Mayumi Manabe will teach a course in literature, deliver a lecture for the Terasaki Center's colloquium series, and work on turning her dissertation about working-class women in interwar literature into a book.
"I have always been curious about how varied gender norms are from one culture to the next."
Mayumi Manabe will join UCLA as the 2009–10 Terasaki Post-doctoral Fellow. Manabe earned her PhD in Japanese literature from UC Irvine this past spring. She will teach a literature course in spring quarter with the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures and participate in the 2009–10 colloquium series.
Manabe is working on a book based on her dissertation, Between Fantasy and Poverty: Working-Class Women and Consumer Culture in Interwar Japanese Literature. She credits late UCLA History Professor Miriam Silverberg with sparking her interest in interwar Japanese culture, specifically the essay "The Modern Girl as Militant."
Manabe was captivated by the image of the modern girl—a stylish, frivolous consumer—at a time when the overwhelming majority of the nation's population was poor. Her book aims to bridge scholarship on Japan’s interwar consumer culture, the formation of modern womanhood and the working class.
"I became convinced that this curious coexistence of the diametric opposites was essential in the formation of modern womanhood," Manabe writes in an e-mail.
Prior to her interest in Japanese interwar culture, Manabe became interested in gender norms partly due to her experiences living in Japan, Egypt, Holland and the United States.
"Being a woman who grew up outside of her native country, I have always been curious about how varied gender norms are from one culture to the next," writes Manabe.