“Animating Life”: Kadokawa / University of Tokyo Summer Program 2016

Shunsuke Nozawa's picture
Summer Program
March 10, 2016
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Cultural History / Studies, Film and Film History, Japanese History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies








Kadokawa Culture Promotion Foundation Presents


Summer Program 2016 “Animating Life” : July 4, 2016 -- July 14, 2016

APPLICATIONS DUE: March 10, 2016


For Application Form Please Visit Our Website: http://kadokawa.iii.u-tokyo.ac.jp/summer_program2016/


The Kadokawa Culture Promotion Foundation, in conjunction with the University of Tokyo, will host an annual Summer Program focusing on various aspects of Japanese popular media culture. The theme of this year’s Program is “Animating Life.” With Anne Allison as the main organizer, the Program invites 10 graduate students from universities around the world, who will collaborate with graduate students from the University of Tokyo. Our hope is that the participants will take advantage of the Program to build new social networks and pursue work related to Japanese media and popular cultures in the future, whether as researchers, artists, or teachers.


PROGRAM THEME: Animating Life explores limits of intimacy and forms of companionship creatively reorganized in today’s Japanese popular culture. Taking ‘animation’ and ‘life’ as key concepts, the Program examines how the popular cultural imagination animates – breathes life into – a variety of relationships people establish with human and nonhuman others. How do characters come to life? How do dogs come to talk? How do robots come to care? Building on the aesthetic of animation long cultivated in Japanese film, anime, and other expressive genres, we hope to expand the concept of animation to consider the enchantment of life in a wide range of practices and phenomena, including (but by no means limited to) virtual idol fandom, technology of care, gaming, anime pilgrimage, translation, digital sex, social media and political mobilization, and animal sociality. We seek to discern convergence, feedback, and crossing among diverse dimensions of animation. To that end, we welcome applicants interested in any facet of Japanese society where the concepts of ‘animation’ and ‘life’ may be productively mobilized for analysis. The range of topics and disciplinary backgrounds for consideration is wide open.


What kinds of encounters, with what kinds of others, in what iterations of intimacy and companionship, are coming to take the place of human-human sociality? How are human relations thereby being transformed? How are fans, creators, programmers, urban dwellers, protesters, and other social actors navigating what once constituted the terrain of the social through alternative, manufactured, virtual, commodified means? In order to rethink intimacy and companionship against the background of such globally circulating images of contemporary Japan as ‘relationless,’ ‘sexless,’ and ‘singlified’ -- images often uncritically linked to a pathology of sociality -- we turn to media contents and cultural practices, and to media technologies of various kinds, as a site of creative experimentation in the animation of life.


For inquiry please contact: animatinglife2016.inquiry@gmail.com (do not send applications to this address)


For Application Form Please Visit Our Website: http://kadokawa.iii.u-tokyo.ac.jp/summer_program2016/


Contact Info: 

Shunsuke Nozawa

Project Associate Professor

Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies

University of Tokyo

7-3-1 Hongo Bunkyo-ku Tokyo, Japan 113-0033

03 5841 7907