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Prof. Dr. Andrea Germer

Andrea Germer

Chair Modern Japanese Studies I

Prof. Dr. Andrea Germer
Building: 24.21
Floor/Room: 04.68
+49 211 81-15159
+49 211 81-14714


The Chair of Modern Japanese Studies I is affiliated with The Women's & Gender Research Network NRW (North Rhine-Westphalia) and combines research and teaching in cultural studies and gender studies. Historical studies of culture, media and gender as well as contemporary issues in sexualities and popular culture provide innovative avenues to understanding Japan’s cultural, societal and socio-economic development and interdependencies as well as its role in Asia and the world. The following thematic clusters envelop the main foci in our research and teaching: 20th century print media, photography and the modernisation of vision; visual propaganda in World War II; (popular) culture and gender; global circulations: anime and manga; sexual minorities in Japan/Asia.


Curriculum Vitae

since 2017 Chair of Modern Japanese Studies I, Duesseldorf University, Germany
2014 Awarded with the Penny Kanner Prize for the article titled “Visible Cultures, Invisible Politics: Propaganda in the Magazine Nippon Fujin, 1942-1945”, published in Japan Forum, 25, 4 (2013), pp. 505–539.
2011–2017 Associate Professor, Faculty of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
2010–2011 Japan Foundation Senior Research Fellow, Hiroshima University, Japan
2010 Visiting Scholar at the Cluster of Excellence ‘Asia and Europe’, Karl Jaspers Centre, Heidelberg University, Germany
2007–2010 Lecturer in Japanese Studies, Head of East Asian Studies Section, School of Modern Languages, Newcastle University, United Kingdom
2006–2007 Adjunct Lecturer, Temple University, Tōkyō, Japan
2001–2007 Research Fellow, German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ), Tōkyō, Japan
2001 PhD (summa cum laude) in East Asian Studies (Japanese Studies), Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany
2000–2001 Language Teacher, Academy for Euro-Asian Economy and Culture, Achern, Germany
1995–1996 Fellow of the Women’s Studies Network of North Rhine-Westphalia, Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany



Gendering Fascism: Visual Propaganda in Wartime Japan

undefinedDFG funded (2018–2021, No. 398020202)

This project is an empirical and theoretical inquiry into the gendered aesthetics of propaganda in Japanese illustrated magazines that targeted overseas and domestic audiences during the Fifteen-Year War (1931–1945). Propaganda magazines contributed to the making of a fascist imaginary while also sharing in the transcultural trajectories of modernist aesthetics of the time. This project traces the gendered and transcultural iconographies of cutting-edge photographic propaganda magazines and relates them to their contemporary European, Soviet and US-American models and counterparts. Theory-driven research into the gendered and sexualized fantasies of European fascisms and their mediated visual constructions call for corresponding investigations into the gendering of fascism in the Japanese case.

The chosen samples for this investigation are the overseas magazines NIPPON, FRONT and Manshū Gurafu, and the domestic magazines Shashin Shūhō and Hōdō Shashin.  Some had particularly high circulation and close government ties while others can be seen as trailblazing modern propaganda methods. The analysis of these magazines revolves around the ways in which visual presentations of gender in particular, but also of race, ethnicity, culture and other categories of differentiation were employed to ‘write’ a multi-faceted and sometimes contradictory fascist ‘script’. Drawing on theories and research both in Japanese and European histories of fascisms, this qualitative media analysis links the relations of a) fascism and modernity, and b) propaganda and visuality, to the ways in which ideologies were visually constructed and transmitted through intersecting categories of differentiation (gender, race, culture).

This project aims to:

  1. identify media and communication strategies in visual propaganda;
  2. theorize gendered representations in the course of the escalating war; and
  3. provide an intersectional discussion of the findings in conjunction with theories of fascism, race, visuality and gender.


Genders & Sexualities: East Asia & Europe Network (GSN)

Funded by DFG and the East Asia Foundation of Heinrich-Heine Universität Düsseldorf

New approaches of Queer Studies are developing in various regions of the world with a wide range of scholars offering different and intersectional perspectives. In the past few years, theoretical and empirical studies that developed in Asia, Africa or Eastern Europe have been connecting postcolonial theories with ethno-sexual and human rights questions in new ways. “Asia is Burning“, proclaimed Howard Chiang & Alvin K. Wong in 2017 as they discussed their concept of “Queer Asia”. Suggesting a queer paradigm for the region that does not only refer to sexualities but helps to question any categorical national and cultural border lines, they present a perspective that allows us to see transnational aspects of every region and society and their relations with each other. Our aim at the Department of Modern Japanese Studies in Düsseldorf is also to combine questions of genders and sexualities with transnational and transcultural perspectives.

