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Anne Allison, Professor and Bass Fellow

Anne Allison
Office Location:  230 Friedl Building, East Campus, Durham, NC 27708-0091
Office Phone:  (919) 681-6257
Email Address:    send me a message
Web Page:  

Curriculum Vitae
Typical Courses Taught:

  • Culanth 94d, Intro to cultural anthro Synopsis
  • Ca 380s, Desire in the 21st century: (trans)national capital, fantasy, and
    In an era of intense border-crossings of various kinds, how can we study, define, and theorize the role played by desire? In these times of digitality, structural adjustment, and constant war, what happens to communities, bodies, and homes? Has diasporic migration and global media indeed intensified the affect/effect of the "imagination" as argued by Appadurai? And when capitalism relies more on immaterial and affective labor, how does sociality, subjectivity, and fantasy shift as well? This course will examine the conditions of (trans)nationalism in the 21st century in terms of fantasy, desire, capitalism, migration, new technologies, citizenship, human rights, and sexuality. Texts include writings by Zizek, Butler, Deleuze and Guattari, LiPuma and Lee, (Jodi) Dean, Davila, Appadurai, and Chambers.
  • Ph.D. The University of Chicago 1986
  • MA University of Chicago 1979
  • BA University of Illinois, Chicago Circle 1975

Mass Culture
Popular Culture
Political Economy
Globalization of Culture
Urban Anthropology

Research Interests:

Anne Allison is a cultural anthropologist who researches the intersection between political economy, everyday life, and the imagination in the context of late capitalist, post-industrial Japan. Her work spans the subjects of sexuality, pornography, and maternal labor to the globalization of Japanese youth products and the precarity of irregular workers. She is the author of Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club (University of Chicago Press, 1994—an ethnography of the Japanese corporate practice of entertaining employees and customers in the sexualized atmosphere of hostess clubs; Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan (University of California Press 2000)—a collection of essays analyzing the complex desires linking motherhood, pornographic comics, and popular culture; and Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination (University of California Press, 2006)—a study of the intermeshing of fantasy, capitalism, and cultural politics in the rise of Japan's brand of "cool" youth-goods on the global marketplace. Her most recent book, Precarious Japan (forthcoming from Duke University Press, 2013) looks at the socio-economic shifts in post-corporatist Japan towards precaritization of work, sociality, and everyday security.

Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Allison, A. "The Cool Brand and Affective Activism of Japanese Youth." Theory, Culture & Society  vol. 26 no. 3 (Spring, 2009): 89-111. [repository], [doi]  [abs]
  2. A. Allison. "Pocket Capitalism and Virtual Intimacy: Pokemon as Symptom of Postindustrial Youth Culture." Figuring the Future: Youth and Globalization. Edited by Jennifer Cole and Deborah Durham.  (Summer, 2009). [PDF]
  3. Allison, A. "Tamagotchi: The Prosthetics of Presence." Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination  (Summer, 2006): 163-191.  [abs]
  4. Allison, A. "Japanese Mothers and Obentōs: The Lunch Box as Ideological State Apparatus." Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan  ( 2000): 81-104.
  5. Allison, A. Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club. University of Chicago Press, 1994.
On sabbatical for academic year 2013-4

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