Rosemary Overell (Otago) presented the second ‘First Friday’ seminar on ‘Queer Will’ at Deakin Downtown on 2 March 2018. Audio of Rosemary’s presentation is available for download below.

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Rosemary Overell






Listen to Rosemary Overell on ‘Queer Will’

Queer Will: hikikomori as willful subjects

This talk considers hikikomori as willful subjects. The hikikomori are a portion of the Japanese population who withdraw into their homes. These are mostly young people (between 15 and 35) and mostly young men. The focus of this talk is how hikikomori constitute a challenge to dominant national imaginaries of Japan as a ‘corporate-family system’ (Allison 2013). This article analyses popular media and psychiatric representations of hikikomori, particularly from Saitô’s (2013) work as exemplifying Ahmed’s (2014) notion of ‘willful subjects’. It is argued that the hikikomori’s apparent willfulness produces them as Queer subjects who are out of place and pace with the dominant heteronormative, masculinist culture of contemporary Japan.

About the Speaker

Dr Rosemary Overell, Otago University

Dr Rosemary Overell's Profile at the University of Otago

About the Series

Deakin University Gender and Sexuality Studies holds a public monthly seminar series on the first Friday of each month at Deakin Downtown in Melbourne’s CBD.

Find out more and register for future seminars

Monthly postgraduate masterclasses are also open to Deakin University students.

Ben Hegarty

Author Ben Hegarty

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