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Beyond heteronormativity: Queer archaeology in Japan

Lecture | February 11 | 4-6 p.m. | 101 2251 College (Archaeological Research Facility)


Jun Mitsumoto, Associate Professor of Archaeology and Museum Studies, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Center for Research on the Dynamics of Civilizations, Okayama University, Japan

Archaeological Research Facility, Department of Anthropology


This presentation focuses on issues of heteronormativity in Japanese archaeology. I will start off by describing the research environment of Japanese archaeology. What I would like to consider in this section is the reason the archaeology of gender and sexuality is not popular in Japan. Then I will take up some case studies regarding same-sex relationships and cross-dressing in prehistoric and protohistoric Japan. I will explore how such practical studies can oppose heteronormative interpretations, and what new information and perspectives can be gained through a reconstruction of the past.

About the Speaker: Jun Mitsumoto is Associate Professor of Archaeology and Museum Studies, Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences, and Center for Research on the Dynamics of Civilizations, Okayama University, Japan. He received his PhD in 2004 from Okayama University. His research interests include archaeology of the Yayoi and Kofun periods, archaeology of embodiment, and archaeology of gender and sexuality, particularly queer archaeology. He has also used 3D measurements to actively conduct field surveys and excavations in the Kofun-period mounded tombs in the Okayama area (2014-2018).


arf-programs@berkeley.edu