Dr. Mayumi Manabe
2009-2010 Postdoctoral Fellow

Mayumi Manabe joined UCLA as the 2009–10 Terasaki Postdoctoral Fellow. Manabe earned her PhD in Japanese literature from UC Irvine. She taught a literature course on “Love in Modern Japan.” and participated in the 2009–10 colloquium series. Manabe's dissertation was entitled "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. 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 my native country, I have always been curious about how varied gender norms are from one culture to the next."