Mechademia Conference on Asian Popular Cultures: Tokyo 2016

Frenchy Lunning Discussion
March 18, 2016 to March 20, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Asian History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, East Asian History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies

After the initial period of explosive expansion and innovation in the arts of Japanese anime, manga, and gaming in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, a new era has arrived in which the effects of that massive emergence and expansion have begun to appear in, on, and around the surface of those arts, in the form of conflicts, ambiguities, controversies, disappointments, as well as stunning opportunities and innovation. These cracks on the smooth surface of this global phenomenon may in fact be the ‘stretch marks’ of its rapid global growth.

These marks include: the complex ethics of licensing and global corporate structures; the legal inequities explicit in the huge and clever online subterranean distribution systems of fandoms; the art and ethics of the sub-genre of doujinshi; the revelations of emerging subjectivities flowering in all of these art forms; the descent of anime in particular -- but found in all forms of these arts -- in their recent predilection for narratives more concerned with ‘fan service’ than to the ‘work of art;’ the infuriating stability of the patriarchy, yet also the slippery, evasive presence of feminist codes and conventions; but also the compelling, remarkably innovative, and creative new objects and practices that have become part of these now global art forms.

This conference will attempt to engage these, our problems and accomplishments, in discourse with an international conference of scholars, creators, professionals, and industry in an attempt to understand, through collaboration, how to address these many issues that have emerged in these art forms. Occurring in the inception of sakura in Tokyo, the origin for anime, manga, and gaming cultures, this will be a provocative time and space to contemplate these issues and accomplishments.

Submission for individual presentations, and panels of 3-4 individual presentations will be accepted until March 1, 2016. Send an abstracts of no more than 150 words for individual presentations, and for panels, a description and panel title with abstracts for each panel member to:

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