Anne Allison

Anne Allison

Professor of Cultural Anthropology

External address: 
230 Friedl Building, East Campus, Durham, NC 27708-0091
Internal office address: 
Box 90091, Durham, NC 27708-0091
(919) 681-6257


Anne Allison is a cultural anthropologist who researches the intersection between political economy, everyday life, and the imagination in the context of late capitalist, post-industrial Japan. Her work spans the subjects of sexuality, pornography, and maternal labor to the globalization of Japanese youth products and the precarity of irregular workers. She is the author of Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club (University of Chicago Press, 1994—an ethnography of the Japanese corporate practice of entertaining employees and customers in the sexualized atmosphere of hostess clubs; Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan (University of California Press 2000)—a collection of essays analyzing the complex desires linking motherhood, pornographic comics, and popular culture; and Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination (University of California Press, 2006)—a study of the intermeshing of fantasy, capitalism, and cultural politics in the rise of Japan's brand of "cool" youth-goods on the global marketplace. Her most recent book, Precarious Japan (forthcoming from Duke University Press, 2013) looks at the socio-economic shifts in post-corporatist Japan towards precaritization of work, sociality, and everyday security.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of Chicago 1986

Allison, A. Precarious Japan. Duke University Press, October 2013.

Allison, A. "A Sociality Of, and Beyond, ’My-Home’ in Post-Corporate Japan." Sociality, New Directions. Ed. H Moore and N Long. Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Allison, A. "The Attractions of the J-Wave for American Youth." Soft Power Superpowers: Cultural and National Assets of Japan and the United States. Ed. W Yasushi and D McConnell. M.E. Sharpe, 2009.

Allison, A. "Pocket Capitalism and Virtual Intimacy: Pokemon as Symptom of Postindustrial Youth Culture." Figuring the Future: Globalization and the Temporalities of Children and Youth. Ed. J Cole and DL Durham. Santa Fe, NM: School for Advanced Research Press, August 28, 2008. Open Access Copy

Allison, A. "New-age Fetishes, Monsters, and Friends: Pokemon in the Age of Millennial Capitalism." Japan after Japan. Ed. T Yoda and H Harootunian. Duke University Press, 2006.

Allison, A. "Tamagotchi: The Prosthetics of Presence." Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination. University of California Press, 2006. 163-191.

Allison, A. "Cuteness as Japan’s Millennial Product." Pikachu’s Global Adventure: The Rise and Fall of Pokemon. Ed. J Tobin. Duke University Press, 2004. 34-49.

Allison, A. "Playing with Power: Morphing Toys and Transforming Heroes in Kids’ Mass Culture." Power and the Self. Ed. JM Mageo. Cambridge University, 2002. 71-92.

Allison, A. "Japanese Mothers and Obentōs: The Lunch Box as Ideological State Apparatus." Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan. University of California Press, 2000. 81-104.

Allison, A. "Cyborg Heroes Populate Popular Culture." Popular Culture in Japan and Outside. Ed. D Slaymaker. University of Hawaii’i Press, 1998. 25-40.

Allison, A. "Cutting the Fringes: Pubic Hair at the Margins of Japanese Obscenity Laws." Hair in Asian Cultures: Context and Change. Ed. A Heitelbeitel and B Miller. SUNY Albany Press, 1997. 195-218.


Allison, A. "American Geishas and Oriental/ist Fantasies." Ed. P Mankekar and L Schein. (July 2013). (Academic Article)

Allison, A. "Ordinary refugees: Social precarity and soul in 21st century Japan." Anthropological Quarterly 85.2 (June 4, 2012): 345-370. Full Text

Allison, A. "The Cool Brand and Affective Activism of Japanese Youth." Theory, Culture & Society 26.3 (March 2009): 89-111. (Academic Article) Open Access Copy

Allison, A. "La culture populaire japonaise et l'imaginaire global." Critique Internationale 38 (December 2008): 19-35. (Academic Article)

Allison, A. "The Japan Fad in Global Youth Culture and Millennial Capitalism." Ed. F Lunning. Mechademia 1 (2006).

Allison, A. "Review of Tsukiji: The Fish Market at the Center of the World by Theodore Bestor." Monumenta Nipponica 60 (2005): 288-290. (Review)

Allison, A. "Portable Monsters and Commodity Cuteness: Pokemon as Japan’s New Global Power." Ed. A Allison and L Grossberg. Journal of Postcolonial Studies 6 (December 2003). (Academic Article)

Allison, A. "Introduction to Special Issue on Children and Globalization." Ed. A Allison and L Grossberg. Journal of Postcolonial Studies 6 (December 2003). (Academic Article)

Allison, A. "Cyborg Violence: Bursting Borders and Bodies with Queer Machines." Cultural Anthropology 16.2 (May 2001): 237-265. Full Text

Allison, A. "Memoirs of the Orient." Journal of Japanese Studies 27.2 (2001): 381-381. Full Text