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Top French University Hosts Manga Conference

posted on by Mikhail Koulikov
French, Japanese, Italian speakers to discuss history, styles, global reception

On Saturday, March 15 and Monday, March 17, France's Center for International Studies and Research (Centre d'Etudes et Recherches Internationales or CERI), a unit of the prestigious Sciences Po university, will host a two-day conference on the different themes, topics, and images that have been addressed in manga in the past sixty years.

The morning of the first day of the event will be dedicated to discussions of the history of shōjo manga, themes of love between men in shōjo, and the following manga titles: Hana Yori Dango, Great Teacher Onizuka (pictured at right), and Gunslinger Girl. That will be followed by a session on the otaku phenomenon in Japan and around the world. The schedule for the conference's second day features talks on manga as an agent of globalization; studies on the reception of Japanese comics in France, Spain, Germany, and other European countries; and a look at manga art style and translation. It will also include a panel discussion on the European manga industry with representatives of publishers Editions Tonkam and Pika Édition.

Researchers who will present their work during the conference include Matt Thorn, an anthropologist at Japan's Kyoto Seika University; Yokohama National University's Jaqueline Berndt; and Go Ito, whose 2005 book Tezuka is Dead was among the first to criticize moe and other anime or manga genres that are driven by character designs, rather than narratives.

Update: Corrected spellings of "d'Etudes" and "Pika Édition." Thanks, shawurai.

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