Friday, 1 June 2012
Attending a brilliant Kobe University symposium on manga culture, pic: Ian Condry from MIT.
From the conference outline: The aim of this conference, titled “Manga Worlds”, is creating a platform where a variety of discourses and theories on manga and anime cultures can meet for an opportunity to deepen academic discussion. The conference will encompass talks by world-renowned scholars and professionals working not only in established disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, aesthetics and Japanology but also within subculture, visual culture and manga / comics studies.
Today, the debate on the globalization of manga / anime culture is increasing, as is the demand for academic research, such as Japanology. As part of this trend, we often see the tendency to regard the phenomenon as an expansion of homogeneous subculture derived from Japanese culture. But is this true? It seems that what is really happening around the world might be a multi-layered development of popular culture in each region, a phenomenon called “glocalization”. We need to reevaluate the assumptions concerning the relation between manga / anime culture and “Japaneseness.”