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Miyako Inoue

miyako inoue

Miyako Inoue

Ph.D. Washington University, 1996
Research Interests: 
linguistic anthropology, semiotics, linguistic modernity, media archaeology, cybernetics, anthropology of writing, inscription devices, materialities of language, social organizations of documents (filing systems, filing cabinets, index cards, copies, archives, paperwork), voice/sound/noise, soundscape, technologies of liberalism, gender, urban studies, Japan, East Asia.


Miyako Inoue teaches linguistic anthropology and the anthropology of Japan. She also has a courtesy appointment with the Department of Linguistics.

Her first book, titled, Vicarious Language: the Political Economy of Gender and Speech in Japan (University of California Press), examines a phenomenon commonly called "women's language" in Japanese modern society, and offers a genealogy showing its critical linkage with Japan's national and capitalist modernity. Professor Inoue is currently working on a book-length project on a social history of “verbatim” in Japanese. She traces the historical development of the Japanese shorthand technique used in the Diet for its proceedings since the late 19th century, and of the stenographic typewriter introduced to the Japanese court for the trial record after WWII. She is interested in learning what it means to be faithful to others by coping their speech, and how the politico-semiotic rationality of such stenographic modes of fidelity can be understood as a technology of a particular form of governance, namely, liberal governance. Publication that has come out of her current project includes, "Stenography and Ventriloquism in Late Nineteenth Century Japan." Language & Communication 31.3 (2011).


Selected Articles

(forthcoming) “The Antics of the Virtual:  The Otherness in the Self in the Japanese Expression, Nanchatte,” in The Tones of Others: Quotes, Mimicry and Impersonation in Vocal Performance, Estelle Amy de la Breteque and Alexandra Pillen, eds.   

(forthcoming)  Ideologies and Technologies of Verbatim Reproduction. Annual Review of Anthropology. Vol. 46

2016 Where has Japanese Women’s Language Gone?:  Notes on Language and Political Economy in the Societies of Control. HAU: Journal of Theoretical Ethnography 6(3)

2012 Neoliberal Speech Acts: The Equal Opportunity Law and Projects of the Self in a Japanese Corporate Office. In Global Futures in East Asia, Ann Anagnost, Andrea Arai, and Ren Hai, eds. Stanford University Press.

2011 Stenography and Ventriloquism in Late Nineteenth Century Japan. Language and Communication 31(3):181-190.

2009 Matsutake Worlds Research Group (Timothy Choy, Lieba Faier, Michael Hathaway, Miyako Inoue, Shiho Satsuka, and Anna Tsing), A New Form of Collaboration in Cultural Anthropology: Matsutake Worlds. American Ethnologist 36(2): 380-403.

2008 Things that speak: Peirce, Benjamin, and the kinesthetics of commodity advertisement in Japanese women’s magazines, 1900s-1930s. Positions: East Asia cultures critique 15.3 (2007) 511-552.

2007 Language and gender identity in the age of Neoliberalism. Gender and Language.

2004 What does language remember?: Indexical order and the naturalized history of Japanese women.

2003 The listening subject of Japanese modernity and his auditory double: Citing, sighting, and siting the modern Japanese woman.