JAQS Launch!

The Initial Working Group of The Japan Association for Queer Studies (JAQS)

Members of the initial working group towards the establishment of a queer studies association are pleased to announce the formation of The Japan Association for Queer Studies (JAQS), which will be inaugurated in the autumn of 2007. The association aims to provide a forum for dialogue and the interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, in part through an annual JAQS conference and the publication of an annual refereed journal. We welcome membership from not only academics of diverse backgrounds but also from all engaged in discussions of the body, sex, sexuality, gender, and desire. Please see the JAQS website for further details and updated information on membership and forthcoming events.


The Japan Association for Queer Studies aims to provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge, information and ideas among people engaged in the academic field of queer studies. Interdisciplinary and reflexive theoretical approaches presuppose queer studies as a social and cultural project. Accordingly, the association has been established to promote the field of queer studies in its diversity across domains in the academy and beyond, and to contribute to the dissemination of scholarly findings and theories in this diverse area of study. Furthermore, the association seeks to offer a forum to bring together all involved in the various social and cultural activities surrounding queer issues.

The field of queer studies is based on and supported by a diverse background of practices that question existing norms. It analyzes the ways in which gender and sexuality relate to each other without conflating the two notions or regarding them as complementary to each other. It also examines the processes whereby socio-cultural norms have shaped conditions that naturalize specific bodies and identities. Queer studies, both theoretically and empirically, questions the ways in which socio-economic and representational power-dynamics are sustained by those norms and are complicit in subjugating certain types of race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, region, language, social status, and physicality. It also explores all possible forms of sex, body, and desire.

Queer studies is thus an academic discipline developed in collaboration with other diverse and interdisciplinary fields of activism and scholarship, such as lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender movements and feminism(s), that have likewise relentlessly challenged existing ‘sexual norms’ while shedding light on diverse gender expression and sexual practices that deviate from such norms. In this sense, queer studies joins ongoing social and cultural projects that aim to improve the quality of life for those who have been subject to legal, economic, social, and cultural oppression within the narrow definition of ‘sexual normativity’. It cannot, therefore, exist independently or without cooperation from related activities and studies.

The Japan Association for Queer Studies appreciates the hybridity and multiplicity of the critical perspectives gleaned from the diverse disciplines that constitute queer studies as well as its further development. This association hopes to promote queer studies in Japan by establishing a democratic forum for equal dialogue among participants with differing viewpoints and backgrounds.


Contact us at: www.queerjp.org (e-mail: info@queerjp.org),
or write to:
Department of Interdisciplinary Cultural Studies,
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences,
The University of Tokyo.
3-8-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8902, Japan

Members of the initial working group towards the establishment of a queer studies association are:

Ryo HIRANO (Postgraduate Student, International Christian Univ.), HORIE, Yuri (Adjunct lecturer, Hanazono Univ.), Hitoshi ISHIDA (Adjunct lecturer, Meiji Gakuin Univ.), Saori KAMANO (Senior researcher, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research), Kazuya KAWAGUCHI (Professor, Hiroshima Shudo Univ.), Kazuyoshi KAWASAKA (Postgraduate Student, International Christian Univ.), Takashi KAZAMA (Assistant professor, Chukyo Univ.), Claire MAREE (Associate professor, Tsuda College), SHIMIZU, Akiko (Associate professor, The Univ. of Tokyo), Katsuhiko SUGANUMA (PhD. Candidate, The Univ. of Melbourne), Kazuko TANAKA (Professor, International Christian Univ.), TANIGUCHI, Hiroyuki (Adjunct lecturer, Chuo Univ.)