Pioneering researcher recognised through prestigious international fellowship

Pioneering researcher recognised through prestigious international fellowship Banner Image

Credit:National Library of Australia

UCLan academic selected to undertake 12-week research residency at the National Library of Australia

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) academic will be on his way to Australia in the summer of 2021 having been named as recipient of a National Library of Australia Fellowship.

Dr Bill Mihalopoulos, Lecturer in Asian Pacific and Japanese Studies within UCLan’s School of Humanities, Language and Global Studies, will undertake a 12-week residency at the Library which will provide vital information for his forthcoming book: Liberty’s shackles: freedom, consent and sexual servitude in modern Japan. The research project examines how the present understanding of the ‘comfort woman/sexual slavery’ issue in Japan is influenced by concepts of freedom and slavery that have repeated themselves from the 1860s to the present day.

The Fellowships encourage new and innovative research, leveraging the National Library’s collections to reveal new information, insight, knowledge and creativity.

Commenting on the award Dr Mihalopoulos said: “The Fellowship will provide a vital and intensive period of research on my current book manuscript with access to one of the world’s best research libraries and Asian collections. Receipt of the Fellowship is also testimony to the innovative and dynamic programme in Asian Pacific and Japanese Studies emerging at UCLan.”

Announcing the 10 recipients of the highly regarded National Library Fellowships Director-General of the National Library of Australia, Dr Marie-Louise Ayres, added: “Given the interesting times we live in, we were encouraged by a high number of applications from an impressive field. The 2021 National Library Fellows will have the opportunity to explore the breadth and depth of the National Library’s collections and to create new knowledge to share with all Australians.

“The National Library is very grateful for the continued financial assistance received from our generous donors to the Fellowships programme, that support our next generation of thinkers, commentators and creators to be inspired and to flourish.”

Dr Mihalopoulos’ research expertise revolves around Japanese and European imperialism in Southeast Asia, sexuality and gender, labour migration and the trafficking in people. His first book, Sex in Japan’s Globalization, 1870-1930: Prostitutes, Emigration and Nation Building was favourable received for its innovative and bold analysis that neatly integrated political objectives such as nation-building, labour migration and industrial modernisation to issues dealing with personal conduct: gender, sexuality and ideal standards for Japanese womanhood.

Chris Theobald | 10 November 2020