Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Visual Arts


Dr. John Hatch


The topic of this thesis is Japanese women artists from the contemporary period, withaparticularfocusontheworkofMiwaYanagiandYoshikoShimada. Itquestions and problematizes the position of Japanese women artists in art historical and feminist art historical scholarship. Its main concern is the absence of feminist and gender theory in the interpretation and criticism of Japanese women’s art and, the hitherto, non­ articulation of a Japanese feminist art practice. The approach taken is largely feminist in orientation, which will serve to: 1) consider culturally specific conditions for discussing a Japanese visual practice from the perspective of feminist and gender theory; and 2) speculate on gender, race, and class construction in Japan’s modem period. This thesis suggests that theories of nation, gender, class, and economy as they developed in Japan’s modem period are central to feminist evaluations of gender and power in contemporary Japanese art.



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