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Lydia Brammer

Background

I hold a BA(Hons) in Film Studies with Japanese Language & Contemporary Society from Oxford Brookes University. As an undergraduate student, I lived and studied in Japan during my third year as part of my course at Oxford Brookes. I studied at the University of Yamanashi where I was fortunate enough to receive a government scholarship (JASSO) and enrol on such courses as Japanese calligraphy, Japanese painting, origami, and intensive language courses. My dissertation focused on the representation of women and the female body in Takashi Miike’s work, and with this, I achieved a First for my undergraduate degree.

Following completion of the above course, I continued my studies at Oxford Brookes University by undertaking an MA in Film Studies. My work again focused on more ‘extreme’ types of cinema: horror, Scandinavian erotica, ‘Video Nasties’, all of which culminated in a dissertation focused on exploring how ‘extreme’ cinema can elicit viewers to sympathise with a twisted protagonist. I focused on David Cronenberg’s Crash (1996) and Teruo Ishii’s Horrors of Malformed Men (1969) – two very different films but which both explore very similar themes and styles when representing ‘perverted’ protagonists. I hold a Merit for my Masters degree.

After completing an MA, I began working in academic publishing, as a Senior Journals Publishing Assistant at Wiley, where I assisted in managing their journals affiliated with their society partnerships in economics and business management. I also managed six Wiley-owned journals. During my time at Wiley, I also undertook a Journals Publishing course at Oxford Brookes, where I gained a First Certificate. My final study was focused on developing a strategy within the social sciences for Chinese publications.

I worked at Wiley for two years and then moved to Elsevier, where I became a Market Intelligence Manager. This role was a combination of bibliometric analytics and strategic development for the company. I worked with a variety of colleagues and external parties and delivered many workshops to universities on measuring research impact and journal publishing. I stayed at Elsevier for just over three years and now work in a similar role at Frontiers, a community-rooted, open access academic publisher, where open science is at the very core of the company’s philosophies.

Current Research

My current research involves exploring the stardom and on-screen agency of Meiko Kaji and Junko Miyashita, two actresses who featured in a variety of adult films during the 1970s and 80s. Through analysis of their star personas, my thesis will explore their textual and para-textual significance not just within the film industry, but within the wider context of Japan’s socio-political climate at the time. By drawing on elements of star studies, feminist film studies, and of course Japanese studies, I will critically reflect on how these film stars expressed the maturing connotations of sexual politics in post-war Japanese society. My research will bring together close film analysis and a survey of the promotional and critical discourse surrounding the works of these actresses. By referencing Japanese-language studies during the course of my research, via the use of archival and historical material, I will demonstrate the significant cultural impact both these movies, and their actresses had on Japanese adult cinema.