Media, Identity and Performance in Japan and Beyond

Date: Saturday, November 13, 2010
Time: 14:00-18:00 (doors open at 13:30)
Venue: Sophia University Yotuya Campus, Bldg 12, Rm 301
Organizer: David H. Slater (Sophia University)
Admission: Free (open to the general public)
Language: English and Japanese




1:30pm Registration
2:00pm - 2:10pm Introduction by David Slater (Sophia University)
2:15pm - 2:30pm Paper 1: Positioning Cosplay as a Global Subculture
Edmund W. Hoff (Nagoya University)
2:40pm - 3:10pm Paper 2: "It's More Than Taking Pictures": Framing 'Play' and Performance in Cos-play
Alexis Truong (University of Ottawa/Sophia University)
3:30pm - 4:00pm Paper 3: Deconstructing a Subculture: Contextualizing the Dynamics of Youth Identity and Subculture
Isaac Gagne (Yale University)
4:10pm - 4:50pm Paper 4: Overseas Deployment of Fashion Culture from Japan: The Policy Process of Pop-culture Fashion Valuing
Nakamura Jin (The University of Tokyo)
5:00pm - 6:00pm Roundup discussion and questions from the floor
Patrick W. Galbraith (University of Tokyo)



A vibrant fan culture has developed around manga, anime and videogames, and perhaps the most visible indicator of its presence is "cosplay." A portmanteau combining "costume" and "(role)play," cosplay is for some people almost synonymous with Japanese fandom, but its roots are in sci-fi conventions in the United States. Connected with the rich media scene in Japan, the practice of costuming as favorite characters took on a life of its own. Conventions can draw 14,000 cosplayers, and websites over 200,000 users. The annual "cosplay market" is estimated at $350 million. For a short time there was even a "professional cosplay course" offered by a trade school. And this enthusiasm is fast spreading around the world, as evidenced by the annual World Cosplay Summit. The quality of costumes and passion of their wearers continues to draw media attention around the world. Unfortunately, cosplay has yet to draw much academic attention, despite the potential wealth of insights to be gained. This conference brings together scholars from a variety of backgrounds to consider not only cosplay, but also intersections with fashion, subculture, performance, identity and gender.

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Sophia University Institute of Comparative Culture
7-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8554, JAPAN
TEL: +81-(0)3-3238-4082
FAX: +81-(0)3-3238-4081
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