Registration for Spirited Discussions: Exploring 30 Years of Studio Ghibli conference (Cardiff University, 18 April 2015) now open


Registration for the Spirited Discussions: Exploring 30 Years of Studio Ghibli conference is now live

JOMEC, Cardiff University, UK, 18 April 2015
(in collaboration with the University of East Anglia)

For 30 years, Studio Ghibli has produced some of Japan’s most popular and profitable films, and yet, beyond the work of famous film director Hayao Miyazaki, many of Studio Ghibli’s achievements remain unknown outside of Japan. This one-day conference is the first of its kind, and aims to investigate the meanings of Studio Ghibli, and its significance to Japanese and global culture.

Our speakers are international, coming from Japan, Europe and the UK, and our Keynote speaker, Professor Susan Napier, is one of the world’s leading experts on anime, whose work is widely available in Japanese as well as in English. In bringing these speakers together, we aim to offer new understandings of Studio Ghibli’s complex Japanese industrial and cultural history to those outside Japan who rarely see these sides of Japan’s most famous film studio.
Surprisingly little is known about Studio Ghibli, despite the high profile international success of its director Hayao Miyazaki. Not all of the Studio’s films have been released in the UK, nor are its regular contributors – from director Isao Takahata to producer Toshio Suzuki – well-known in the West. Our main aim is to improve academic and public knowledge about Studio Ghibli, and by doing so, to improve understanding of how Japanese animation operates and how it has come to be popular at home and abroad.

The conference offers a key moment for rethinking the debates around Studio Ghibli, marking not only 30 years since the Studio began, but also the year of its impending closure. We intend to ask what this might mean for the future of animation in Japan, and reflect on the the Studio’s incredible global success.

Our contributor’s papers will explore cultural, economic, historical and industrial concepts that seek to interrogate Studio Ghibli’s meanings in relation to broader aspects of Japanese culture and society. In this way, we hope to improve understandings of both, and to begin a deeper discussion about how anime works within Japanese culture.


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