Senior, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Major: Japanese Studies
Thesis Director: Kerry Ross, Department of History
Faculty Advisor: Heather Bowen-Struyk, Department of Modern Languages
Bio: 2020 Graduate of the Japanese Studies program, member of the Japanese Language Table, and studied abroad in Japan in 2019 Fall. Her interest in Japan goes back to her middle schooldays, but it was throughout her college career that she became more interested in studying all aspects of Japan. It was through her classes at DePaul that she could come across the information that she used to form her thesis. Her love of history, literature, and gender studies led her to her thesis topic.
Abstract: The academic discourse surrounding male-male homosexual relationships in literature from the 1600’s is exemplified by The Great Mirror of Male Love by Saikaku Ihara. In the modern era ofJapan, the misogyny and hegemonic ideas of masculinity that are prevalent in Yukio Mishima’s seminal works on the subject, Confessions of a Mask and Forbidden Colors, fail to challenge Japan’s history of the tropes of “women-hating” and “predatory” gay men. In this thesis, Melanie will not only contextualize these tropes, but also identify their premodern roots as they pertain to pernicious and untrue stereotypes that plague Japan’s sexual minority community today.