Dr Irena Hayter

Dr Irena Hayter

Research interests

I hold MA degrees in Japanese studies and cultural studies from the universities of Sofia and Kyoto, and a PhD in modern Japanese literature from SOAS, University of London. I teach and conduct research on Japanese cinema, literature and cultural history. Situated at the intersection of these fields, my work combines theoretical inquiry with historically grounded textual readings. I examine cultural production during the interwar years, Japan’s first media age, tracing how urban and technological change affected the political domain and especially the formations of gender and subjecitvity.

Selected invited lectures and conference papers (2015-present)

(2021) ‘The Disjointed Narratives and Fractured Subjects of Takami Jun’, paper presented at the conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies, Ghent (online)

(2021) ‘Fascism and The Mannequin Girl’: paper presented at the workshop ‘Gendering Fascism: Imaginaries, Media, Technologies’, University of Düsseldorf (online)

(2019) ‘Twenty Degrees of Freedom, or Why Do Roboticists Dream of Synthetic Women’:invited lecture, ERC-funded project ‘Emotional Machines’, Freie Universität Berlin

(2019) ‘Mannequins, Movies and Mass Culture’: paper present at AAS Denver.

(2018) ‘Phantasmatic Projections: The Film Star and the Fashion Model’: paper presented at BAJS conference.

(2017) ‘Disjointed Narratives, Fractured Selves: Takami Jun, the Marxist as Modernist’: paper presented at the workshop ‘Tenkô in Trans-war Japan: Culture, Politics, History’.

(2016) ‘About the Modern Girl, Again: Spectacle, Politics, Subjectivity’: invited lecture, Oxford Brookes University.

(2016) ‘For the Eyes Only: The Sensory Politics of Japanese Modernism’: paper presented at ‘Text and Film in Interaction: Japanese Studies Conference’, Freie Universität Berlin.

(2015) ‘Modernism, Gender and Consumer Spectacle in 1920s Tokyo’: invited lectures at Cardiff University and the University of Manchester.

(2015) ‘The Sensuousness of New Sensationism and Other Modernist Myths’: paper presented at AAS Chicago.

Workshops and conference panels organised

(2023) ‘Allegories of Modernity: Discourses of Artificial Life in Japan 1992-1953’ European Association of Japanese Studies, University of Ghent (forthcoming)

(2018) ‘Images, Commodities, Embodied Women: Film Stars and the Spectacle of Japanese Modernity 1926–1936’: panel at BAJS conference.

(2018) ‘The Senses and the Meanings of Modernity in East Asia, 1890–1945 and beyond’: a workshop at SOAS, University of London.

(2017) ‘Tenkô in Trans-War Japan: Politics, Culture, History’: an international workshop at the University of Leeds, co-organised with Mark Williams.

(2015) ‘The Senses and the Meanings of Modernity in Late Meiji and Taisho Japan’: panel at AAS Chicago.

Research Projects

The Senses and the Meanings of Modernity in East Asia 

Spectacular Subjects: Modernism, Gender and Visuality in Interwar Japan 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Professional memberships

  • British Association for Japanese Studies
  • European Association for Japanese Studies
  • Association for Asian Studies
  • Modern Japan History Association

Student education

My teaching focuses on Japanese film, literature and cultural history.  I contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching at all levels across the School and Faculty.

Research groups and institutes

  • Centre for World Cinemas and Digital Cultures
  • Japanese
  • Centre for World Literatures
  • Gender
  • Cinema and Television
  • History
  • Literary studies
  • East Asian Studies
  • Asia Pacific Studies
  • Digital Cultures

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>