ERECTING THE MODERN JAPANESE PENIS – Private Parts and Public Concerns

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Date(s) - 13/08/2014
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

State Library of Victoria, Seminar Room 1


Presented by:
The School of Philosophical, Historical and International Studies, and the School of Languages, Literatures, Cultures and Linguistics at
Monash University

Erecting The Modern Japanese Penis- Private Parts and Public Concerns

In Japan and other places, modernity has given rise to what might be called a
“penis industry”: a complex of urological knowledge, business interests, and
advertising media that, by instilling a fear in impressionable young males that their
genitalia embody a shameful departure from the physical norm, extracts money
from their wallets to carry out one or another kind of treatment. This talk considers
the emergence of the penis industry in early twentieth-century Japan, focusing on
the advertising strategies that its entrepreneurs developed in print to promote a
distinctly modern form of psychological anxiety
Gregory Pflugfelder cropThe Speaker:

Gregory Pflugfelder is Associate Professor of Japanese History at Columbia University in New York. He received
his BA from Harvard (1981), his MA from Waseda (1984), and his PhD from Stanford (1996). His current research engages the
construction of masculinities, the history of the body, queer sexualities, and representations of monstrosity. Previous publications
include JAPANimals: History and Culture in Japan’s Animal Life, coedited with Brett L. Walker (Michigan Monograph Series in
Japanese Studies, 2005); Cartographies of Desire: Male-Male Sexuality in Japanese Discourse, 1600–1950 (University of
California Press, 1999); and Politics and the Kitchen (in Japanese, Domesu, 1986).


This event is FREE

Venue: State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Seminar Room 1
Date: Wednesday, 13 August, 6-8pm
Contact + Inquiries: Dr Reto Hofmann ( Dr Beatrice Trefalt (


Download a Flyer: Erecting the Penis-Flyer Greg Pflugfelder

Dr Beatrice Trefalt (