Past Event! Note: this event has already taken place.

Male Gaze or Lesbian Gaze? The Photos and Writing of Kiyooka Sumiko.

February 27, 2018 at 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Location:4th floor Paterson Hall

Poster showing Dr. James Walker and two photos of Kiyooka SumikoFebruary 27th 2-4pm
History Department
4th Floor Paterson Hall

Between 1968 and 1973, Kiyooka published no fewer than eight books that variously contained photography, non-fiction, prose fiction, and poetry depicting lesbian lives, books that formed part of a “lesbian boom” in the Japanese media. Kiyooka’s non-fiction and early lesbian photography in particular document and offer a practical guide to contemporary lesbian life in Japan and beyond, including Korea, Vietnam, and Okinawa. She also draws on lesbian history focused on ancient Greece, Japan, and elsewhere to make utopian claims about the future for lesbians in Japan and globally. Yet, perhaps owing to her work’s androcentric appeal and sometimes salacious tone, Kiyooka has been absent from lesbian histories by members of the community.
Dr. James Welker of Kanagawa University will contextualize Kiyooka’s contribution to non-fiction and photography and shed light on why she has not been claimed as a pioneering lesbian
photographer, writer, and activist in Japan.