ahorbinski: My Marxist-feminist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.  (marxism + feminism --> posthumanism)
2017-08-01 10:54 pm
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Belated post: Sirens Vidshow 2016

Last fall I organized a vidshow at the Sirens Conference in Englewood, Colorado. I swore I'd post the playlist, and then I went to Belgium and Germany and when I came back reality blew up in our faces.

So, at long last, the vid playlist and panel description. The theme last year was Lovers, which informed my choice of vids.

Vidding comes to Sirens! This presentation and roundtable discussion will briefly introduce the practice of vidding (aka fanvids or songvids) by showing about a dozen vids, ranging from classics to book vids to vids related to this year’s Sirens theme. After watching the vids, we’ll have a short combined discussion and Q&A about the vids, vidding in general, and the fannish love that goes into them.


  1. Discord Days (My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) by mmmandarinorange
  2. Clear the Area (The X-Files) by astarte
  3. Hurricane (Battlestar Galactica/Farscape) by [personal profile] laurashapiro
  4. Blank Space (Doctor Who) by [personal profile] purplefringe and [personal profile] such_heights
  5. Republic City (The Legend of Korra)by [personal profile] beccatoria
  6. You & I Sail (Only Lovers Left Alive) by [personal profile] violace 
  7. Keep The Streets Empty For Me (Twilight) by [personal profile] chaila
  8. All of Me (due South) by [personal profile] kuwdora 
  9. Carry Your Throne (Captive Prince) by Rhea314
  10. Sky Is Open (Ms Marvel/Avengers) by Garrideb ([personal profile] garrideb)
  11. When Brakes Get Wet (Code Name Verity) by thatfangirl
  12. I'm Your Man (Multi) by Charmax ([personal profile] charmax)
  13. Holding Out for a Hero (Wonder Woman) by [personal profile] chaila 
  14. Hold Me (Håll Om Mig) (Princess Tutu) by Marisa Panaccio
ahorbinski: a bridge in the fog (bridge to anywhere)
2016-05-05 11:19 pm
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Talk: The Origins of Japanese Comics, 1905-28

Somewhat belatedly: I'm giving a talk on a portion of my dissertation tomorrow afternoon in Doe Library on the Berkeley campus. The abstract is below; I hope to see you there!

Between 1905 and 1928 manga emerged as a separate artistic medium in Japan in reaction to ponchie, a populist hybrid art form that flourished in the early and mid-Meiji period (1868 – 1912). The pioneers of manga, self-consciously elitist in the vein of Fukuzawa Yukichi’s (1835 – 1901) philosophy of “civilization and enlightenment” (bunmei kaika), wished to create a higher-class art form that could, and did, depict exclusively political content. This early vision of manga as consisting of only political satire did not survive the economic fortunes of World War I, and its collapse, therefore, has profound implications for the history of Japanese comics as a whole. Only by expanding the scope of manga beyond political satire was the medium able to survive and flourish in the Taishō (1912 – 1926) and Shōwa (1926 – 1989) periods.
ahorbinski: A DJ geisha (historical time is a construct)
2016-02-05 08:12 pm

Mechademia 10! Conference talks!

It's been a whirlwind six weeks of moving continents and coasts, and I'm very behind on updates.

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!
ahorbinski: a bridge in the fog (bridge to anywhere)
2015-11-14 03:49 pm
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OpenCon 2015

I have the privilege to be one of the people attending OpenCon 2015 in person in Brussels this weekend. It's been a very thought-provoking gathering so far, and I'm excited to share back what I learn in my various projects.

In the meantime, you can follow along with the conference events on the OpenCon livestream (subject to country by country copyright restrictions).
ahorbinski: a bridge in the fog (bridge to anywhere)
2015-09-30 11:44 am
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PCA/ACA 2016

I'm very happy to say that I'll be presenting a paper called "Women in Comics: Reconsidering the Origins of Shojo Manga in the Postwar" at the 2016 national conference of the Popular Culture Association in Seattle next March. This presentation will draw on the in-progress third chapter of my dissertation and will be my first chance to take the material out for a spin.

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!
ahorbinski: A DJ geisha (historical time is a construct)
2015-09-09 07:01 pm
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BCNM Summer Fellowship Dispatches

I sent a short report back to the Berkley Center for New Media talking about how I used their generous funding to go to Kyoto for research. Taking selfies with the Manga Museum's mascot was entirely a bonus, I assure you--though it's practically par for the course in my research, I have to say. I've certainly been having a lot of fun while doing it, anyway.
ahorbinski: Emma Goldman, anarchist (play the red queen's game)
2015-09-05 08:19 pm
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Sirens 2015: Revolutionaries

I'm really looking forward to returning to the Sirens Conference this year. Sirens has been one of my favorite cons since I first attended in 2010, and I'm very happy to say that I'll be on a panel at this one, the theme of which (Revolutionaries) is very close to my heart: 

The Iconoclastic Revolutionary
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!)
ahorbinski: a bridge in the fog (bridge to anywhere)
2015-04-28 07:36 pm
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Only now am I kicking myself for not getting bubble tea

I went back to California two weeks ago for the Media & Transmission graduate conference hosted by the Center for Japanese Studies, Berkeley. Many thanks to the organizers for all their hard work, and for funding my travel so that I could participate in a conference geared towards a theme that is close to my dissertation. The abstract for my talk, "A Children’s Empire: The Club Magazines and the Prewar 'Media Mix',” is also available on the website, and is drawn from what will eventually be chapter two of my dissertation. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to discuss my research amongst a Japan-knowledable but animanga-context-light audience, and also really enjoyed my fellow panelists' talks. It was a very productive week back, all in all, though I have to admit I'm still jet-lagged.
ahorbinski: A picture of Charles Darwin captioned "very gradual change" in the style of the Obama 'Hope' poster.  (Darwin is still the man.)
2014-12-04 10:42 am

Planning Wiscon 40

Well, the cat's out of the bag; my friend s.e. smith and I are co-chairing Wiscon 40 in 2016, the 40th iteration of the world's leading science fiction convention held in Madison, WI every Memorial Day weekend.

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.
ahorbinski: A DJ geisha (historical time is a construct)
2014-11-19 10:16 pm
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Notes from the road

I've had quite a year for travel, and I wanted to take the time to share two write-ups of events I attended this year that, I thought, did a good job of discussing the events in question from a balanced perspective.

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.

ahorbinski: A DJ geisha (historical time is a construct)
2014-09-26 07:42 pm
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Back to the city where the river splits…

I'm in Minneapolis for the Mechademia Conference (formerly SGMS) and I'll be speaking tomorrow afternoon about my summer research in the Fred Patten Collection of the Eaton Collection of Science Fiction at UC Riverside. Takemoto Novala is also going to debut his first solo collection at the fashion show tomorrow night; tickets are still available for the fashion show and the conference. Join us!
ahorbinski: My Marxist-feminist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.  (marxism + feminism --> posthumanism)
2014-08-08 12:23 pm
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Wikimania 2014 and LonCon 3

I'm in London for Wikimania 2014 and for Worldcon 2014, aka LonCon 3.

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:  

Representation, Whitewashing, and Internationalism in Fandom
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!

ahorbinski: A DJ geisha (historical time is a construct)
2014-07-16 04:51 pm
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Update from Tokyo

I'm happy to report that the Kadokawa Summer Program is pretty cool so far. I've also finally had time to read this article by Greg Hardesty in the Los Angeles Register, "Anime Expo 2014: Fun event gets all scholarly," which is a nice profile of the academic track at AX that also happens to quote me. It's good to see thoughtful coverage of anime, manga, and fandom in the media; it's a welcome change from earlier decades, as my research in the Fred Patten collection made clear.
ahorbinski: A DJ geisha (historical time is a construct)
2014-07-08 05:06 pm
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Anime Expo 2014

This is entirely a postscript, since I have been ridiculously busy the past few months--I was in Tokyo for 10 days last month, and I'll be heading back for another two weeks this Saturday for the Kadokawa Media Mix Summer Program at the University of Tokyo, which is quite exciting.

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! 
ahorbinski: My Marxist-feminist dialectic brings all the boys to the yard.  (marxism + feminism --> posthumanism)
2014-05-22 07:29 pm
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I'll be at WisCon 38 in Madison, Wisconsin, this weekend. I'm on two panels:

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!
ahorbinski: a bridge in the fog (bridge to anywhere)
2014-04-21 06:39 pm

HackFSM Hooray!

I haven't had time to mention this until now, but HackFSM ended on April 12, and it was a smashing success! I think it's fair to say that all the organizers, including myself, were blown away by the variety and quality of the entries we received, and that we're very hopeful that this can be a model for many more successful hackathons at Berkeley.

Some links
ahorbinski: a bridge in the fog (bridge to anywhere)
2014-04-08 03:47 pm

Day of DH: This is what a digital humanist looks like

I'm participating in the Day of DH 2014, and you can find my first blog post of the day on my blog on the site: This Is What a Digital Humanist Looks Like.
ahorbinski: Tomoe Gozen is so badass she glued her OTW mug to her wrist.  (tomoe gozen would haved loved the OTW)
2013-10-28 12:03 am
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OTW meetup in Berkeley

The OTW is hosting a meetup next Sunday, November 3, at 2631 Fulton Street in Berkeley! More details at the link, including an Eventbrite RSVP.

I'll be there, and I hope you can come too!
ahorbinski: hulk smash male privilege! (hulk smash male privilege)
2013-10-17 09:24 pm
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Ex post facto: Sirens 2013

I spent the past weekend in Stevenson, Washington at the Sirens conference with a group of wonderful people discussing women in fantasy literature--readers, writers, and characters. This was my fourth time attending Sirens, and it's a truly amazing time. I hope you'll think about attending next year! I doubt I'll be able to be there due to the pressure of dissertation research, but I plan to return as soon as I can.

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.

[personal profile] rachelmanija has posted her notes from the panel. I thought it went really well, and that we could easily have spent another hour talking; thanks so much to my fellow panelists and to our wonderful audience!