp. 202-220.

'Transnational Sexual Politics in East Asia.' in Routledge Handbook of Sexuality Studies in East Asia, edited by Mark McLelland and Vera Mackie, London and New York: Routledge (2015),pp. 21 - 34

‘Theme Parks and Station Plaques: Memory, Forgetting and Tourism in post-Aum Japan.’ In Death Tourism: Disaster Sites as Recreational Landscape, edited by Brigitte Sion. London: Seagull Books (2014), pp. 75 - 94

'Introduction: Coming "after Homosexual".' with Carolyn D'Cruz, in After Homosexual: The Legacies of Gay Liberation, edited by Carolyn D'Cruz and Mark Pendleton, Perth: UWA Publishing (2013), pp. 1 - 7

'Suspended Histories: AIDS and the forgetting of Liberation,' in After Homosexual: The Legacies of Gay Liberation edited by Carolyn D'Cruz and Mark Pendleton, Perth: UWA Publishing (2013), pp. 301-308.

'Some Gays and the Queers', with Tanya Serisier, feature article for issue on 'marriage', M/C Journal, 15, 6 (2012).

'The Politics of History, circa 2008,' in Written Into History: Celebrating Fifty Years of the Melbourne Historical Journal, edited by Keir Wotherspoon and Erik Ropers, Melbourne Historical Journal Research Series No. 1, Parkville, Australia: The Melbourne Historical Journal Collective, 2012, pp. 415-418.

‘Subway to Street: Spaces of Memory, Counter-memory and Recovery in post-Aum Tokyo.’ Japanese Studies, 31, 3 (2011): 359-371. *Winner of EastAsiaNet Award for Best Academic Article (2012)

‘On the Move: Globalisation and Culture in the Asia-Pacific Region’, with Vera Mackie. Introduction to special issue on Globalisation and Culture in Asia and the Pacific, Intersections: Gender and Sexuality in Asia and the Pacific, 23, January (2010).

‘Mourning as Global Politics: Embodied Grief and Activism in post-Aum Tokyo.’ Asian Studies Review, 33, 3 (2009): 333-347.

’Beyond the Desire for Law: Sex and Crisis in Australian Feminist and Queer Politics,’ with Tanya Serisier. Australian Feminist Law Journal, 31 (2009): 77-98.

‘Looking back to look forward: The Past in Australian Queer Anti-capitalism, 1999-2002,’ Melbourne Historical Journal, 35 (2007): 51-71.

Other Publications

‘Review of Male Sex Work and Society’ (with Luca Stevenson), Culture, Health and Sexuality, 18,1  (2015), pp.112-114

‘How should we remember violence? Lessons from the Tokyo sarin attack.’ The Conversation, 20 March 2015.

‘Review of Money, Trains and Guillotines: Art and Revolution in 1960s Japan,’ Journal of Asian Studies, 74, 1 (2015), pp. 219-220.

'Fighting a plague.' red pepper, August 2013, URL:

'Tokyo, behind the bright lights.' red pepper, January 2013, URL:

‘Ruins of (European) Modernity.’ Cultural Studies Review, 17, 2 (2011). URL:

‘Review of Perversion and Modern Japan and The Politics of Culture. Melbourne Historical Journal, 38 (2010), 164-168.

‘Globalising victims of terror: shared memories and memorialising in the Subway Sarin Incident Victims Association and the September 11th Families Association,’ in the Proceedings of the 17th Biennial Conference of the Asian Studies Association of Australia, edited by A. M. Vicziany and Robert Cribb, Monash University (2008), URL: