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:
- 1: Introduction
- 2: About the research
- 3: Introduction to the system of dōjinshi exchange
- 4: Reading dōjinshi exchange as a hybrid economy
- 5: Dōjinshi as open source cultural goods
- 6: Conclusions
- Bibliography and works cited
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.