Shaped by the disciplines of girlhood, media and cultural studies, my research interests span the practical and the theoretical, from ethnographic filmmaking and audiovisual essay-making to people-centred research methods. I am interested in the different messages that are conveyed by visual culture, particularly those relating to gender and feminism. In my doctoral research—an autoethnography on feminine-presenting cosplay groups in the UK—I immersed myself in the different ways in which symbolic fantasies of girlhood are brought to life through cosplay, from maid cafés to idol groups.
My most recent publications include an article in The Conversation that discussed the recent trend in international films being nominated for Academy awards, as well as a chapter in “A Girl Can Do: Recognizing and Representing Girlhood” (Isseldhart, 2022), reflecting on an exhibition at the Sheffield Showroom Workstation that I led with my research participants for The Festival of Social Science in 2019. The exhibition drew on participants’ testimonies, artwork, photography and film; hosting interactive areas for members of the public to learn of anime fandom via the fans themselves, such as participant-led kawaii J-fashion makeovers. As the exhibition curator, I took care to consider the ethical implications of collecting and documenting the artistic creations, experiences and perspectives of participants in a space that has historically been associated with colonial exploitation and objectifying practices (i.e. exhibitions and museums). This is an ethos which fundamentally informs my research: finding new ways to represent individuals in the ways in which they wish to be represented, especially those who are underrepresented in society and mainstream media.
I am also a filmmaker in which my latest audiovisual essay, “Hausu of the Rising Sun: Death of the Girl”, has been published in [In]Transition. Currently, I am a post-doctoral research assistant in The School of East Asian Studies at The University of Sheffield where I am developing a project on documentary filmmakers in light of the systematic sexual violence perpetrated by the Japanese Imperial army against girls and women during World War II.