Short writing assignment -- week 7
due by email at 5pm on Friday, Oct. 16

For the past two weeks, we’ve been trying to reckon with the possible subversiveness of Takarazuka. Is this theater group, its actors, or its fans subverting dominant social (and gender) norms in Japan? Or is it reinforcing and reinscribing them in a dynamic similar to Radway’s romance novels -- by letting participants think they’re escaping from norms, this pop cultural object actually pulls them more tightly into mainstream society?

For your short essay this week, I’d like you to step back from the specific examples we’ve been reading to consider the relationship between popular culture and subversiveness. Reflecting back to the short essays you’ve already written, our readings, and discussions, take stock of your opinion on this relationship. How does subversiveness matter in popular culture? Does it? What are the stakes of asking these questions? Have your opinions on this relationship changed so far this semester?