Dr Dorothy Finan


I teach and research about youth and the cultural industries of East Asia. I am interested in how cultural producers and consumers are connected beyond borders and media forms, and in how these different stakeholders imagine each other. I am especially interested in the digital dimensions of popular cultural industries, and in interrogating the sorts of images of young people that they reproduce. I do my best to teach these topics in a way that takes student voices into account. 

I come from an area studies background, having studied undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Japan and East Asia. I thus have working proficiency in Japanese and am used to working in an interdisciplinary way. I also used to do some Japanese to English translation, still do literary translation as a hobby, and take an active interest in intercultural communication in teaching and research. 

I am from Bradford in West Yorkshire, and am especially passionate about local widening participation work. As a doctoral student I worked hard to create and deliver taster activities for local Key Stage 3 and 4 pupils to raise aspirations, and designed a course for university access charity The Brilliant Club. I am currently a volunteer tutor for The Access Project

Research interests

My doctoral research focused on youth in Japan’s biggest-seeling genre of popular music, idol music, and used a webscraped corpus of lyrics, interviews with working lyricists, and transmedia histories to think about why stylised images of youth are so prevalent in Japanese popular cultural industries, and what this can tell us about contemporary Japan. 

I have published peer-reviewed journal articles on the “global” branding of East Asian popular music industries and on player interaction with images of female adolescence in Japanese mobile games. I have an upcoming book chapter on “divas” in Japanese popular music, and am working on a monograph related to my doctoral research. 

I am currently developing research projects on the perspectives of young women who perform virtually as “vTubers” (Virtual YouTubers), and on comparative images of adolescence in British and Japanese television dramas. I am a member of an AHRC Network Grant project on Relational Creativities, an extension of an earlier project on Informal Creative Practices in 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>


  • PhD in East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield
  • MA in Contemporary Japan, University of Sheffield
  • BA in Oriental Studies (Japanese), University of Oxford

Student education

I teach on undergraduate and taught postgraduate modules relating to global cultural industries, including Managing Festivals and Events and Cultural Policy and the Politics of Culture.