Academic Team

Elizabeth Frances Miles



Fields of Interest:

  • Sociocultural Anthropology
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Kinship, Family, Intimacies
  • Japan Studies


PhD:    2017, Yale University, USA


Dr. Elizabeth Miles (Liz) is a sociocultural anthropologist focusing on gender/sexuality studies. While her primary focus has been on contemporary Japan, she hopes to expand her research into Vietnam.

Her doctoral thesis was based on ethnographic research among Japanese men and examines how they are negotiating critical socioeconomic shifts and their intersections with the institutions of sex, marriage, and romantic love. She is currently working on the monograph of this project, focusing on the lives of “undesirables” (himote) and male virgins (dōtei). One aim of the research is to bring the dynamism of gender/sexuality in Asia into greater focus within the interdisciplinary field of gender and sexuality studies.

Liz is currently finishing up a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Postdoctoral Fellowship at Waseda University (Tokyo). This new project is an ethnographic examination of the lives of “childfree/childless” individuals and couples and the changing meanings of family in contemporary Japan. She is particularly interested in how children shape communities and intimacies.

Prior to joining FUV, Liz was Assistant Professor of Asian Studies and Gender & Women’s Studies at Kennesaw State University (Georgia, USA).

Select Publications:

  • Miles, Elizabeth. 2020. “Porn as Practice, Porn as Access: Pornography Consumption and a ‘Third Sexual Orientation’ in Japan.” Porn Studies 7 (3):269-278.
  • Miles, Elizabeth. 2019. “Manhood and the Burdens of Intimacy.” In Intimate Japan: Ethnographies of Closeness and Conflict, edited by Allison Alexy and Emma E. Cook, 148-163. Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.


  • Social Inquiry
  • Anthropology of Sex




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