Julia Bullock

Associate Professor of Japanese Language and Literature

Department Chair

Modern Languages Building, 321

Office Hours: M-Th by appointment

Phone: 404-727-2168



Dr. Bullock received an M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Japanese Language and Literature from Stanford University. She specializes in modern Japanese literature from the Meiji period (beginning 1868) to the present, with additional interests in gender and sexuality, feminist theory, history, film and popular culture. She is the author of The Other Women's Lib: Gender and Body in Japanese Women's Fiction (University of Hawai'i Press, 2010). This study analyzes the work of three prominent members of the 1960s "boom" in fiction writing by Japanese women--Kono Taeko, Takahashi Takako, and Kurahashi Yumiko--as an avant-garde literary challenge to hegemonic discourses of femininity embedded in the high-growth economy of that decade. Focusing on four tropes persistently employed by these writers to protest oppressive gender stereotypes--the masculine gaze as disciplinary mechanism, feminist misogyny, "odd bodies," and female homoeroticism--the book highlights the previously unrecognized theoretical contributions of these writers to incipient "second-wave" radical feminist discourse.

She is also co-editor (with Ayako Kano and James Welker) of Rethinking Japanese Feminisms (University of Hawai’i Press, 2017). This volume is the first academic collection in English to offer a broad overview of the great diversity of feminist thought and practice in Japan from the early twentieth century to the present. It represents a collective effort by fifteen established and emerging scholars to reexamine and “rethink” feminisms in Japan, drawing on methodologies and approaches from anthropology, cultural studies, gender and sexuality studies, history, literature, media studies, and sociology. The fourteen core chapters in this volume have been organized into sections focused on Literature and the Arts, Education and Employment, Activism and Activists, and Boundary Crossing―that is, ways feminist activism and thought in Japan have transcended national and cultural borders. These chapters are contextualized by an introduction that offers historical background information on feminisms in Japan and brief section introductions that draw out how each chapter contributes to the project of rethinking Japanese feminisms. The forward-looking conclusion ties together many of the threads spun throughout the volume in its consideration of what it means to rethink Japanese feminism at this historical juncture.

Dr. Bullock is currently at work on two book projects. The first, entitled Coeds Ruining the Nation: Women, Education, and Social Change in Modern Japan (forthcoming, University of Michigan Press, 2019), explores the shifting landscape of discourses surrounding gender and sexuality in Japan during the Occupation period (1945-1952), through close scrutiny of the debates over the introduction of coeducation as part of a wave of post-WWII democratic reforms. Drawing on rare and previously unexploited archival sources at the Prange collection of the University of Maryland and the National Diet Library in Tokyo, this book analyzes the range of Japanese responses to the introduction of coeducation during the Occupation period and in the decades that followed, as seen primarily through print media. The second, tentatively entitled Beauvoir's Japanese Daughters: Postwar Japanese Feminism and The Second Sex, explores the reception of the life and work of this famous French feminist philosopher by Japanese female intellectuals, who were engaged in a similar project to interrogate or subvert the structures of gendered oppression in postwar Japanese society.

Courses Taught

JPN 101-102 First-Year Japanese

JPN 190 Freshman Seminar: Gender and Sexuality in Modern Japan

JPN 201 Second-Year Japanese

JPN 303 Reading Literature in Japanese

JPN 360 Seminar in Modern Japanese Women Writers

JPN 372 Introduction to Modern Japanese Literature

JPN 378 Postwar Japan Through Its Media

JPN 451: Great Writers of Modern Japan (Murakami Haruki)