Dr Irena Hayter awarded Leverhulme Research Fellowship

Dr Hayter, Lecturer in Japanese Studies, has been awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for her project ‘Spectacular Subjects: Modernism, Gender and Visuality in Interwar Japan.

The project that has been awarded the prestigious Leverhulme Research Fellowship (February–July 2019, £32,316) is about the first cultural history of the mannequin girl, or department store fashion model, a forgotten icon of Japanese interwar modernity. Sensationalized representations in literature, film, and print media feature her as either a threatening vamp or a living doll. Dr Hayter's research will bring to light the unexamined writings of the real historical women who worked as models, in which they emerge not as passive automatons, but as self-grounded and politically conscious subjects. Through the mannequin girl, her study will rethink the role visual consume culture played in the social mobility of the women who considered themselves modern in the 1920s.