Dr Irena Hayter

Lecturer in Japanese Studies

+ 44 (0) 113 343 3415

Summary: The literary and visual cultures of Japanese modernity and their politics, especially during the interwar years; Japanese film; gender and sexuality; the body and the senses; critical theory

Location: Michael Sadler Building

MA Sofia MA Kyoto PhD London 


journal articles

‘For the Eyes Only: The Sensory Politics of Japanese Modernism’, Bunron – Zeitschrift für literaturwissenschaftliche Japanforschung 4:125–148

‘Figures of the Visual: Japanese Modernism, Technology, Vitalism’, positions 25: 2 (2017): 299–322.

‘Modernism, Gender and Consumer Spectacle in 1920s Tokyo’, Japan Forum 27:4 (2015): 454–475.

‘Ishikawa Jun, the Logic of the Gaze and the Bodies of Modernism’, Japanese Language and Literature 48:1 (2014): 129–149. 

‘Technologies of Estrangement: Dazai Osamu, Flowers of Buffoonery’, POETICA, no. 78 (2012): 31–47 (special issue on translation/transmediation, guest edited by Atsuko Sakaki). 

book chapters

‘In the Flesh: The Historical Unconscious of Ishikawa Jun’s Fugen’, in Perversion in Modern Japan: Psychoanalysis, Literature, Culture, ed. Nina Cornyetz and J. Keith Vincent (London: Routledge, 2009), 201–220.  

book reviews

Review  article: Seth Jacobowitz, Writing Technology in Meiji Japan: A Media History of Modern Japanese Literature and Visual Culture (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center), Japan Forum (to go into vol.30, currently published online in 'Latest Articles')

Review of Ken C. Kawashima, Fabian Schäffer and Robert Stolz (eds.), Tosaka Jun: A Critical Reader (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University East Asia Program, 2014), Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 78:2 (2015): 424-425

Review of Stephen Andriopoulos, Possessed: Hypnotic Crimes, Corporate Fiction, and the Invention of Cinema (Chicago: Chicago University of Press, 2008) and Aaron Gerow, A Page of Madness: Cinema and Modernity in 1920s Japan (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies, 2008), scope: an online journal of film and tv studies, no. 23 (2012): 27–35. 

conference proceedings

‘On Modernism as Translation’ in Japanese Literature as World Literature: A Symposium at Waseda University, ed. Michael Gardiner, Nori Morita and Annabella Massey (Tokyo: Seibunsha, 2012).  

‘Wagahai wa neko de aru satsujin jiken [The I Am a Cat Murder Mystery] as a Postmodern Sequel' in Japanese Narrativity and Poeticity Revisited, ed. Eiji Sekine, Proceedings of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies, vol. 4 (2003): 332–344. 

Keynote Addresses and Invited Lectures

‘About the Modern Girl, Again: Spectacle, Politics, Subjectivity': invited lecture, Europe–Japan Research Centre, Oxford Brookes University, 13 April 2016.

‘Modernism, Gender and Consumer Spectacle in 1920s Tokyo’: invited lecture, Cardiff University, 10 March 2016. 

‘Modernism, Gender and Consumer Spectacle in Interwar Japan’: invited lecture, University of Manchester, 4 February 2015. 

‘The City, the Cinema, the Department Store: Gender and Visuality in Interwar Japan’: keynote address, Rediscovering the Diva: Considering the Impact of Female Star Personae in Japanese Film and Visual Media, SOAS, University of London, 11 June 2013. 

‘The Department Store, The Mannequin Girl and the Politics of the Gaze in Interwar Japan’: invited lecture, Nissan Institute for Japanese Studies, University of Oxford, 17 May 2013

‘The Department Store, The Mannequin Girl and the Politics of the Gaze in Interwar Japan’: invited lecture, Japan Research Centre, SOAS, University of London, 16 January 2013.  

Selected Conference Presentations

‘Disjointed Narratives, Fractured S: Takami Jun, the Marxist as Modernist’: Tenkõ in Transwar Japan: Politics, Culture, History, workshop co-organized with Mark Williams, University of Leeds, 30 June 2017.

