CFP Imaginary Japan:

Imaginary Japan:
Japanese Fantasy in Contemporary Popular Culture

Thursday 18, September – Saturday 20, September 2008
At the University of Helsinki, Finland

Gothic Lolitas, anime and J-pop mixes with Western mainstream popular culture, as Japanese horror films are remade in Hollywood, Finnish kiosks sell manga, and Japanese pop music attracts unforeseen audiences. Cuteness and monsters, stories and humours, sexuality and violence in Japanese fantasy appeal widely in Western cultures. Mutually, the Western styles fascinate in Japan. Styles and imageries circulate between “Japan” and “West”, appearing to each other as both familiar and fascinatingly strange at the same time.

The Finnish Society for Cinema Studies (SETS) invites presentations which explore the popular images of Japan in intercultural and multidisciplinary context, concentrating on the theme of intercultural encounters. The conference will bring together Japanese and Western views on contemporary Japanese audiovisual and popular culture. The conference will offer a multidisciplinary platform for scholars of a wide range of relevant fields of studies in popular culture, film and media, and is open to presentations from the entire spectrum of popular culture: film, television, music, new media; photography and other visual arts; sound, games, fashion and design.

Confirmed Keynote Speakers

Machiko Kusahara, Waseda University / University of California

Susan Napier, University of Texas

Alezander Zahlten, Universität Mainz / Nippon Connection Film Festival

We invite papers on intercultural encounters in all areas of popular culture covering cultural, economical, political and social issues. The themes of the seminar are:

  • Globalization of Japanese popular culture
  • Cultural interchange between Japan and West
  • Fascination and seduction, otherness and cultural anxieties of Japanese popular culture
  • Different genres, styles and concepts in Japanese popular culture (such as anime, manga, kawaii, pinku eiga, j-horror, otaku)
  • Western and Finnish Fan experience
  • Japanese cinema and media culture
  • Aspects of production, artists and filmmakers
  • Marketing processes of contemporary Japanese media culture
  • Contemporary society, gender and ethnicity in Japanese popular culture.

Proposals including an abstract (max. 250 words) and a short CV should be submitted to Conference Secretary Varpu Rantala by email: by May 12, 2008 at latest. Notification of acceptance will be sent by May 23, 2008. The conference fee is 60 Euros (30 Euros concessions). The refereed seminar proceedings will be published in IIPC Publication Series.

Organizers: Finnish Society for Film Studies in co-operation with Helsinki International Film festival, National Audiovisual Archive (Finland), International Institute for Popular Culture (IIPC) and several Finnish University departments: Cinema and Television Studies (University of Helsinki), Asia-Pacific Studies (University of Helsinki), Media Studies (University of Turku), Centre for East-Asian Studies (University of Turku), Department of Journalism and Mass Communication (University of Tampere) and Elomedia (University of Art and Design).


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