I am a DPhil researcher focusing on gender, the body, and movement in post-war Japan. In particular, I am interested in the way that large-scale changes – such as the transition from war to post-war – impact our constructions of gender, and our ideas about what bodies are for.
My current work focuses primarily on butoh and Noh. I am looking in detail at the lives of 3 dancers: Motofuji Akiko, co-founder of the butoh movement; Ashikawa Yoko, one of butoh’s most-celebrated dancers; and Tsumura Kimiko, the first publicly-recognised female Noh dancer of the 20th century.
Whilst researching, I also think it is essential to move, so I also practice, choreograph, and teach for various dance projects around the world. Most recently, I finished a project on dance and limitation with an Oxford-based butoh company: https://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/breaking-free-a-symposium-on-the-dancing-body and have recently written the foreword to the head of the New York Butoh Institute, Vangeline’s, book Butoh: Cradling Empty Space.
Conference and other academic participation:
Organiser of Broken Wings: A Symposium on the Limitations of the Dancing Body. August 2020.
'(Un-)Bounded Bodies: Dancers in Post-War Japan', Life on the Edge: Borders and Boundaries in East Asia, Harvard East Asia Conference, 8th-9th February 2020.
'Motofuji Akiko and 20th Century Japan', International History of East Asia Seminar, 27th Janaury 2020.
Academic Visitor, ASWARA – Akademi Seni Budaya Dan Warisan Kebangsaan, Kuala Lumpur, September 2019.
‘Moving Bodies: Post-war Dance, Women, and Protest in Japan’ , Voices of Dissent: Transculturality and Activism, Studierendenrat der Universität Heidelberg Fachschaft Transcultural Studies, 24th May 2019.
‘Moving Women: Gender and Dance in 20th Century Japan’, Oxford Sudbury Transnational and Global History Seminar: Graduate Approaches to Global History, Pembroke College, University of Oxford, 25 May 2018.
Foreword to Vangeline, Butoh: Cradling Empty Space (New York, N.Y., 2020)