Publication: Mutual Images, 7

Dear readers,

We are glad to announce the publication of the seventh issue of our transcultural research journal, Mutual Images. True to our philosophy, we have rendered this issue – titled “Layers of aesthetics and ethics in Japanese pop culture” – freely available, as an open access ressource, on our Mutual Images Journal Website. To access it, click on “Research Journal” on the top-right corner.

Please enjoy this seventh issue of Mutual Images.

Marco Pellitteri, Main Editor

Newsletter: Autumn 2019


Dear readers,

We are delighted to present you the second MIRA Newsletter. We hope that you all enjoyed a pleasant, restful summer (although we all know well that summers are made for catching up on the research on hold during the teaching months) and are now ready to lose yourself in the contemplation of momiji to decompress from the usually busy autumn.

At MIRA, we have had a busy time since the first newsletter last spring. We were in Pontevedra (Spain) for the Mutual Images 7th Workshop co-organised with the University of Vigo and the dx5 research group and in Messina (Italy) for our 1st Summer School hosted by the University of Messina. We are now working hard, with a wide range of new and old partner institutions, to offer you several events in 2020 both in Europe and Japan. You will find in this newsletter more information about the next event that will be held in June 2020 at Ryukoku University (Kyoto, Japan). Information and CFP about other future events will be posted on the website when available and, of course, you’ll be able to read more about it in the next newsletter.

As we head towards the end of 2019, I am more than ever aware of the dedication of the amazing team of volunteers who made MIRA possible and grateful for their enthusiasm, hard work and companionship. Working in close relationship with people from many different places is an extraordinary chance both on the professional and personal level. Every event we organize allows me to meet wonderful new people, those who help organize at the hosting institution but also participants and audiences. We are all gathered for several days in a room bursting with thoughts and ideas. But abstract concepts are nothing without the people shaping them, they are less rich without discussion. We do our best to create events where everyone feels equally entitled to participate and present their research. We keep our events small so every participant gets a chance to talk with everybody. I have been personally involved in the organization of all the events since the creation of MIRA and got to meet and interact with a large number of people. The human connections were and remain one of the most important specificities of MIRA.

I also want to thank the editorial and scientific board members, the peer-reviewers and the proof-readers who help to make Mutual Images Journal possible. Their knowledge and time are greatly appreciated.

I wish you a pleasant reading and hope to see you at one of our future events !

Aurore Yamagata-Montoya, President of MIRA

[To access the newsletter, please check the PDF below]

Call for Papers: Mutual Images 8th International Workshop

RYUKOKU UNIVERSITY (KYOTO, JAPAN)

5-8th June 2020


Japanese Pilgrimages: Experiences and motivations behind cultural and spiritual peregrinations from and to East Asia


Pilgrimages are a phenomenon as old as humanity with relevant consequences in the social, economic and cultural lives of countries and regions. On an individual level, there are many motivations behind the pilgrim experience where identity aspects such as religious affiliation, spiritual beliefs, tradition or mere curiosity play an important role. In recent years, the cultural industries and tourism industries have also developed sophisticated strategies in order to reach new audiences and gain market share. Content producers have obtained the sponsorship of national agencies in order to develop their products as a way of reinforcing National Branding. National agencies focused on tourism and development have found that representations of cultural heritage through fictional media positively impacts tourism through these Media Pilgrimages (also referred to as Content Tourism or Media Tourism), and media representations become a relevant tool for regional development.

The aim of the symposium was born from two ideas which correspond with relevant pillars of modern East Asian economies but also to many post-industrial societies. The first is the common cultural background of East Asian countries like Japan, Korea or China. These commonalities have made possible the rise of economic and cultural transnational flows which include as a main vortex pilgrimage destinations. The second, corresponding to a more contemporary shared meaning, is the consequence of the relevance of creative and cultural industries and their influence on the collective global imagination.

