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"Anime, Manga & Youth" Subject of September 7 Toshiba Symposium

August 23, 2001

August 23, 2001, Greencastle, Ind. - Two leading experts in the study of Japanese animated films, or “anime,” and Japanese comic books, “manga,” will be on the DePauw University campus Friday, September 7, for the first Toshiba Symposium of the fall term, “Anime, Manga and Youth Culture.” The event will begin at 10 a.m. with a session in the Watson Forum of the Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media. A luncheon and discussion with symposium speakers will follow in the Union Building ballroom, which should conclude at approximately 2 p.m.

Examining these media and their cultural and commercial impact will be two guests. Susan Napier, professor of Japanese Literature and Culture at the University of Texas in Austin, is the author of several books including, Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation and The Fantastic in Modern Japanese Literature: The Subversion of Modernity.

Sharon Kinsella is a researcher and lecturer based in Yale University's Department of Sociology. Directly related to the symposium's theme is her study Adult Manga: Culture and Power in Contemporary Japanese Society, which was published last year by the University of Hawaii Press. In addition to her work on manga, the manga industry, and the subculture of manga devotees, she has researched the culture of Japanese girls.

Anime and manga have become a staple in Japan's popular culture and they have found a growing audience, especially among young people, around the world. Susan Napier has written that viewers East College tall xzof anime in Japan "range from little children watching Pokemon and other child-oriented fantasies, to college students or young adults, enjoying the harder-edged science fiction films like Akira and its many descendants... Sometimes, as was the case with Princess Mononokeand other films by its director, Miyazaki Hayao, anime cuts across generational lines to be embraced by everyone from children to grandparents." Manga are often closely related to anime in terms of content and as Sharon Kinsella has pointed out, are an even more pervasive presence in contemporary Japanese society. Gender, the body, the environment, the future -- all are common themes taken up in both anime and manga.

All are invited to participate in this symposium, but as space is limited, please RSVP to Paul Watt, director of Asian Studies, at pwatt@depauw.edu or (765) 653-4719. This symposium is made possible by a grant from the Toshiba International Foundation.

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