My article "Record of Dying Days: The Alternate History of Ôoku" was published in Mechademia 10 in November, and the BCNM very kindly put out a short blurb about it. You can see a photo of yours truly with one of my author copies. On the topic of Mechademia, the tenth volume is the last of the original series, and the fifth one that I worked on as the editorial assistant/general citations dogsbody. I want to take the time now to publicly thank Frenchy Lunning, Wendy Goldberg, Christopher Bolton, and Tom Lamarre for their giving me the job, their advice and support, and their general friendship and camaraderie. I had the time of my life, and it was a true privilege.
Speaking of Mechademia, I'll be traveling to Tokyo next month to give a talk drawing on materials from the third chapter of my in-progress manuscript at the Mechademia Conference next month, "Women and Comics: Reconsidering the ‘Origins’ of Shojo Manga in the Postwar.” From there I'll go immediately to Seattle to give the same talk to a different crowd at the Popular Culture Association annual meeting, in the comics arts track. I had a wonderful time when I last presented at the PCA in 2009, and I'm very much looking forward to both conferences. See you there, I hope!
In the meantime, you can follow along with the conference events on the OpenCon livestream (subject to country by country copyright restrictions).
PCA is one of the most enjoyable academic conferences I've been to, and after a seven-year absence I'm looking forward to going back. Even better, my paper is part of panels on manga organized by my colleague James Welker and staffed with some pretty awesome people including Patrick Galbraith and Sharalyn Orbaugh. I hope to see you there!
Rae Carson, Kate Elliott, Andrea J. Horbinski, Jennifer Michaels, s.e. smith, Jennifer Udden
In the midst of “strong female characters” going it on their own, what happens to cooperative fellowship, shared labor, and the femme side of being revolutionary? How do female villains play a role in revolutionary narratives? The revolution often begins at home, and the lone heroine approach devalues many female experiences and forms of labor. Hermione, Katniss, Maleficent, and Sansa all have their place—let’s talk about what real heroines and villains look like and why only some are celebrated.
I'll also be hosting a Books & Breakfast discussion on Laurie J. Marks' novel Fire Logic, which I read and loved earlier this year. You can still register to join us in Denver!
And in the meantime, I have a booklist up on the Sirens blog, Five Fantasies of the Roaring Twenties from the New Gilded Age. (See, I did pay attention when I was a reader for American history!)
We'd love to see you there, but in the meantime, we're looking for your nominations for Guests of Honor, as well as general ideas and suggestions, before 5 January 2015.
In July I participated in the Media Mix Workshop funded by the Kadokawa Foundation at the University of Tokyo. My friend Samantha Close wrote a piece at Ethos Review about all the transnational, transdisciplinary practices the program situated itself in. It was frustrating at times, but the program overall was great, and I just ran into one of my fellow participants at the Genron Cafe in Gotanda here in Tokyo on Friday night and we sat down like old friends. So none of it was wasted, probably, and all in all, the workshop was an invaluable experience for which I am very grateful.
Last month I went to Australia for the sixth Manga Futures conference, held at the University of Wollongong. Khursten Santos, who also organized much of the event, somehow found the time to write up a very thorough blog post about the conference which, incidentally, says very kind things about my paper: Lessons from Manga Futures. I had a great time at the conference, and I was thrilled to be able to participate.
I'm around at Wikimania, which is excellent so far, and I'll be at the OTW tent in the Exhibits Hall most days. (I've tried to find mention of this in the programme, with no luck so far.) I'm also moderating the following panel on Sunday 17 August:
Capital Suite 13 (Level 3), 12pm - 1:30pm
Tags: Transformative Fandom, Social Issues, Race, Ethnicity, Internationalism
Zen Cho, Mark Oshiro, Eylul Dogruel, Russell Smith, Andrea Horbinski
Fandoms can provide positive spaces for engagement with and education about representing people of color, for example the negative impact of “whitewashing” (see racebending.com). In recent years, there's been a more visible push by fandom for representation that more accurately reflects the community as a whole. But the issue itself is a complex one: How can the SF/F community challenge their perceptions of representation while also taking into account how concepts including “race” and “people of colour” vary in an international context? How can fandom avoid stereotyping and exclusion? What sort of models work in a general sense, but should not be applied to non-Western nations? Join our panelists in a challenging and lively conversation about these issues.
I hope to see you here, or there!
In the meantime, however, last weekend I had the pleasure of speaking the academic/educational track of AnimeExpo, which was even more enjoyable than 2012. I was on the "Japanese Society and Japan's History" panel, and I spoke about "Record of Dying Days: The Alternate History of Ooku."
Thanks to MIkhail Koulikov for organizing the programming, to AX for hosting, and to everyone who attended!
Anime in Literature, Literature in Anime | Sun, 1:00–2:15 pm | Caucus
Moderator: Andrea Horbinski; Emily Horner, Kelly Peterson, Vernieda
The works of writers such as N.K. Jemisin and Alaya Dawn Johnson show a strong influence from anime, and anime such as Haibane Renmei have showed the influence of writers such as Haruki Murakami, while Studio Ghibli made a very famous, and very controversial, adaptation of Howl's Moving Castle. Let's talk about SFF and anime, and how each is changing the other. What aspects of anime could SFF learn from?
Mecha Tropes and Subversions Thereof | participant | Mon, 10:00–11:15 am | Caucus
Moderator: Susan Ramirez; ANONYMOUS, Andrea Horbinski, Shira Lipkin, Oyceter
In a year where the Hugo-nominated Pacific Rim arguably brought mechas into the mainstream, what are our favorite and least favorite mecha tropes? And what are series that take on these tropes, either with full enthusiasm or with interesting twists? Are intensely emotional plots in the very DNA of mecha stories, or are they secondary? Will audiences ever tire of giant robots punching monsters in the face?
See you there!
I actually moderated a panel at Sirens this year:
Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves: Women in History and in Fantasy and YA
Andrea Horbinski, Robin LaFevers, Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Gillian Chisom, Kate Elliott
Women have played a variety of crucial roles in societies around the world since the beginning of recorded history, but popular understandings of those roles don’t always match historical reality. At the same time, there have been many women throughout history who transgressed social boundaries. How have folktales, fantasy, and young adult books depicted and reflected women in history? What can we learn about the past and about our own current moment from these depictions? This panel will explore these questions and many more.
It's at 4pm at the Institute of East Asian Studies, and the event is open to the public. I hope to see you there!