Skip to Main Content

Dr. Amaury Garcia, El Colegio de Mexico

Center for Asian and Africa Studies

Tuesday, November 26, 2013
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Library and Gallery, Albin O. Kuhn

Title of Lecture:  "Exhibiting Erotic Art (shunga) and the Problem of Obscenity in 20th Century Japan."


In Japan today there is an informal prohibition against public exhibitions of erotic prints, or shunga, from the Edo period (1603-1868). For most of the 20th century they were considered obscene, publication of which were required to follow regulations stipulating that any bodily representation should be arranged or altered so that the genitals and pubic hair be kept hidden. Dr. Garcia will discuss the history of modern discourses regarding the changing nature of shunga’s multiple identities, from commodity and popular entertainment to “obscenity,” and then to “art;” that is, how they were interpreted and then censored in later periods for reasons far beyond their original cultural context.


Co-Sponsors: The Dresher Center for the Humanities and Visual Arts