The team of Modern Japanese Studies I organized the Symposium “Queerying Japan” (6-7 July 2018). This symposium in Düsseldorf was the first such scholarly meeting and conference that was dedicated to transnational German-Japanese Queer Studies—a still narrow focus that the organisers aim to open up to encompass other countries in East Asia and Europe. At this event, participants and organisers agreed to form a network that was then coined “Genders & Sexualities: East Asia & Europe Network” (GSN). This will hopefully become one starting point for East Asian Studies to take the issues of sexual minorities seriously, and to grasp the opportunity that the “queerying” paradigm provides for the transcultural, social and political sciences in Europe and East Asia.

In the closed sessions of the Symposium “Queerying Japan”, its participants explored future opportunities for networking and research. The following themes and clusters were taken up as research topics that would yield valuable insights into the state and politics of queer lives in East Asia and Europe: backlash and countermeasures, translation politics and access to knowledge, aging and death, the marketability of queerness, sexual citizenship, and family. As joint projects, the participants discussed various possibilities: transnational studies on elections and social consciousness among/toward LGBTIQ persons, educational cooperation (video conferences/joint lectures), translation projects, and the sharing of materials for LGBTIQ education.
As part of the Genders & Sexualities Network, two panels were held at the German Japanology Conference in Berlin (30 August 2018) and one panel at the NEW TERRAINS IN ASIAN HUMANITIES Conference at Kyushu University (22 September 2018); we also discussed ”Queer Japan“ at the Gender Workshop that is held in conjunction with the annual Conference of the Association for Social Science Research on Japan (Vereinigung für Sozialwissenschaftliche Japanforschung, VSJF) in Berlin (22-23 November 2018). In 2019, we organized five panels at the European Conference on Politics & Gender (Amsterdam, 4.–6. Juli 2019) and at the International Convention of Asia Scholars (Leiden, 16.–19. Juli 2019).




(2003) Historische Frauenforschung in Japan – Die Rekonstruktion der Vergangenheit in Takamure Itsues „Geschichte der Frau“ (Josei no rekishi) [Women’s History in Japan – The Reconstruction of the Past in Takamure Itsue’s “A History of Woman“ (Josei no rekishi)]. Munich: iudicium.

(In preparation)  Transcultural Dynamics of Modernist Vision (Monograph).


Edited Books

(2014) [with Vera Mackie and Ulrike Wöhr] Gender, Nation, and State in Modern Japan. London; New York: RoutledgeCurzon.

(2004) [with Andreas Moerke] Japanstudien 16: Grenzgänge – (De-)Konstruktion kollektiver Identitäten in Japan. [Crossing Borders – (De-)Construction of Collective Identities in Japan]. Munich: iudicium.

(1996) [with Ilse Lenz and Brigitte Hasenjürgen] Wechselnde Blicke – Frauenforschung in internationaler Perspektive. [Exchanging Views. Women’s Studies in International Perspective]. Opladen: Leske and Budrich.


Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals

(2017) [with Rafael V. Martins and Tianqi Zhang]: A ‘Japanese’ Cinema of Reassurance: Queering, Passing – and Reifying Normativity in Hosoda Mamoru’s Wolf Children. In: ejcjs 17, 2, online from 27 August 2017.

(2017) [with Shiro Yoshioka] Romantic Love and the ‘Housewife Trap’: A Gendered Reading of The Cat Returns. In: Japanese Studies 38, online from 3 July 2017.

(2015): Adapting Russian Constructivism and Socialist Realism: The Japanese Overseas Propaganda Photo Magazine FRONT (1942-1945). In: Zeithistorische Forschung/Studies in Contemporary History 12, 2, pp. 236-263.
(2013) Japanese Feminists after Versailles: Between the State and the Ethnic Nation. In: The Journal of Women’s History, 25, 3 (fall), pp. 92-115.

(2013) Visible Cultures, Invisible Politics: Propaganda in the Magazine Nippon Fujin, 1942-1945. In: Japan Forum, 25, 4, pp. 505-539.

(2012) Artists and Wartime Agency: Natori Yōnosuke – A Japanese Riefenstahl? In: Contemporary Japan 24, 1 (April), pp. 21-50.

(2011) Visual Propaganda in Wartime East Asia: The Case of Natori Yōnosuke. In: The Asia-Pacific Journal 9, 20, 3 (May 16).
(2007) Staat, Nation und Familie: Zum Verhältnis von Nationalstaat und Feminismus in Japan, 1918-1945 [State, Nation and Family: On the Relationship between the Nation-State and Feminism in Japan, 1918 – 1985]. In: Japanstudien 19, pp. 21-47.

