Kimberlee Sanders


Japanese media, sound studies, intimacy and identity


About Me

Pisces, aspiring DJ, Black af. Click here to learn more.


Projects and Presentations

Conference presentations, guest lectures, and other activities from the past few years.


Future Activities

Upcoming conference presentations, guest speaking engagements, musings and imaginations.

About Me


Kimberlee Sanders is a Tokyo-based scholar of Japanese media and popular culture. She is currently a PhD candidate (ABD) in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. Her dissertation project, titled “Intimate Listening: Tuning into the Voices of 20th and 21st Century Japanese Media,” seeks to reorient the history of Japanese popular culture towards an attunement to the crucial role of sound technology, listening, and voicing in constructing contours of intimacy, both felt and imagined. More broadly, her research interests include popular media in East Asia, sound studies, speculative criticism, and questions of embodiment in contemporary media landscapes. She has previously been an exchange researcher at the Interfaculty Initiative for Information Studies at the University of Tokyo, and her research has been supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and a Fulbright-IIE Doctoral Research Grant.

In her spare time, she enjoys photography, creating and broadcasting playlists, learning about feminist astrology, and collecting second-hand records.

Projects and Presentations


Community Engagement and Activism

2020
Panelist, “#BlackInTheIvory” Japan on the Record podcast, Ep. 24

Co-author, Petition to the Association for Asian Studies Board of Directors in Support of Black Scholars of Asia

Commentator, 緊急リレートーク:ブラック・ライブズ・マター運動の背景と課題 (Urgent Relay Talk: Contextualizing the Black Lives Matter Movement) Keio University and Kyoto University (Webinar)

Conference Presentations

2020
“‘You Thought You’d Never Die?’: Shibuya Kei’ichirō’s THE END, Hatsune Miku, and the Prosthesis of Death.” Modern Languages Association Conference, Seattle

2019
“Sounding the Nostalgic Future: Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Lynn Minmay, and Animated Sonic Affect.” Theorizing Anime: Invention of Concepts and Conditions of Their Possibility, Waseda University

“Vocal Trinity: Magical Angel Creamy Mami and the Transformative Power of the Shōjo Media Mix.” SOUND::GENDER::FEMINISM::ACTIVISM (SGFA) — Tokyo, Tokyo University of the Arts

“Playback Memories: Embodied Listening, Benshi Recordings, and the Return of the Voice.” Asian Studies Conference Japan, Saitama University

“Networked Listening: Late Night Radio and the Private Public of ‘Friday Night Puck.’” Cultural Typhoon 2019, Keio University

2017
“‘Sorry/I Ain’t Sorry’: Beyoncé’s Lemonade, Southern Gothic Temporality, and Reclaiming the Angry Black Woman.” Harvard Graduate Music Forum Conference, Harvard University

Selected Invited Talks

2020
“Serendipity with Intention: A Research Story.” Guest Lecture for “ Third-Year Seminar on Diversity in Japanese Culture,” Waseda University (Given via Zoom)

“Late Night Radio and the Construction of Youth Audiences.” Guest Lecture for “Seminar on Youth Culture in Modern East Asia,” Waseda University

2019
「聴取としての芸術:親しみへの欲望と聞き手の演技」Guest Lecture for “Course on Media and Information,” Musashino Art University (Japanese)

Japanese Association for the Study of Popular Music 2019 3rd Kanto Regular Meeting. Daito Bunka University (English and Japanese)

“Living in the Mix, Living with the Mix: Intimacy, Sound, and the Media Mix.” Guest Lecture for “Seminar on Japanese Popular Culture and Media,” Waseda University

Future activities


Conference Presentations

December 2020
“Trans-Dimensional Femininity: Iijima Mari, Super Dimension Fortress Macross, and the Negotiation of Gender and Genre in 1980s Japan.” The 7th Inter-Asia Popular Music Studies (IAPMS) Conference, Sunway University