October 20th, 2010

pulp: don't even talk to me

(no subject)

So, I've been trying to think of more dissertation ideas, and I've thought of three so I'm going to try and grab a prof. tomorrow or Friday who specialises in the subject and ask what they think. During my Japanese lit. class today, the topic of dissertations came up (...some of us were complaining) and our teacher was like 'well, he's not a specialist on Japan, I don't understand how he can say yes or no to some of these' and when a couple of us offered examples of what he'd rejected, she was just like '...yeah, I don't see how those aren't topics.'

But hey, what can you do?

#1 Romanticisation/fetishization of history.
Obviously, on a larger scale, there's the complete glossing over of WWII and the atrocities committed as a part of that (and the whole textbook debacle) that Japan is infamous for, but on a lesser scale, there's the rise of レキジョ in recent years. I'm not sure if there's a 'question' in there, but it's something to ask about. A friend mentioned about cults (for example, the dragon princess thing) and suggested possibly linking them, so it's something to think about?

#2 Discrimination in Japan, particularly towards individuals who don't fit into the heteronormative ideal? I mean, like, as a whole MtF isn't hugely accepted, and yet Haruna Ai is really popular, right? And going back, Japan has a rich history of men crossdressing for the arts, be it born out of a desire or need to stop prostitution (kabuki, not that it helped) and so on and so forth, and the existence of okama bars, and how accepted they may or may not be.

#3 Isn't something I'm completely sold on doing, but feminism and women's rights in Japan and the western influence on it? Like, compare the relative attitude of and towards feminism pre- and post-restoration, and also pre- and post-WWII with the American occupation and how the west has (or hasn't, as it may well be) affected the rise of feminism. I mean, I know there are clauses in contracts with certain companies that effectively limit the wages and positions of female employees (I can't remember the term for it unfortunately 8() and yeah. I don't know. Of the three, this does feel like the more viable topic though? To me, at least, although at least two of the other topics I threw at him on Monday felt viable to me, so who am I to say.

Ahaha, and I just checked the specialisations of a couple of the teachers, and you know how he rejected the ideas on the link of pop culture and international relations? S.K specialises in "The emerging power of the East Asian Actors in international development", and as for left wing politics in Japan and its popularity/lack of, I.H specialises in "Cultural theory, especially psychoanalysis and Marxism."

Just. I don't even know, man. I know he 'knows what he's doing', but it really doesn't feel like it, you know?