Dr Irene González-López


I am a film studies' scholar specialising in Japanese Cinema and Popular Culture.

I spent seven years in Japan, cultivating an ever-growing curiosity about Japanese society and how it is represented in the media and the arts. During my time, I became fluent in Japanese, learnt traditional arts such as ikebana, and my professional experience ranged from factory worker and waitress to interpreter and university lecturer. I completed a BA in Japanese Studies and an MA in Film Studies whilst working as a translator and collaborating with film festivals. 

Upon my return to Europe in 2017, I was awarded a PhD by SOAS. My doctoral research explored the representation of prostitutes in postwar Japanese cinema, analysing Japan's changing social and sexual mores.

In addition to my research at Kingston, I lead courses and seminars in Japanese Cultural History, and Media and Film Studies at SOAS and David Game College. 

Academic responsibilities

Post-Doctoral Researcher


  • Ph.D. Centre for Film Studies, SOAS, University of London (Thesis Unconditional Pass)
  • MA Film Studies, Kyoto University (Japan)
  • BA (Hons) International Cultural Studies, Major: Japanese Language, Tenri University (Japan)
  • BA Media Studies, Pontificial University of Salamanca (Spain)


My research interests are in Japanese cinema and culture, audio-visual art forms, gender studies, and stardom. I am particularly interested in the construction and representation of the body, gender, and sexuality, and the ways in which aesthetics and meaning intersect with power.

My PhD research focused on the representation of prostitutes in melodrama, avant-garde and soft-porn productions of postwar Japanese cinema, and analysed these tropes in relation to discourses of modernisation, national history and gender identities. My current research looks at the negotiation of collective memory through audio-visual imagery of occupied Japan. Beyond cinema, I am exploring other creative industries including manga, performance, television and magazines.

I have co-edited the forthcoming volume 'Tanaka Kinuyo: Nation, Stardom and Female Subjectivity' on the work of actress and director Tanaka Kinuyo.