Portrayals of Modern Girls’ Desires in Uno Chiyo’s and Suat Derviş’s Literary Works


The figure of the modern girl emerged in Turkey and Japan in the 1920s. Modern girls’ Westernised looks and progressive lifestyles made them a popular subject for authors and the media. However, the portrayals of modern girls by male authors and media outlets often relied on stereotypical depictions. This paper argues that the figure transcends the limited representations of the male gaze, emphasising the need for a comprehensive understanding through exploring desire and self-representation in women authors’ literary works. Although modern girls played an important role in feminist history as a transnational phenomenon, there is a lack of comparative literary studies dedicated to this figure. While Japanese modern girls (modan gaaru or moga) have been compared to their counterparts in Korea, China, and the West, Turkish modern girls (modern kız) have received limited scholarly attention globally. Exploring the portrayal of Turkish and Japanese modern girls in literature provides valuable insights into the influence of Westernisation on non-Western societies and contributes to the understanding of intersections in women’s lives. This research focuses on the representations of modern girls in Japanese author Uno Chiyo’s (1897-1996) and Turkish novelist Suat Derviş’s (1905-1972) selected literary works. It adopts feminist desire theories as a framework to demonstrate the complexity of the modern girl figure and expand the discussion beyond its mere resemblance to Western ideals.

Author Information
Aslı İdil Kaynar, The University of Queensland, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: ACAS2023
Stream: Comparative Studies of Asian and East Asian Studies

This paper is part of the ACAS2023 Conference Proceedings (View)
Full Paper
View / Download the full paper in a new tab/window

To cite this article:
Kaynar A. (2023) Portrayals of Modern Girls’ Desires in Uno Chiyo’s and Suat Derviş’s Literary Works ISSN: 2187-4735 The Asian Conference on Asian Studies 2023: Official Conference Proceedings https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2187-4735.2023.2
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.22492/issn.2187-4735.2023.2

Comments & Feedback

Place a comment using your LinkedIn profile


Share on activity feed

Powered by WP LinkPress

Share this Research

Posted by James Alexander Gordon