(2006) “The Inner and the Outer Domain”: Sexuality and the Nation-State in Feminist Historiography in Japan. In: Social Science Japan Journal 9, 1, pp. 51-72.

(2003) Feminist History in Japan: National and International Perspectives. In: Intersections: Gender, History and Culture in the Asian Context 9, (August).


Articles in Books and Journals

(Forthcoming) “How shall we live?“ An Introduction to Takamure Itsue. In: Takamure Itsue. Translations by Yasuko Sato. Foreword by Carol Gluck. New York: Columbia University Press.

(2018) [with R. Ogawa] Japan: Gender Studies in Transnational Perspective. In: Kortendiek Beate, Brigitte Riegraf and Katja Sabisch (eds.): Handbuch Interdisziplinäre Geschlechterforschung/ Compendium of Interdisciplinary Gender Studies and Gender Research. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

(2017) Shared Origins, Shared Outomes? Transcultural Trajectories of Germany and Japan During the Asia-Pacific War. In: Stolte, Carolien and Yoshi Kikuchi (eds.): Eurasian Encounters: Intellectual and Cultural Exchanges, 1900-1950. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, pp. 231-256.

(2016) [Gerumā, Andorea] アジアとの関係を中心におくこと[Ajia to no kankei o chūshin ni oku koto; Placing relations to Asia at the centre]. In: Takao, Kikue (ed.): Hibaku 70nen jendā fōramu in Hiroshima (Zenkiroku): Hiroshima to iu shiza no kanōsei wo hiraku. Hiroshima: Hiroshima Joseigaku Kenkyūjo, pp. 343-366. 

(2014) ‘Sometimes You Have to Create Your Own History’: The Watermelon Woman and Historiographical Theory. In: Bulletin of the Graduate School of Social and Cultural Studies, Kyushu University 21, 1-2, pp. 47-56.

(2014) [with V.Mackie und U.Wöhr]: Gender, Nation and State in Modern Japan: An Introduction. In: Germer, Andrea, Vera Mackie and Ulrike Woehr (eds.): Gender, Nation and State in Modern Japan. London, New York: Routledge, pp.1-24.

(2014) An Introduction to Iijima Aiko’s ‘My View of Feminism’. In: Germer, Andrea, Vera Mackie and Ulrike Wӧhr (eds.): Gender, Nation and State in Modern Japan. London, New York: Routledge.

(2014) [Gerumā, Andorea]ドイツ語における日本女性史の研究Doitsugo ni okeru Nihon joseishi no kenkyū [Japanese Women’s History Research in German]. Translated by Himeoka Toshiko. In: Joseishi bunken mokuroku. Tokyo: Tōkyō Daigaku Shuppankai.

(2013) Kunst und Politik: Transkulturelle Flows in visueller Propaganda [Art and Politics: Transcultural Flows in Visual Propaganda]. In: Ostasiatische Zeitschrift [East Asian Journal], 26, pp. 37-47.

(2008) [Gerumā, Andorea] 男女平等とワーク・ライフ・バランス ― ドイツにおける社会変化と少子化問題 Danjo byōdo to wāku raifu baransu: Doitsu ni okeru shakai henka, shōshika mondai (Gender Inequalities and Work-life Balance: Social Change and Low Fertility in Germany). Together with Barbara Holthus. WP 08/1. Tokyo: Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien. 36 pp.

(2006) Historische Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung: Von der Matriarchatsforschung zur transnationalen Geschlechtergeschichte [Women’s and Gender History: From Studies in Matriarchy to Transnational Gender History]. In: Krämer, Hans Martin; Tino Schölz and Sebastian Conrad (eds.): Geschichtswissenschaft in Japan. Themen, Ansätze und Theorien [Historical Sciences in Japan. Topics, Approaches, and Theories]. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, pp.161-187.

(2006) Feminist Thought and Women’s History in Japan: The Case of Takamure Itsue. In: Baxter, James (ed.): Historical Consciousness, Historiography, and Modern Japanese Values. Kyoto: International Research Center for Japanese Studies, pp. 247-261.

(2004) Grenzgänge – Zur (De-)Konstruktion kollektiver Identitäten in Japan. Eine Hinleitung. [Crossing Borders – On the (De-)Construction of Collective Identities in Japan. An Introduction]. In: Japanstudien 16. Munich: iudicium, pp. 11–24.

