One of the last places I expect to see a mention of a “smash-hit Japanese comic book” is the business section of the New York Times. And yet, on October 20, the Times highlighted the unexpected and unparalleled success of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba – The Movie: Mugen Train, which set a new box office revenue record on its opening weekend, and has since gone on to become the second highest grossing film of all-time in Japan.

At this point, it’s becoming hard to under-emphasize how much of a big deal Demon Slayer is on the Japanese popular culture landscape. And, now, Waseda University has announced a Call for Papers for The Waseda Symposium on Demon Slayer (鬼滅の刃) (to be held as an online event/webinar)

Suspensions of Concentration: Kimetsu no yaiba and Blockbuster in the Year of the Global Pandemic
Waseda University / online
March 15, 2021

“By scrutinizing Kimetsu no yaiba in relation to these and other issues, we will collectively reflect on the location of anime in its broadest sense. 

This one-day online symposium is an attempt to accomplish this objective by exploring a wide range of issues that are concretely related to Kimetsu no yaiba yet have implications beyond the single media franchise. The following are examples of possible topics for presentations and discussions:

The anime industry and media mix, fan culture, cosplay and social media, anime songs and music, voice acting and actors genre systems, intertextuality, action and spectacle, speed and kinetic dynamism, narrative motifs, iconography, visual style, historical imagination, the political unconscious, affect, violence, censorship, gender and authorship, transnational reception and consumption, labor and marketing, COVID-19 and the culture industry, etc.

We invite papers that critically discuss any aspects of the Kimetsu phenomena including – but not limited to – the list of topics mentioned above.”

Proposal length: 250 words
Submission deadline: January 9, 2021

Send proposals to: wasedakimetsu@gmail.com

The full Call for Papers is reproduced below and available at H-Net H-Announce.

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