Hideko Abe

Sabbatical: 09/01/2016 - 08/31/2017 (FULL YEAR SABBATICAL)

Associate Professor of East Asian Studies

Office: Lovejoy 428 [ campus map ]
Box 4400

Phone: 207-859-4414
Fax: 207-859-4705
Mailing Address:
4400 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, Maine 04901-8844
Abe, Hideko


M.A. in Linguistics and TESL, and Ph.D. in Anthropology (Arizona State University)

Areas of Expertise

  • Sociolinguistics
  • Japanese language, gender and sexuality
  • Gender Identity Disorder

Courses Currently Teaching

CourseCourse Title
EA261 AJapanese Language and Culture
JA127 AIntermediate Japanese I
JA128 AIntermediate Japanese II
JA321 AThird-Year Japanese
JA322 AThird-Year Japanese

Other Courses Taught

CourseCourse Title
EA/AY371Japanese Language and Sexuality

Professional Information

She first taught at Colby in 1993 and 1994, then returned in 2006 after teaching at Vanderbilt University and Western Michigan University. Her areas of expertise include the study of language and culture/gender/ideology/sexuality. Her first book (published in 2000), Speaking of Power: Professional Japanese Women and Their Speeches, discusses how Japanese working women negotiate their power by shifting between gendered speech (feminine and masculine). Her second book (published in 2010), Queer Japanese analyzes how gender and sexual identities of sexual minorities in Japan are negotiated through linguistic practices. Both books are based on her long fieldwork in Japan. She also examined the the speech of benshi (the screen-side narrator for Japanese silent films) by exploring how class, gender, age and other social factors inflect the narration as they narrate the stories and imitate the voices of different characters. Her most recent study examines the speech of individuals with GID (gender identity disorder) in Japan.


Queer Japanese: Gender and Sexual Identities through Linguistic Practices (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010)
Speaking of Power: Professional Japanese Women and Their Speeches (Lincom Europa, 2000)
Selected book chapters and articles:
Onabe,” Encyclopedia of Human Sexuality, edited by Patricia Whelehan and Anne Bolin. (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming in 2013).“Lucy Jone’s Dyke/Girl: Language and Identities in a Lesbian Group,” book review, The Journal of Language and Sexuality, forthcoming in 2013.“Sawato Midori’s Reinterpretation of Taki no Shiraito: Overperforming of Gender and Power.” Forthcoming in Japanese Language and Literature, Vol. 46, No.2, October, 261-298 (2012).“Lesbian Bar Talk in Shinjuku, Japan.” Reprint in Language and Gender: A Reader, 2nd Edition, edited by Jennifer Coates and Pia Pichler, Wiley-Blackwell, 375-383 (2011)."A Community of Manners: Advice Columns in Lesbian and Gay Magazines in Japan." In Manners and Mischief: Gender and Power in Japanese Conduct Literature, edited by Laura Miller and Jan Bardsley, University of California Press, 196-218 (2011).
"Lesbian Bar Talk in Shinjuku, Japan." Reprint in The Language and Sexuality Reader, edited by Deborah Cameron and Don Kulick, Routledge, 132-140 (2006).
"Lesbian Bar Talk in Shinjuku, Japan." In Japanese Language, Gender, and Ideology, edited by Shigeko Okamoto and Janet Shibamoto Smith, Oxford University Press, 205-221 (2004).
"Power Negotiation between Japanese Females and Males," International Journal of Intercultural Communication Studies (1999): 53-70.
"From Stereotype to Context: The Study of Japanese Women's Speech," Feminist Studies Vol. 21, Number 3 (Fall 1995): 647-671.
"Gei, Onee, Nyuhaafu no Kotoba [Speech of Gay, Onee, Newhalf in Japan],"Nihongo-gaku, Meiji Shoin, forthcoming in 2013."Showa no dansho no kotoba [Speech of Showa male prostitutes]." In Japanese Women and Language, edited by Orie Endo, Sanichi Shobo, 65-80 (2010).
"Rezubian ni okeru onna rashisa to wa [Femininity in speech of lesbians]." In Onna to kotoba [Women and Language], edited by Orie Endo (Akashi Shoten, 2002).
“Femininity in Speech of Lesbians,” Reprint in Korean in Onna to kotoba [Women and Language], edited by Orie Endō, 228-237 (2006). Seoul, Korea: Akashi Shoten.


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