Dr Masafumi Monden

BA, MA with distinction, PhD (University of Technology Sydney)
Honorary Research Associate

A18 - Brennan MacCallum Building
The University of Sydney


Biographical details

Masafumi Monden is an emerging fashion and cultural studies scholar specializing in contemporary culture and Japanese studies. He lectures and publishes widely in the areas of men’s and women’s clothing, Japan, art, youth and popular culture. His first book, Japanese Fashion Cultures: Dress and Gender in Contemporary Japan (Bloomsbury Academic 2015) is an imaginative interdisciplinary study analysing the relationship between the aesthetics of fashion and gender identity within contemporary Japan, and their relevance within an interconnected, transcultural world. He is a Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Fellow 2016-17, and currently conducting research on fashion, body and male identity in contemporary Japan.

Trained in four different disciplines at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels (Humanities, Communication, Media and Cultural Studies, and Design), Dr Monden uses visual sources, texts, and empirical evidences to examine material cultures of everyday as embodiments of social, cultural, and historical expressions. He is a native of Tokyo and is fluent in both English and Japanese.

Research interests

  • Media and Cultural Studies/ Japan
  • Fashion and Dress Studies
  • Youth Culture, Body and Self-hood
  • Construction and Cultural Conception of “Girlhood” and “Boyhood”
  • Gender and Conceptualization and Depiction of “Emerging Adulthood” in Popular Culture
  • Social Media, Body Politics and the Working of Visuality
  • Intercultural Interaction and Communication

Teaching and supervision

  • Writing research in Design and Fashion Studies
  • Fashion in Media
  • Gender and Culture
  • Japanese Youth and Popular Culture
  • Japanese Fashion Cultures
  • Fashion, Gender and Identity
  • Dress and the Body
  • Cultural Globalization

Current projects

Dr Monden’s research interests all explore aspects of Japan in relationship with society, gender, popular culture, body and identity and the media. His first book Japanese Fashion Culturesis an imaginative interdisciplinary study analysing the relationship between the aesthetics of fashion and gender identity within contemporary Japan, and its relevance to an interconnected, transcultural world. The book advances a critical dialogue on the universal theme of youth, gender, and corporeality. It questions the established view of cultural globalisation as Euro-centric or one-way process, and of fashion practice as mainly a female gendered process. The book’s distinctiveness lies in its argument that the lens of fashion enables new insights into the complexities of gender relations in Japan, which also throw a light onto other cultures including Australia.

Building on this research, his project for The Japan Foundation’s Japanese Studies Fellowship 2016-17, titled ‘Fashion, Body and Male Identity in Contemporary Japan: A Cultural Investigation’, examines the inter-relationshipof Japanese fashion and contemporary Japanese men as a social, aesthetic and mindful concept. Dress and its relationship to the body play a crucial role in the construction of images and the workings of visuality. This project will create a new perspective that brings together sets of knowledge and discourses concerning Japanese men, society, leisure, body, and self-hood. This research on Japanese youthful masculinity, body and culture will form part of a larger book project. Its second phase will be on the nexus of femininity, visuality and identity.

He has been invited to speak at national and international symposiums including the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology Annual Symposium, New York (2010, 2012, 2014). Dr Monden has been assisting a number of research projects, which include Prof. Jim Macnamara and A/Prof. Roger Dunston (both at University of Technology Sydney)’s project ‘Improving Breast Screening Rates for Indian and Sri Lankan Women in NSW' (2014), Prof. Peter McNeil (University of Technology Sydney/Stockholm University)'s HERA funded project (UK, 2013), Prof. Mark McLelland’s ARC project ‘Love, Sex and Democracy in Japan during the American Occupation,’ University of Wollongong, and Associate Professor Meredith Jones' project ‘Transformations in Travel: Australians and Cosmetic Surgery Tourism’ (UTS, 2009).

Associations

International Researcher, 2016-17
Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies
University of Tokyo

Awards and honours

The Japan Foundation Japanese Studies Fellow 2016-17

In the media

2016 Media Appearance, Interview and adviser, ‘Japan's "Genderless Kei" Trend Is About So Much More Than Just Fashion’,byEllen Freeman, Refinery 29, June 22 (http://www.refinery29.com/2016/06/113884/japanese-fashion-kei-agender)

2015 Research Adviser, Rachel Hunter’s Tour of Beauty Episode 10 –Japan (October 28), Television New Zealand (TVNZ)

2010 Media Appearance, Tokyo Fashion Express, NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) World (interviewed November 5)

Manuscript reviewer: Bloomsbury Academic, Japanese Studies,Asian Anthropology, M/C Journal, New Voices(Japan Foundation), Fashion Theory, East Asian Journal of Popular Culture.

Selected publications

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Books

  • Monden, M. (2015). Japanese Fashion Cultures: Gender and Dress in Contemporary Japan. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Journals

  • Fraser, L., Monden, M. (2017). The Maiden Switch: New Possibilities for Understanding Japanese Shojo Manga (Girls' Comics). Asian Studies Review, 41(4), 544-561. [More Information]

2017

  • Fraser, L., Monden, M. (2017). The Maiden Switch: New Possibilities for Understanding Japanese Shojo Manga (Girls' Comics). Asian Studies Review, 41(4), 544-561. [More Information]

2015

  • Monden, M. (2015). Japanese Fashion Cultures: Gender and Dress in Contemporary Japan. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

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