Digital Social Science and Oral Narrative Research Unit presents a symposium on

Intersections: Fan Studies in Conversation in Japan

・Date: December 16, 2018 (Sunday)
・Time: 10:00–19:30
・Venue: Room 1702, Building 2, Sophia University, Tokyo
・Language: English (and Japanese)
・Organizers: Lori Morimoto, Nele Noppe and Patrick W. Galbraith
・Host: David H. Slater, Institute of Comparative Culture at Sophia University
・Admission: Free and Open to All
・Language: English (No translation)


Over the past 15 years, English-language scholarship on Japanese media and fan cultures has grown increasingly robust and plentiful. The same period also witnessed the continued evolution of English-language fan studies. There is, however, surprisingly little conversation between them. Many factors are at work here, including the perception among many scholars in the Anglophone world that there is little to be gained from such conversation. For these scholars, at best, “Japanese media and fans” is code for manga, anime and otaku, which are of interest only to thoseinterested, and, at worst, “Japan” is too impenetrable to meaningfully engage with, too different and distant to impact how we think of fan cultures in English-language scholarship. There is a general tendency to tune out Japanese voices, even as a few English-language translations have circulated outside Japan studies circles. Similarly, in Japan, there is little engagement with fan studies beyond the best-known authors and texts. This symposium is intended as a step in the direction of greater contact between scholars based in the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan, who all focus on media and fan cultures, but in diverse ways. The goal is not only to encourage conversation and collaboration across dividing lines, but also to critically assess some of the assumptions and blind spots in fan studies today.


9:30: Doors Open
9:50: Opening Remarks

10:00-12:00: Voices from the United Kingdom and United States(Click to move to abstracts and bio page)

“Spatial Transmedia, Participatory Cultures and the Global Theme Park,” Rebecca WILLIAMS (University of South Wales, UK)
“The Power Lives On: Empty Nostalgia, Transnational Production Flows and Anniversary Branding in the Power Rangers Television Franchise,” Ross GARNER (Cardiff University, UK)
“Fan Remix Remixed: The Evolving Aesthetics and Practices of Cosplay Music Videos,” Louisa STEIN (Middlebury College, USA)
“The Pop Culture Classroom,” Paul BOOTH (DePaul University, USA)

12:10-13:00: Discussion Prompted and Led by Lori Morimoto

13:00-14:30: Lunch break

14:30-16:30: Voices from Japan (Click to move to abstracts and bio page)

“Audience Studies and Fan Studies: Bridging the Gap,” Julian PIMIENTA (Nagoya University, Japan)
“Fans Visiting the Locations of Creative Fiction: The Mediatization of Tourism in Contemporary Japan,” Jin NAKAMURA (Japan University of Economics, Japan)
“Weak Ties Among Intimate Strangers: Female Fandom of 2.5-Dimensional Theatrical Performances,” Akiko SUGAWA-SHIMADA (Yokohama National University, Japan)
“Are Dedicated Manga Readers “Fans?” On Japanese Shōjo Manga Culture and its Social Reception,” Yukari FUJIMOTO (Meiji University, Japan)

16:40-17:30: Discussion Prompted and Led by Nele Noppe

18:00-18:40: Keynote Address

“Archiving Fan Cultures and Fan Activities,” Kaichirō MORIKAWA (Meiji University, Japan)

18:40-19:00: Discussion Prompted and Led by Patrick W. Galbraith

19:05: Closing Remarks
19:30: Doors Close

Photos by the courtesy of Dr. Akiko SUGAWA-SHIMADA