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Queer and Feminist Perspectives on Japanese Popular Cultures Symposium

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Event description

During this symposium we will explore the convergence of gender, sexuality, race, queerness, disability and class. This symposium provides a platform for critical discussions about gender and Japanese animation, fashion, video games, literature and digital cultures. In doing so we hope to encourage new directions in feminist approaches to Japanese popular cultures. 🌼


All times listed are in USA Eastern Daylight Time. Times listed have been designed to facilitate speakers from across the globe.

🌼 Day One (15th April, EDT)

5:30 to 6:45pm: BL and queer studies

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

7:00 to 8:00pm: 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)
  • Reticent desires: On the possibilities and problematics of queer expression at anime conventions (Paul Ocone)

🌼 Day two (16th April, EDT)

8:30 to 9:30am: 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)
  • 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 to 11:00am: Keynote Kawaii With/out Borders: A View from the Japanese Diaspora by Erica Kanesaka 

11:30 to 1:00pm: Femininities, the cute, and the queer

  • Maid cafes and visual representation: A feminist reflection (Georgia Thomas-Parr)
  • ‘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)
  • 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)

Afternoon break

7:00 to 8:30pm: Media, materialisms, and fan cultures

  • Watching boys: Kamen Rider’s television audience (Sophia Staite)
  • 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)

9:00 to 10:00pm: Online violence and ethical togetherness (Aurélie Petit, Patrick Galbraith, Megan Rose (chair))

10:00pm to 11:30pm: 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)

🌼 Day three (17th April, EDT)

10:00 to 11:00am: Keynote Taking Girls Seriously by Laura Miller 

11:30 to 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)
  • 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)

Afternoon break

5:30 to 7:00pm: LGBTQIA+ representation and practices

  • Transformative bodies: How gender-diverse individuals respond to gender-bending anime and manga (Ashley Remminga)
  • 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)

7:00 to 8:00pm: 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)
  • Convergence and divergence in fan assessments of the anime Aggressive Retsuko/Aggretsuko (Debra J. Occhi)

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