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Just got back from the conference "Intercultural Crossovers, Transcultural Flows: Manga/Comics" (pdf) in Cologne. Apologies for the late update -hotel wifi was crummy and expensive, and wifi inside the conference hall was mostly nonexistent, so I couldn't post or tweet during the conference. At least half of the attendants I chatted with turned out to be on Twitter, and not being able to have online discussion during the presentations seemed like a missed opportunity. There's talk of a follow-up conference already. Can we have wifi next time? :)

Overall, I had a great time, mostly because I got to meet a ton of interesting new people and reconnect with those I'd already met at that other conference in Kyoto last December. My attention during the conference was mostly on the fan studies-related presentations, and they were a bit limited for the most part. There was a lot of ethnography, which made for some interesting data but mostly resulted in fairly superficial overviews of manga fandom in various countries. (And one description of a large-scale survey research across several European countries that made me want to tear my hair out because of its outdated methodology and monkeys-in-the-zoo approach to manga fans. The least said about that one, the better.) Talks during the breaks and dinners were a lot more interesting and insightful, as per usual. A special thank you to Thomas Becker, Pascal Lefèvre, Verena Maser, Zoltan Kacsuk, Jaqueline Berndt, Martin Roth, Elisabeth Klar, Kenji-Thomas Nishino and Fujimoto Yukari for the interesting discussions.

The workshop on Naruto on the third day ended up being my favourite part of the conference. Having one common theme tying the presentations together made every new talk feel at least somewhat familiar and much more interesting to listen to. It was fascinating to see so many divergent viewpoints on one and the same series; for instance, Fujimoto Yukari heavily critiqued Naruto's female characters while Fusami Ogi instead called them "strong" in her own presentation immediately afterwards. I wish I could have squeezed in a question about that, but alas, discussion time at the end of the presentations almost always ended up too short. Omote Tomoyuki and Ito Go did two of the few presentations that had me paying attention from the first to the last word, and I'm going to try and find out if their material is online anywhere so I can link. Martin Roth's argument was hard to follow because I lack basic knowledge about video game theory, but provoked some great discussion, for instance on the added value for hardcore fans of games that add little to the story of whatever manga/anime they're based on. I must confess to having read only one volume of Naruto ever, but the workshop made me want to tear through the whole series right away. Will get right to that as soon as the work situation calms down.

I did a presentation on methodological issues that crop up in attempts to do comparative research on Japanese-language and English-language fan comics. Unexpected business during the week leading up to the conference drastically reduced my preparation time, and the presentation ended up a a lot more jumbled than I'd hoped. I wish I'd had more time to polish the structure. Fortunately, the audience was very forgiving and took me seriously anyway. I'm polishing up the presentation and a brief summary with tons of links. Post to follow next week.

ETA: Forgot to insert cut in post, is fixed now.
Date: 2010-10-11 01:29 pm (UTC)

From: [identity profile] kethylia.livejournal.com
Sounds like you've been having fun lately too. ^_^ I would have loved to have attended, but I can't justify the cost of international travel to any conference where I'm not presenting. So, do keep me updated with any CfP if they do decide to do a follow-up.

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