'About the Modern Girl, Again: Spectacle, Politics, Subjectivity': Reconsidering the Modern: City, Body and Gender in Interwar Japan, CEÉJA/University of Strasbourg, 23 March 2017.

‘For the Eyes Only: The Sensory Politics of Japanese Modernism’: Text and Film in Interaction: Japanese Studies Conference, Freie Universität Berlin, 26 Feb 2016.

‘The Sensuousness of New Sensationism and Other Modernist Myths’: The Senses in Japanese Literature and Culture, Association for Japanese Literary Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, 9 Oct 2015.

‘The Sensuousness of New Sensationism and Other Modernist Myths’: paper presenter and panel organizer (‘The Senses and the Meanings of Modernity in Late Meiji and Taisho Japan’, Association of Asian Studies, Chicago, 28 March 2015.

‘Vitalism and Technology in Japanese Literary Modernism’: paper presented at Modernism and Spectacle: annual meeting of the Modernist Studies Association, Las Vegas, 19 October 2012.  

 ‘Reproductions of the Self: Dazai Osamu’: paper presented at Technology and Japanese Literary, Film and Performance Studies, nineteenth annual meeting of the Association for Japanese Literary Studies, Yale University, 17 October 2010. 

‘Film, Fascism, Psychoanalysis: Japan, circa 1936’: paper presented at Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Approaches to Japanese Cinema, Leeds Humanities Research Institute, 10 May 2010. 

Conference Organization

‘Tenkõ in Transwar Japan: Politics, Culture, History’: 30 Jun–2 Jul 2017, Hinsley Hall, University of Leeds. An international workshop co-organized with Mark Williams and funded by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, the Daiwa Anglo-Japanese Foundation, the Japan Foundation Endowment Committee, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) and the Toshiba International Foundation. 

‘Figuring Gender in East Asian: Image–Music–Text’: 14–15 Jan 2014, University of Leeds. A PhD workshop funded by the White Rose East Asia Centre. 

Cultural Commentary/Media/Public Engagement 

‘Robotics, Science Fiction and the Search for the Perfect Artificial Woman’: The Conversation, 24 Oct 2017. Republished in EconoTimes, Yahoo!, Metro online (25 Oct 2017) and The Independent (online and i paper print edition, 2 Nov 2017).

BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking: discussing Shinkai Makoto's new animated film Your Name  (Kimi no na wa, 2016), 25 Nov 2016.

Bradford Literature Festival: moderating an event on The Tale of Genji, with Dennis Washburn, Richard Bowring and Juliet Winters Carpenter, 28 May 2016.

'World Literature: Japanese Perspectives': discussant at a public lecture by Kono Shion (Sophia University), Japan Foundation London Office, 9 Oct 2014.

'Gender and the City': panel discussion following the screening of When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Naruse Mikio, 1960), part of the Barbican season 'City Visions', 4 Oct 2014.

Research Supervision

John Harwood,  The Influence of the Life and Work of Arishima Takeo on Lu Xun (MAR, funded by a Sasakawa Postgraduate Studentship): completed

Hannah Tamura, Extending the Boundaries of Identity in the Postmodern Era: Gender, Sexuality and Love in the Early Stories of Kanai Mieko (PhD, funded by ESRC): completed. 

Victoria Young-Komatsu, Erecting Difference and Distance in the Literature of Sakiyama Tami, Yi Yang-ji and Tawada Yoko (PhD, funded by a Japan Forum PhD studentship): completed

Jane Wallace, The Role of Mainstream Media in Identity Formation among Gender Diverse Individuals in Japan (PhD, funded by ESRC)

External positions 


Japan Forum (official journal of the British Association of Japanese Studies): editorial board member 

Japan Forum: book reviews editor (2011–2014)

reader/peer reviewer

AHRC, Japan Forum, Japanese Language and Literature, Monumenta Nipponica, Nichibunken Japan Review, positions: asia critique, Routledge


Research degrees: Birkbeck College; SOAS, University of London

Masters: MA Japanese Literature and MA Comparative Literature (Japan): SOAS, University of London (2009–2013)

Undergraduate: Japanese undergraduate programmes, SOAS, University of London (2011–2015)