The Cameraman in a Skirt

Journée d’études internationale autour des travaux de Mio Wakita (MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna) et Kelly Midori McCormick (University of British Columbia), suivie d'une table-ronde co-animée par Elise Voyau (INALCO) et Claude Estebel, le 11 octobre 2022.

Inscription obligatoire :


  • 9h30 : Introduction Aleksandra Kobiljski (CNRS/EHESS) 
  • 10h-12hMio Wakita (MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna) “Photography, Women and Meiji Japan: The Vision of Modern Visual Technologies and the Image of Femininity” 
  • 12h-13h30 : Pause-déjeuner 
  • 13h30-15h30 : Kelly McCormick (University of British Columbia) “Camera Women: A History of Modern Japan by Women Photographers” 
  • 15h30-17h30 : Table-ronde co-animée par Elise Voyau (INALCO) et Claude Estebe

Résumés des interventions

  • Mio Wakita "Photography, Women and Meiji Japan: The Vision of Modern Visual Technologies and the Image of Femininity” 

Many have described the nineteenth century in connection with a new sense of visuality. Japan’s encounter with the visual modernity was heralded by the introduction of the daguerreotype in 1848. Modern visualising media, offered a new visual model to Meiji Japan with their mechanical reproduction capability, as well as the mimetic quality of its image. Given that visuality itself is a socially and historically defined notion, the impact of modern visualizing technology on existing visual practice was far from straightforward.
This talk explores the impacts of the visual modernity in Meiji Japan, by focusing on female images as case studies. A special focus will be put on the question, how the early modern visual and representational practice had encountered with the radical conversions of the Meiji society in terms of class structure, moral values, technology, and visuality. Through analysing diverse visual materials ranging from ukiyo-e prints, lithography, print photography, ambrotype to collotype, the discussion concerns three key issues: 1) socio-cultural transformations of women in Meiji Japan; 2) Japanese women and the emergence of modern visualising media; and 3) the material and visual dimensions of image production of Japanese women.

  • Kelly McCormick “Camera Women: A History of Modern Japan by Women Photographers” 

How might we write the history of modern Japan from the perspective of women who made a living as photographers? This talk sees photography as a form of world building for women in the twentieth century, analysing how women pushed back against the male dominated photography world to create spaces in photo studios, newspapers, and national photo organizations for their work. Dr. McCormick examines the lives and work of women photographers from the 1930s-1970s to show how the meaning of what it meant to be a woman and a photographer shifted over time. McCormick begins with Yamazawa Eiko, who, as the first woman to own a photo studio in Osaka in the 1930s, was the proud face of economic emancipation before World War Two. Touching on such figures as Sasamoto Tsuneko, Tokiwa Toyoko, Matsumoto Michiko, and the women of the Jissen College Photography Club, her talk details the ways photographic practice makes legible discourses of labour, protest, and the nation. Collectively, these women photographers write the history of women in photography in meaningful ways to ask questions about how we write history and propose a means for examining underutilised historical sources. At the end of this talk, Dr. McCormick will introduce, “Behind the Camera/カメラの後ろで: Gender, Power, and Politics in the History of Japanese Photography” an open-source website that creates new critical directions on the history of photography, feminist art history, and the history of modern Japan. This pedagogical tool for the growing global investment in diverse and expanded histories of photography and gender studies will introduce audiences to new perspectives on the history of photography and Japan.



Aires culturelles Japon

Informations pratiques

  • Mardi 11 octobre 2022 - 09:30 - 17:30
  • Centre de Colloques du Campus Condorcet (salle 3.05 ) – Place du Front Populaire, 93300 Aubervilliers
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