Intersections: Fan Studies in Conversation in Japan Symposium

Sophia ICCSunday, December 16
10:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Sophia University Yotsuya Campus – Building no. 2, Room 1702
7-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8554 JAPAN

As an academic field, fan/fandom studies is robust and well-established – with its current state covered by comprehensive surveys such as Fandom: Identities and Communities in a Mediated World, 2nd Edition and A Companion to Media Fandom and Fan Studies, new research appearing in the Journal of Fandom Studies, teaching in programs like the Fandom, Cult Studies, and Subculture Studies minor at DePaul University, as well as various individual classes, and the Fan Studies Network connecting scholars around the world. And, as the field evolves and expands, certain conversations develop and certain questions are asked. For example, one of the chapters in A Companion to Media Fandom and Fan Studies is “The Unbearable Whiteness of Fandom and Fan Studies” (although the author acknowledges,  in a note, that “there is work, however, on the practices of media fandom outside of Europe and the United States that focuses on fans who would in the United States be understood as people of color, such as, for example, work on fandoms in Asia” – perhaps largely negating the hyperbolic title). One kind of conversation that is crucial to the continuing development of fan studies is one that acknowledges global perspectives on fans and fandom, and builds connections between scholars in different countries and with different approaches.

And it is to facilitate just these kinds of conversations that the Sophia University Institute of Comparative Culture is hosting a one-day symposium entitled Intersections: Fan Studies in Conversation in Japan. Organized by leading fan studies scholars Lori Morimoto, Nele Noppe, and Patrick W. Galbraith. It will be be free, open to the public, and conducted entirely in English. The Symposium will serve “as a step in the direction of greater contact between scholars based in the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, who all focus on media and fan cultures, but in diverse ways. The goal is not only to encourage conversation and collaboration across dividing lines, but also to critically assess some of the assumptions and blind spots in fan studies today.” Several of the talks will directly address anime/manga and anime/manga fans and fandom. Continue reading

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Communicating with Cool Japan (Int’l Communication Association Pre-Conference)

conf2016A few months ago, I was glad to participate in distributing the Call for Papers for Communicating with Cool Japan: New International Perspectives on Japanese Popular Culture, a one-day mini-conference that would run in Tokyo, at Waseda University, on June 8, just ahead of (and in connection with) the 66th annual conference of the International Communication Association. The preliminary schedule for this event, has now been announced.

As the schedule currently stands, it will consist of a keynote address presented by Prof. Koichi Iwabuchi (Monash University), and a total of 9 sessions, running simultaneously (2/3 at a time), each organized around a common theme.

The themes that the sessions will address are:

  • What We Live For: Women, Expression, and Empowerment in Japanese Fan Cultures
  • Methodologies of Cultural Power
  • Image/Text
  • Audience Studies, Otaku, and Fan Cultures
  • Institutionalization and Nostalgia
  • Discontented Japanization
  • The Living Popular
  • Digital Productions: Distribution, Piracy, and Globalization
  • Localization, Adaptation, and Hybridization

These sessions will feature a total of 39 individual presentations, and speakers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Given the mini-conference’s broad focus on “any area of Japanese popular culture”, not all of them address anime/manga, but, many do:

Session 1.2: Methodologies of Cultural Power
10:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Why hasn’t Japan banned child-porn comics?”: An Investigation into the Socio-legal Attitudes towards Yaoi Manga

Simon Turner (Chulalongkorn University)

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Call for Papers – Communicating with Cool Japan: New Int’l Perspectives on Japanese Popular Culture

Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan)
June 8, 2016

conf2016Scholars at all levels, including graduate students, are invited to submit papers and panel proposals for “Communicating With Cool Japan”, a one-day pre-conference that will be held immediately preceding the 66th annual conference of the International Communication Association. Submissions on any topic related to Japanese popular culture are specifically encouraged.

Some of the potential themes and issues that the Call for Papers highlights include:

  • production processes and/or cultural workers
  • political economy (including the role of the state and markets)
  • media/cultural content (e.g. of anime, manga, fashion, videogames, film, music, television, etc.)
  • the Internet, social/online media, cellular phones, or other technology
  • uses of Japanese popular culture
  • globalization or diaspora
  • cultural policy/diplomacy
  • consumption or media effects
  • identity and the self
  • otaku and fandom

Submissions of up to 200 words for both individual papers and discussion sessions/panels are accepted until January 31, 2016, and speakers will notified of acceptance shortly thereafter.

Communicating with Cool Japan is being organized by Dr. Casey Brienza (City University London) and Dr. Anamik Saha (Goldsmiths, University of London). It will feature a keynote address by Prof. Koichi Iwabuchi (Monash University), the director of the Monash Asia Institute, best known as the author of Recentering Globalization: Popular Culture and Japanese Transnationalism (Duke University Press, 2002)

Dr. Brienza is the editor of the essay collection Global Manga: “Japanese” Comics without Japan? and the author of of the forthcoming monograph Manga in America: Transnational Book Publishing and the Domestication of Japanese Comics, as well as more than twenty book chapters and journal articles on different aspects of the Japanese comics industry and manga’s worldwide impact and reception, such as Books, not comics: Publishing fields, globalization, and Japanese manga in the United States (Publishing Research Quarterly, 2009), Remembering the future: Cartooning alternative life courses in Up and Future Lovers (The Journal of Popular Culture), and Beyond B&W? The global manga of Felipe Smith (in the Eisner Award-winning essay collection Black Comics: The Politics of Race and Representation (Bloomsbury, 2013) as well as several influential papers on emerging trends in scholarly publishing.

Communicating with Cool Japan – full CFP and additional details

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Call for Proposals – ‘Queers and Comics’

Queers and Comics: LGBT Cartoonists’ Conference
New York, NY – May 7-8, 2015

Queers & Comics brings LGBTQ cartoonists, comics writers, and artists together with scholars and fans in order to document the history and significance of queer comics. This conference spotlights the veterans of LGBTQ cartooning in North America and internationally, with forums for working artists to share their knowledge and to discuss how to navigate the comics industry.”

The conference welcomes submissions for “workshops, readings, presentations, portfolio reviewers, and preformed roundtables (with a minimum of 3 discussants) as well as proposals by individual roundtable discussants” on any topic related to the general theme of “how queer comics reflect and critique queer culture”. Manga and anime are specifically highlighted as possible topics for proposals.

Proposal requirements:

– Description of proposal (250 words or less)
– Biographical info (100 words or less) or one-page CV for each participant
– Audio-Visual requests

Proposal deadline: November 3, 2014