(2001) Geschlechtliche und kulturelle Dimensionen von Geschichtsschreibung: Takamure Itsues Geschichte der Frau (1954–1958). [Gendered and Cultural Dimensions of Historiography: Takamure Itsue’s History of Woman (1954–1958)]. In: Gössmann, Hilaria; Mrugalla, Andreas (eds.): 11. Deutschsprachiger Japanologentag in Trier 1999. Bd.1 [Proceedings of the 11th German Language Conference of Japanese Studies in Trier 1999]. Münster, Hamburg, London: LIT, pp. 87–102.

(2000) Continuity and Change in Japanese Feminist Magazines: Fujin sensen (1930–31) and Onna erosu (1973–82). In: Wöhr, Ulrike; Barbara Hamill-Sato and Suzuki Sadami (eds.): Gender and Modernity: Rereading Japanese Women’s Magazines. Kyoto: Nichibunken, pp. 101–130.

(2000) ‘Im Anfang war die Frau die Sonne’. Frauenbewegung und Historische Frauenforschung in Japan. [’In the Beginning Woman Was the Sun’. The Women’s Movement and Women’s History in Japan]. In: diskus, 10, pp. 16–23.

(1998) Liebe, Natur und Politik: Kontroversen in der ersten japanischen Frauenbewegung. [Love, Nature, and Politics: Controversies in the First Japanese Women’s Movement]. In: Derichs, Claudia and Anja Osiander (eds.): Soziale Bewegungen in Japan [Social Movements in Japan]. Hamburg: OAG, pp. 115–138.

(1996) Genesis der Liebe – die sozialphilosophischen und feministischen Anschauungen Takamure Itsues. [Genesis of Love – The Feminist Social Philosophy of Takamure Itsue]. In: Bochumer Jahrbuch zur Ostasienforschung 20 [Yearbook of East Asian Studies Bochum], pp. 120–186.

(1996) Die neue Weiblichkeit: Takamure Itsues gynozentrischer Feminismus in den zwanziger Jahren. [The New Femininity: Takamure Itsue’s Gynocentric Feminism of the 1920s]. In: Lenz, Ilse and Mae Michiko (eds.): Bilder, Wirklichkeit, Zukunftsentwürfe: Geschlechterverhältnisse in Japan [Images, Reality, Visions of the Future: Gender Relations in Japan]. Düsseldorf: Ostasien-Institut, pp. 103–126.

Reviews and Review Articles

(2015): Burns, Susan L. and Barbara J. Brooks: Gender and Law in the Japanese Imperium. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2014. In: Japan Forum 4 (November).

(2012) Shigematsu, Setsu: Scream from the Shadows: The Women’s Liberation Movement in Japan. Minneapolis: Minnesota University Press, 2012. In: Japan Forum 24, 4 (November).

(2005) Fuess, Harald: Divorce in Japan: Family, Gender, and the State, 1600–2000. Stanford University Press, 2004. In: Japanstudien 17, pp. 285-291.

(2005) Tomida, Hiroko: Hiratsuka Raichō and Early Japanese Feminism. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2004. In: Monumenta Nipponica 60, 2, pp. 269-272.

(2004) Ueno, Chizuko: Nationalism and Gender. Melbourne: Trans Pacific Press, 2004. In: Asian Studies Review 28, 4 (December).

(2004) Mackie, Vera: Feminism in Modern Japan: Citizenship, Embodiment and Sexuality. Cambridge University Press, 2003. In: Pacific Affairs, 77, 1 (Spring), pp. 127–128.

(2004) Seifert, Wolfgang; Wuthenow, Asa-Bettina (eds.): Anbauten Umbauten: Beiträge zur Japanforschung. [Extensions Reconstructions. Essays in Japanese Studies]. Munich: iudicium, 2003. In: DIJ Newsletter 22 (June), pp. 6–7.

(2003) [Review article] Das Leiden an der Kultur. [Suffering from Culture]. In: Japanstudien 15, pp. 326–336.

Graefe, Ayako: Doitsu no haha o kaigo shite. [Caring for my German Mother-in- Law]. Tokyo: Chūkō Bunko, 1999.

Neumann, Christoph: Darum nerven Japaner: Der ungeschminkte Wahnsinn des japanischen Alltags. [Why Japanese Annoy: The Unvarnished Craze of Everyday Life in Japan]. Frankfurt am Main: Eichborn, 2002.

Coulmas, Florian: Die Deutschen schreien: Von einem, der aus dem Land des Lächelns kam. [Germans Are Yelling: From Someone Who Came from a Country where People Smile]. Hamburg: Rowohlt, 2001.

