Contemporary Japanese Media Cultures: Industry, Society and Audiences

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Symposium: 5th September 2012.
This one-day Symposium on Japanese popular media investigates the significance of contemporary Japanese media to the wider industries and cultures that they serve. Although access to Japanese media cultures has never been better for those living outside Japan, there remains a dearth of analytical engagement with how the Japanese media industries function, and only patchy coverage exists of the media texts produced within Japan.  Therefore, this Symposium seeks to unpack some of the complexities within the Japanese media landscape, by considering how differing media industries work in collaboration as well as in competition with one another. In doings so, the aim is to bring together speakers utilising a wide range of approaches and specialist knowledge to discuss the interconnectivity of Japan’s media industries, visible in phenomena such as cross-media adaptations, franchising practices, remakes of texts and international distribution. We also aim to complicate the notion of Japanese media industries as “national” by investigating the regional, transnational and global reach of their texts.
We seek papers examining how Japanese media, including (but not limited to) manga, anime, video games, television, magazine publishing and film operate within and beyond Japanese borders.  The aim is to bring together experts able to discuss how Japanese media products get made, and why, who gets to see them (legally or otherwise) and what it is that academic explorations of Japan’s media might be able to offer the industries and cultures they study.
Topics might include (but are in no way limited to):
•    Japanese media franchising
•    National, regional, transnational and/or global distribution of Japanese media
•    Japanese media industries
•    Cross-media adaptation
•    Transmedia storytelling
•    Media production techniques and systems
•    Cross-media genres
•    New media texts
•    Ancillary industries (e.g. Japanese special effects houses, animation outsourcing, voice acting, stars and their agents)
•    Translation of media from Japanese to other languages
•    Invisible media (e.g. texts or genres popular in Japan, but not often exported or studied)
•    Popular cross-media franchises (e.g. Naruto, Bleach, One Piece, Atom Boy, Bayside Shakedown)
•    Reception of Japanese media texts
•    Audiences, fans and subcultures

Symposium to be held in Norwich, in conjunction with the University of East Anglia, the British Association of Japanese Studies and the Arts and Humanities Research Council

Papers proposals of no more than 300 words should be sent to mangamoviessymposium@gmail.com by, Monday 30th April 2012. If you would like more information, please contact r.denison@uea.ac.uk.

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