The figure of the modern girl emerged in Turkey and Japan in the 1920s. They drew attention due to their Westernised looks and liberal lifestyle and became a popular subject among authors and the media. However, male authors' and media (newspaper articles, advertisements and so on) portrayals of this figure mostly consist of stereotypes. This paper supports the idea that modern girls were more than the male gaze depicted them to be, and we can get a fuller understanding of the modern girl by examining the theme of desire and self-representation in the literary works of women. There are not enough literary studies done on the modern girl figure. Moreover, Japanese modern girls have been only compared to Korean, Chinese and Western modern girls, whereas Turkish modern girls have not received much attention from scholars around the world. This research explores the representations of modern girls in Japanese author Uno Chiyo's and Turkish novelist Suat Derviş's selected literary works by adopting the feminist desire theories. It aims to demonstrate that the modern girl is a complex figure and carry the discussion beyond the figure's similarities to the Western model.
Aslı Kaynar, University of Queensland, Australia
About the Presenter(s)
Aslı İdil Kaynar is a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland, Australia. Her research is concerned with the representations of the modern girl in Japanese and Turkish women authors’ literary works. She is also an experienced book translator.
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