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Lecture addresses same-sex sexuality in post-war Japan

Nov. 21, 2007

KALAMAZOO--A sociologist and cultural historian of Japan will speak on "Rise and Fall of the 'Gay Boy' in Postwar Japan" from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at Western Michigan University in Room 1220 Schneider Hall.

Dr. Mark McLelland, who teaches sociology at the University of Wollongong, Australia, will present the talk as part of the Japan Speaker Series sponsored by WMU's Michitoshi Soga Japan Center. His presentation will focus on development of the Japanese "gei boi" in the early postwar period and outline the complex negotiations that have taken place between indigenous and foreign understandings of same-sex sexuality in Japanese discourse in recent decades.

McLelland is in the United States as the 2007-08 Toyota Visiting Professor in the Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Michigan. While at UM, he is working on a project looking at the development of new styles of Japanese heterosexual romance and coupledom in the wake of the U.S. Occupation.

A specialist in the history of sexuality, gender theory and new media, McLelland is best known for his work in Japanese sexual minority history. His recent publications have focused on the postwar history of Japanese queer cultures and the development of the Internet in Japan, especially the use of the Internet and other new media by minority communities in Japan and throughout Asia.

McLelland edited "Queer Voices from Japan," which was published in 2007 and has written such books as "Male Homosexuality in Modern Japan," published in 2000, and "Queer Japan from the Pacific War to the Internet Age," published in 2005.

He is a founding member of the AsiaPacifiQueer research collective, which organized the "Genders, Sexualities and Rights: 1st International Conference of Asian Queer Studies in Bangkok" in 2005.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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