The full schedule is now available for the upcoming online symposium Queer and Feminist Perspectives on Japanese Popular Cultures, organized by a team of scholars from Concordia University (Canada), UNSW Sydney (Australia) and Tulane University (USA), and supported by the Media, Gender and Sexualities Study Group (University of Tokyo). The goal of the symposium is to explore points of contact between Japanese popular culture broadly defined – including anime/manga, videogames, fashion, literature, and other fields and areas – and feminist studies, with an emphasis on issues of and intersections among gender, sexuality, race, queerness, disability, and class.

Over three days, the symposium will feature more than 20 speakers, representing institutions from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Italy, Japan, and other countries, as well as two keynote addresses. Emory University professor Erika Kanesaka, the creator of the website, will speak on the topic of “Cute and the Asian American experience”, and Laura Miller, the Eiichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Endowed Professor of Japanese Studies, University of St. Louis-Missouri, will speak to “Taking Girls Seriously”. Dr. Miller is the author of Beauty Up: Exploring Contemporary Japanese Body Aesthetics (University of California Press, 2006) and co-editor of, among other titles, Manners and Mischief: Gender, Power, and Etiquette in Japan (University of California Press, 2011) and Modern Girls on the Go: Gender, Mobility, and Labor in Japan (Stanford University Press, 2013). Just some of the articles on Japanese popular culture she has written include Extreme makeover for a Heian-era wizard, Japan’s Cinderella motif: Beauty industry and mass culture interpretations of a popular icon, Behavior that offends: Comics and other images of incivility, and Rebranding Himiko, the shaman queen of ancient history.

The symposium is free, but registration is required, and a Zoom link will be sent to all individuals who register for the event.

April 15

5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
BL and queer studies

  • A utopian poetics of female observers inside/out in BL Manga
    Marianne Tarcov (McGill University)
    Emma Wang
  • Who put the ♂ in M♂M? Locating the breedable male body in shōshika BL
    Yoshika Han
    Jaclyn Zhou (University of California, Berkeley)
  • The bishōnen as void, and void again: Understanding Rio Kishida’s Summer Vacation 1999 through a framework of zero
    River Seager

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Neurodiversity; On/offline spaces

  • Queer temporalities and fragmented narratives: Analyzing Frieren: Beyond Journey’s End in the context of crip theory and neurodiversity in manga
    Yuuki Namba
  • Case study on Yuri Cafe Anchor
    Erica Friedman
  • Elevating and resisting femininity: The customization of girls’ identities on TikTok
    Sonja Petrovic

April 16

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Anime production and online misogyny

  • Understanding transmisogyny in contemporary Japanese popular culture: An anime comparative analysis
    Emilia Hoarfrost
  • “It’s always the annoying shōjo fan”: How transnational shoujo fans experience and cope with misogyny in online spaces
    Rachel Ramlawi (Purdue University)
  • Breaking the world’s egg: Recent female protagonism in shōnen
    Rafael Dirques David Regis
    Sarah Silva da Rosa
    Júlio César Valente Ferreira
    Gabriela Rodrigues Diniz

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Keynote Address – Cute and the Asian American experience

Erica Kanesaka (Assistant Professor, English, Emory University)

11:30 a.m. 1:00 p.m.
Femininities, the cute, and the queer

  • Maid cafes and visual representation: A feminist reflection
    Georgia Thomas-Parr (University College London)
  • ‘I’d sure make a lousy princess’: Resistances and reinventions of female fairy tale archetypes within Junichi Sato and Kaori Naruse’s Prétear – The New Legend of Snow White
    Sarah Jessica Darley (University of East Anglia)
  • Catgirls in café uniforms: Tokyo Mew Mew and queer shoujo databases
    Eve McLachlan
  • Kawaii, subordinate, obedient: Representations of Asian femininity in anime and animation
    Hazel Oh

7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Media, materialisms, and fan cultures

  • Watching boys: Kamen Rider’s television audience
    Sophia Staite (University of Tasmania)
  • Sword girls to Saniwa: Fan identity beyond binary genres
    Estelle Rust
  • Shoyru, I want to meet you – Neopets Japan’s poetry contest and girls’ web literature in the 2000s
    Andrew Campana (Cornell University)

9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Panel discussion – Online violence and ethical togetherness

Chair: Megan Rose
Aurélie Petit (Concordia University)
Patrick Galbraith (Senshu University)

10:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Femininities, body, and voice

  • (En)gendering her ‘ugly body’: bodies, femininity, and postcoloniality in post-war Japan
    Miyuki Shiraki
  • Girl Estranged: Reconfigurations of anime girls in queer feminist art
    Megan Rose and Patrick Galbraith

April 17

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Keynote Address – Taking Girls Seriously
Laura Miller (Eiichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Endowed Professor of Japanese Studies and Professor of Anthropology, University of Missouri – St. Louis)

11:30 a.m. – 1:00pm
Representation and diversity in anime and manga

  • Beautiful, brillant, bishōnen: the aesthetics of femininity and masculinity in the “beautiful boy” depiction of shōjo and BL manga
    Camil Valerio Riste (Universita di Bologna)
  • Overcoming the male gaze: The rise of queer women in popular media
    Maiko Nakamura
  • Navigating the wired: Autistic-coded neurodiversity in Serial Experiments Lain
    Serafina Paladino
  • The consequences of puritanism in fandom
    Sam Aburime

5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
LGBTQIA+ representation and practices

  • Transformative bodies: How gender-diverse individuals respond to gender-bending anime and manga
    Ashley Remminga (La Trobe University)
  • The killing of Miki: A comparative analysis of the portrayal of the feminine Body in Go Nagai’s Devilman and Masaaki Yuasa’s Devilman Crybaby
    Aparna Rajeev
  • When play turns revolutionary: Otaku communities and LGBTIQA+ fanzine production in Peru
    Alexandra Arana (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Reticent desires: On the possibilities and problematics of queer expression at anime conventions
    Paul Ocone (Meiji University)

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Fan media and the destablization of gender norms

  • Japanese lesbian taxonomies and the linguistic entanglement of gender and sexuality in community creation and division
    Crystal Gong
  • “Let’s become o-jōsama together!”: Destabilizing gender norms in Vtuber fandom interaction
    Hannah Dahlberg-Dodd (Tokyo College, University of Tokyo)
  • Convergence and divergence in fan assessments of the anime Aggressive Retsuko/Aggretsuko
    Debra J. Occhi

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