The End of “Cool” Japan?: Ethical, Legal, Political and Cultural Challenges for Japanese Popular Culture Teachers, Researchers and Students

Organizers: University of Michigan Department of Screen Arts & Cultures and Center for Japanese Studies

Location: University of Michigan, North Quad Space 2435 (Ann Arbor, MI)

Date: April 5, 2014

This workshop addresses some pressing concerns for all those with an investment in teaching and learning about Japan via its popular culture. It brings together Japan specialists, both educators and researchers, in order to identify key challenges in research and pedagogy and to develop a framework for a code of ethics that can serve as a guideline for Japan Studies professionals.


9.30 – Welcome

Markus Nornes

 9.45-10.30 – Opening Address

  • Ethical and legal Issues in teaching Japanese popular culture to undergraduate students

Mark McLelland (Professor of Gender and Sexuality Studies, University of Wollongong)

10.30-10:45 – Coffee

10.45-12.00 – Panel One: Negotiating Student Expectations

Laura Miller (Ei’ichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Endowed Professor of Japanese Studies and Professor of Anthropology, University of Missouri-St. Louis)

  • Student sensibilities and gatekeeper protests: Teaching and presenting research on unwelcome Japan studies topics

Alisa Freedman (Associate Professor of Japanese Literature and Film, University of Oregon)

  • Death Note and crimes in the classroom: Issues in teaching Japanese popular culture to the Ne(x)t Generation

12.00-1.00 Lunch

1.00-3.00 Panel Two: Sex and Violence In and Beyond the Classroom

Sabine Fruhstuck (Professor of Modern Japanese Cultural Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara)

  • “Every picture tells a lie:” Teaching the popular culture of sexuality and violence

Kirsten Cather (Associate Professor of Asian Studies, University of Texas, Austin)

  • Trying obscene manga in the courtroom and classroom: Ethical and legal issues in teaching Japanese popular culture to undergraduate students

Patrick Galbraith (Ph.D. candidate, Cultural Anthropology, Duke University)

  • Is there room for lolicon in Cool Japan?

3.00-3.15 – Coffee

3.15-4.00 – Future Directions: “The End of Cool Japan?” Roundtable Discussion

[Full Program Brochure forthcoming]

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