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Forgot to mention this because the acceptance notification came while I was in Deadlineville. I finally get to visit the US! The place is pretty famous, so this is all rather exciting.

The main reason for this trip is Console-ing Passions, a feminist media studies conference that will take place in Boston on 19-21 July. l'll be part of Mel Stanfill's panel 'Media fandom and/as labor'. Rebecca Carlson and Karen Hellekson will be on that panel as well. It looks like I'll get to meet a ton of people I've only ever spoken with over the internet, which is awesome.  

My topic will be the flow of money in dojinshi exchange. Abstract:

The market for print dojinshi (Japanese fan comics) is one of the most well-known examples of an established, large-scale system in which fan creators routinely monetize their fanworks. Besides fans, many entities from convention organizers to transport firms and dojinshi resale shops are involved in the creation of a dojinshi and its distribution throughout its commercial 'life'. In this case study, I analyze what all these actors contribute and how they are compensated for their involvement. I keep a particular focus on how and to what degree fans who create dojinshi may or may not profit financially from the sale and resale of their works. It has been pointed out numerous times that in the case of English-language online fandom, any financial value that is created by fannish activities is often reaped exclusively by media companies. By examining how money circulates in one existing and well-developed system for the monetization of fanworks, I raise the question of who might 'deserve' compensation when a fanwork creates financial value in the context of the increasingly intense fan-industry collaborations (intentional or not) around English-language media.

I've been reading through Comiket catalogs and zines to get some numbers, and poking various people involved with dojinshi to ask about their experiences. Mighty interesting. Although everybody sells their works, of course, there still seems to be a similar sort of gendered divide as in many English-speaking fan communities, with the guys being more focused on the financial side of things in several ways. But the people who told me that all emphasized that this is just a general impression they have, so I'll have to dig deeper into this. Drafting Fanlore articles on dojinshi resale shops and dojinshi printing companies as I go along.

But enough research talk. Tourism!

Iroh in his tourist hat

Since it's my first time going to the US, I'll squeeze in some travel time before or after the conference. I definitely want to take a train across the country from Boston; I adore train travel, and the long Amtrak routes look fascinating. I'm thinking of just buying a two-week rail pass and making a big loop, starting with Boston -> Seattle and then going south for a while before returning to the east coast via a different route. If this is a crazy idea and Amtrak trains are actually from hell, please tell me now?

I can get off the train here and there and explore for a few days. Recommendations for such side trips would be very, very welcome. Anyone want to meet up? :)
 
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