unjapanologist: (Default)
2014-11-21 06:03 pm

PhD on dojinshi exchange in Japan is all done!

Late announcement because I spent the last three weeks at a conference and then recovering my brain, but I successfully defended my PhD in Japanese Studies on October 27. YESSS DONE. I have a lot to say about what I found, where the research is going now, and where I'm going professionally, but for now I just want to point out where the stuff is.

In very short, the research describes the basics of how dojinshi (fan-made manga) are exchanged in Japan, and tries to think about what that system of exchange means for fans/companies/other stakeholders in the Japanese cultural economy. Although I went in with the aim of getting a degree in Japanese Studies, the research was conducted and written up with an audience of English-speaking fans and fan studies scholars in mind. I look at dojinshi exchange through two closely related lenses that others have also used to frame creation and exchange of "amateur" works - "hybrid economies" and "open source cultural goods". This led to a lot of food for thought, especially in relation to how fanworks are exchanged and sometimes monetized elsewhere, like on the English-speaking internet. More about the actual results in later posts.

Here's a more structured summary of the research in presentation format. Made for the defense, so it's still very condensed, but it has more details and pretty pictures.

(First and last time that I've ever used my uni's official boring template for a presentation. I wanted to do it just once.)

Secondly, you can get the full text of the thesis on http://www.nelenoppe.net/dojinshi/thesis, divided into the following chapters:

The thesis text linked to here is what I defended last month, but it isn't meant to be final. It's more of a snapshot of ongoing work. The text is on a wiki, so it can and will change as facts or interpretations evolve. (For instance, in a discussion about the accessibility of various dojinshi distribution channels for non-Japanese fans, I talk at some length about how Japanese dojinshi retailer Toranoana doesn't ship outside the country. But Toranoana has actually started shipping outside Japan now, so I'll have to change that bit soon.)

Because the text is likely to be modified and corrected a lot, I decided not to put a fixed PDF on the site. If you want a PDF, epub or odt version, you can have one generated on the fly from the latest up-to-date version of the wiki text. Everything is licensed CC-BY-SA, so please use it! More wiki talk soon, there will be much more on there as the giant thesis text is ummm reprocessed into more practical formats, for instance in Fanlore and Wikipedia articles.

Comments/corrections/critique/requests for info are extremely welcome. There's a comments section under every chapter, and the homepage of the wiki contains info about where else I can be reached. There's a lot of rough spots and holes in the research still, but at least I have over 100K actual finished written words to build on now. *beams*

I hope this will be a fun and useful read, especially for all the many fannish and academic friends who helped me out and cheered me on over the years. THANK YOU.
unjapanologist: (fetchez la vache)
2012-06-24 09:34 pm

Best conference session ever

Today was the last day of the Japan Society for Research in Cartoons and Comics' annual big meetup, and the topic of the final session was doujinshi and copyright. On stage were a manga researcher, a fan researcher, an IP lawyer, a representative from a large publishing company, and a professional mangaka with strong ties to doujin fandom. They spent two hours tossing around ideas for how to legalize doujinshi and make sure that possible tightening of Japanese copyright law (via, say, the TPP) won't harm either doujinshi creators or media companies.

Read more... )

unjapanologist: (Default)
2011-12-07 09:26 pm

[research] Draft conference paper: Fanwork as a test case for open source cultural goods

On Nov. 27-28, the Japan Association for Cultural Economics organized the first edition of a yearly workshop at Doshisha University, Kyoto, to fill the long gap between its big yearly conferences. I presented a draft paper titled 'Fanwork as a test case for open source cultural goods'.

This paper is a follow-up on my recent symposium piece 'Why we should talk about commodifying fan work', more precisely this footnote:

Read more... )
unjapanologist: (hey ozai)
2011-07-11 05:14 pm

[Research] Academic squee: two articles on the cultural economy of fanwork accepted

Two articles recently accepted for publication/presentation: "Why we should talk about commodifying fan work" will appear in Transformative Works and Cultures in November, and "Open source production as a model for commodification of derivative works" will be presented at the Asian Workshop on Cultural Economics, which is organized by the the Association of Cultural Economics Japan and takes place on November 27-28 this year, in Kyoto.

As the titles suggest, these two are very closely related, and I'm thrilled that they can be published more or less together. The TWC piece is the tl;dr version of the post I did yesterday about Keith Mander, and the open source paper is the even more tl;dr version of a footnote attached to the TWC piece. Both talk about the cultural economy of fanwork, but since each is written for a different crowd (fan studies people and cultural economics people), they have a somewhat different focus. The TWC text argues that commodification of fanworks may be inevitable, and why this could be a good thing for fandom. The open source text is basically a thinking exercise/tentative proposal about how "derivative" works such as fanworks could be commodified in practice, based on principles associated with open source production.


Read more... )