Cross-dress boys and girlish avatars: wearing the outfits of 'shōjo' characters to become non-binary and refuse social and gender categories

16.11.2023 18:00 - 19:30

A hybrid u:japan lecture by Sharon Kinsella (University of Manchester, UK)

| Abstract |

As the final decade of pre-online mediated street culture came to an end in the early 2000s, curated interest in girls' fashions, culture and postures of defiance vanished along with street fashion and public subculture in its last stand. What arose and has taken attention in the twenty first century have been various animation, ero ge-mu, and boys' screen and bedroom cultures which have picked up and run the theme of defiance from schoolgirl actors in the media gaze of the 1990s to early 2000s.

In this lecture we will explore the combatative girl character in cross-dressed male parody of real girls, cross-dressed play and virtual shōjo avatar livestreaming. This paper will explore the transfer of bombastic girls' street style into boys parodic cross-dressing, and the re-assemblage of girls' cute aesthetics as a form of masculine virtual style and some of the underlying context for these riveting performances in social class and gender rearrangements in the late recessionary period of the 2000s.

| Bio |

Sharon Kinsella's earlier work looked at cuteness and infantilism as rebellion; the educational and class factors behind the institutional and commercial transformation of manga for adults in the 1990s; otaku subculture and Lolita complex subcultures. Sharon's second full-length book, Schoolgirls, Money and Rebellion in Japan (2014) incorporates research on girls' street styles and male journalism and an examination of the 'cult of girls' in the late 1990s to the 2010s. Sharon's most recent research focus has been on the rise of female cross dress amongst younger men in the 2010s. In this research phase she has written 3 articles and made a collaborative film, Josō, exploring the political-economic and social class factors surrounding cross-dress fashion and cuteness for men (otoko no ko) in Tokyo.

| Date & Time |

u:japan lecture | s07e05
Thursday 2023-11-16, 18:00~19:30
max. 50 participants (on site) + max. 300 participants (online) 

Place & Preparations | 

| Plattform & Link |
Meeting ID: 621 9880 8249 | Passcode: 158691

Instructions and Netiquette (in English and German)
How to join a lecture via Zoom Meeting (in English)
Frequently Asked Questions (in English)

| Further Questions? |

Please contact or visit


Department of East Asian Studies - Japanese Studies

Seminarraum 1 (Hof 2, Tür 2.4, EG)