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Gender, Sexuality, Okinawa

March 30th 2024, 10AM – 4PM, Ahmadieh Family Conference Hall (Room 240) John Hope Franklin Center, Duke University

This workshop will focus on what approaches to gender and sexuality can tell us about Okinawa and what approaches to Okinawa can tell us about gender and sexuality. As a colonized and occupied space, Okinawa existed and continues to exist at a nodal point in-between Japanese and American Empires, and the specifically gendered and sexualized relations between Okinawans, Japanese, and Americans have profound impacts on everyday life and political possibility for people living in Okinawa. As modes of connection, identification, and expression, gender and sexuality have a lot to tell us about the ways that the people in these spaces interact, and what links can be made between Okinawa and other spaces.

This workshop will bring together scholars working on Okinawa from multiple disciplines, including literature, anthropology, history, and drawing from transnational, postcolonial, indigenous, feminist and queer approaches. Presenters will talk about their own work, engage with one another’s work through questions and discussion, and will discuss the future of scholarship on Okinawa.

This workshop is open to all, and participation from the wider community both inside and outside academia is very welcome.

Potential subjects of discussion include sexual violence, women’s participation in protest movements, the intimate and the everyday, interracial relationships and children, queer futurity and protest, militarization, bodies and pleasures, and indigenous practices.


H Yumi Kim (Johns Hopkins University)

Daryl Maude (Duke University)

Chris T Nelson (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Annmaria Shimabuku (New York University)



Ahmadieh Family Conference Hall (Room 240)

John Hope Franklin Center

2204 Erwin Road
Durham, NC 27708



09:30-10:00am: Coffee

10:00-10:15: Welcoming remarks, presenter introductions

10:15-12:15pm: 15-minute statements from presenters, responses and questions

12:15-1:15: Lunch (NB! For lunch, please fill in the following form and we’ll do our best to accommodate you!)

1:15-2:30: Open discussion

2:30-3:00: Coffee Break

3:00-4:00: Reflection, dreaming, synthesis: participants sharing something they have learned, a way their thinking has changed, a new avenue for their work, possibilities for future events


For more information, email Daryl Maude: daryl.maude [at]


Images are diagrams of hajichi (ハジチ), tattoos traditionally worn by Okinawan women. Taken from Nihon chiri fūzoku taikei [“Series on Japanese Regional Customs”] vol. 12, published by Shinkōsha, 1929. 「日本地理風俗大系」第12巻、新光社、1929年。