Collaborative Research

Change in Facial Preferences through Reality, Art and Literature

Project Leader: Kumiko Nagai (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Co-Investigator: Akira Takagishi (Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology), Shinji Kajitani (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), Atsunobu Suzuki (Graduate School of Humanities and Sociology), Tomoyuki Deguchi (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences), Satoru Nakamura (Historiographical Institute), Mariko Kasahara (HMC), Hirota Mizuno (HMC)
Co-Investigator (The University of Tokyo): Kanako Hirasawa (Historiographical Institute)
Co-Investigator (Other Universities/Institutes): Ryuhei Ueda (Kokoro Research Center), Hiroyo Fujita (Kyoto University Research Adoministration Center), Chikahiko Suzuki (Gunma Prefectural Women's University)

To what kind of values does physical appearance—focusing primarily on the face—give rise? This collaborative research project pursues diverse perspectives in examining the ways in which feelings about and evaluations of not only actual faces, but also faces depicted in literature and paintings can potentially affect people’s ways of looking at and thinking about things. More specifically, based on knowledge gained from comparative literature research undertaken by the PI to date with funding from the JSPS KAKENHI Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) and the HMC’s Open Research Projects (A) programs, this project will broaden the scope of study through collaborative research to include observations using methods from humanities fields such as history and philosophy. It will also undertake quantitative examination via techniques adopted in the natural sciences, in the form of natural language and image analysis, and psychological experiments and surveys.

Adopting a wide-ranging approach to the issue of faces that cuts across both time and regions will likely contribute to discussions around the coexistence of diverse codes of values today. This project aims to distribute our research findings widely through open seminars and the publication of a booklet.