(2002) Katō Shūichi: Närrische Gedanken am Abend. Essays zu japanischer Kultur, Politik und Zeitgeschichte [Foolish Thoughts at Night Time. Essays on Japanese Culture, Politics and Contemporary History]. Böhling, Frank (ed.). Munich: iudicium. In: DIJ Newsletter 16 (June), pp. 5–6.

(1998) Lenz, Ilse; Mae, Michiko (eds.): Getrennte Welten – Gemeinsame Moderne. Geschlechterverhältnisse in Japan. [Separate Worlds–Joint Modernity. Gender Relations in Japan]. In: metis. Zeitschrift für historische Frauenforschung und feministische Praxis [metis. Journal of Women’s History and Feminist Practice] 14, pp. 122–126.

Other academic publications and translations

(In Vorbereitung) [Translation]: Kakefuda Hiroko: Wer ist eine Lesbe? [Resubian to wa dareka/ Who is a Lesbian?]. In: Mae, Michiko and Ilse Lenz (eds): Die Frauenbewegung in Japan [The women‘s movement in Japan]. Springer Verlag.

(2019) [Translation & Afterword] Linda de Haan: ランスとロットのさがしものRansu to Rotto no sagashimono [Lance & Lot zoeken zich rot]. Tokyo: Potto Shuppan. Together with MANO Yutaka.

(2018) [Conference report]  Genders & Sexualities: East Asia & Europe Network: Bericht zum Auftaktsymposium „Queerying Japan“. In: Journal Netzwerk Frauen- und Geschlechterforschung NRW 43, pp.71-72.

(2015b) [Translation]: Linda de Haan and Stern Nijland: 王さまと王さま Ōsama to Ōsama [King and King]. Tokyo: Potto Shuppan. Together with MANO Yutaka.

(2015a) [Conference article] 多様性共存の可能性―ジェンダー・セクシュアリティ・クィアの観点から Exploring Diversity and Coexistence: Gender, Sexuality and Queerness. Together with MANO Yutaka. In: Joseigaku Nenpō 36, pp. 204-220.

(2014) [Conference report] 第7回地球社会統合科学セミナー:多様性共存の可能性―ジェンダー・セクシュアリティ・クィアの観点から [The 7th Seminar of the Faculty of Integrated Sciences for Global Society: Exploring Diversity and Coexistence: Gender, Sexuality and Queerness]. Together with MANO Yutaka. In: クロスオーバCrossover, pp. 22-23.

(2014) [Annotated translation] Iijima Aiko: ‘From Personal Experience to Political Activism in the 1970s: My View of Feminism’. In: Germer, Andrea, Vera Mackie and Ulrike Wӧhr (eds.): Gender Nation and State in Modern Japan. London, New York: Routledge, pp. 293-306.

(2013) [Exhibition and conference report] Women in Between – Asian Women Artistsアジアを繋ぐー境界線を生きる女たち、1984-2012. In: Jendā-shigaku Gender History 9 (October), pp. 146-147.

(2012) ジェンダー平等と原子力―飯島愛子のフェミニスト理論を再読する Jendā byōdō to genshiryoku: Iijima Aiko no feminisuto riron o saidoku suru [Gender Equality and Nuclear Power: Re-reading Iijima Aiko’s Feminist Theory]. In: Cutting Edge 44 (February), p.4.

(2007) Gender, Race and Culture in Wartime Ideologies. In: DIJ Newsletter 30 (February), pp.1-3.

(2006) Working paper 06/9  Staat und Nation: Zum Verhältnis von Feminismus und Nationalstaat in Japan, 1918 - 1945 [State and Nation: On the Relationship Between Feminism and the Nation-State in Japan, 1918 - 1945]. Tokyo: Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien. 33 pp.

(2005) [Conference article] 国際シンポジウム「ジェンダーと国民国家—日本についての歴史的考察」Kokusai shinpojiumu ‘Jendā to kokumin kokka — Nihon ni tsuite no rekishiteki kōsatsu’ [The International Symposium ‘Gender and Nation: Historical Perspectives on Japan’]. In: Joseishigaku [Women’s Studies] 14, pp. 87-94.

(2004) Working paper 04/1 “A History of Woman“: Nature, Culture and the Category of the Slave. Tokyo: Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien. 40 pp.

(2004) Working paper 04/2 “The Inner and the Outer Domain”: Sexuality and the Nation-State in Feminist Historiography in Japan. Tokyo: Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien. 42 pp.

(2002) Working paper 02/8 On the Genesis of Feminist Historiography in Japan: National and International Perspectives. Tokyo: Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien. 30 pp.

(2002) Maternalistisches Denken in Japan/ Nihon ni okeru boseiron. [Maternalist Thought in Japan]. In: Die Brücke/ Kakehashi, 552, p.10.

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