Dr Dorothy Finan publishes chapter in new edited volume on “Divas”
The chapter is a study of the era-defining qualities of Japanese pop diva Amuro Namie.
The volume, edited by Professor Kirsty Fairclough, Dr Benjamin Halligan, Professor Nicole Hodges Persley and Dr Shara Rambarran, explores “the diva phenomenon and its origins” around the world, especially its connections to hip-hop and black women’s performance of diva-hood.
The neoliberal dreams of a generation
Dr Dorothy Finan’s contribution in chapter seven considers the career and legacy of the Japanese pop singer Amuro Namie, a former child star who synthesised hip-hop and R’n’B into fashion-conscious pop from the 1990s to the 2010s. One of the first Japanese pop singers to return to her career after having a child, her evolving control of her image and performance made her into a post-feminist icon.
Dr Finan argues that because Amuro’s career so neatly spans the reign of Japan’s last emperor, the now-retired singer has become an epochal diva figure, embodying the neoliberal dreams of a generation of women.
Dr Finan also explores how Amuro has collaborated with writers, choreographers and performers from East Asia to the US and considers her oftentimes fraught engagement with the black woman musicians from whom she takes her inspiration.
The volume has been promoted through a recent event at the V&A South Kensington.