With this purpose, graduate students, scholars, independent researchers, and industry practitioners are invited to submit papers and presentations for this workshop. Contributions on the following topics or related areas will be specially considered:

  • Popular Culture and Contents Industries as vehicles for self-representation (manga, anime, games, pop music, film, tv series and more)
  • Interaction, Overlap and Competition between Cultural Heritage and Popular Culture appeal
  • Religion, spirituality, and superstition: temples, shrines, religious figures, animism, yokai and fox spirits
  • Political Communication and Media Culture. The “popular” response to social or natural crises (natural disasters, political transitions, etc)
  • Contents and institutional strategies such as “Soft Power”, from Japan but also other from East Asian Cultures
  • Assessing the concrete (economical, political, cultural) value derived from the international and national markets. Differences in strategies for appealing to each of these audiences.
  • The role of destination image and national branding in impacting tourists’ perception and attitudes toward a culture or nation. Positive (emotional bonds, affect, popularization…)  and negative effects (stereotyping, infantilization…) of the creation and dissemination of these images. 
  • Fictionality vs ‘authenticity’: finding manga, anime, and game settings
  • Media consumption and cultural exchange
  • Media representations and national stereotypes in Japan and other East Asian Cultures in relation to cultural and religious tourism
  • Games and Big Narratives i.e. Pokémon Go for the world traveler: seeking nests all over Asia
  • Comparing media contents tourism among East Asian markets or with other countries
  • The relationship between pop-culture, new media, globalization and tourism trends

We are delighted to confirm that Dr Craig Norris (University of Tasmania) and Dr Eriko Kawanishi (Kyoto University) will be keynote speakers for the Workshop.

Indicative Bibliography about this topic could include:

Anholt, Simon. “Beyond the Nation Brand: The Role of Image and Identity in International Relations.” Exchange: The Journal of Public Diplomacy, vol. 2, no. 1, 2013, pp. 6-12.

Crouch, David et al. “Introduction: The Media and the Tourist Imagination.” The Media and the Tourist Imagination: Converging Cultures, edited by David Crouch et al., Routledge, 2005, pp. 1-13.

Hernández-Pérez, Manuel. “Thinking of Spain in a Flat Way’: Spanish Tangible and Intangible Heritage through Contemporary Japanese Anime.” Mutual Images, vol. 3, 2017, pp. 43-69.

Kawanishi, Eriko. “Two Types of Japanese Pilgrimage to Britain ” EASA2018: Staying, Moving, Settling, 2018.

Norris, Craig. “A Japanese Media Pilgrimage to a Tasmanian Bakery.” 1, vol. 14, 2013, doi:10.3983/twc.2013.0470.

Okamoto, Takeshi. “Otaku Tourism and the Anime Pilgrimage Phenomenon in Japan.” Japan Forum, vol. 27, no. 1, 2015, pp. 12–36, doi:10.1080/09555803.2014.962565.

Sabre, Clothilde. “French Anime and Manga Fans in Japan : Pop Culture Tourism, Media Pilgrimage, Imaginary.” International Journal of Contents Tourism, no. 1, 2017, pp. 1-19.

Seaton, Philip and Takayoshi Yamamura. “Japanese Popular Culture and Contents Tourism – Introduction.” Japan Forum, vol. 27, no. 1, 2015, pp. 1–11, doi:10.1080/09555803.2014.962564.

Yamamura, Takayoshi. “Anime Pilgrimage and Local Tourism Promotion: An Experience of Washimiya Town, the Sacred Place for Anime “Lucky Star” Fans.” Journal of Tourism and Cultural Studies, no. 14, 2009, pp. 1-9.

Themes and topics outside of those listed above are more than welcome. Proposals can be sent using the submission form below.

Please send your abstract, along with your details (name, position and institution/affiliation), to: japanpilgrimages2020@gmail.com

The deadline is 31st January 2020.

Joint Organising Chairs:

Dr. Manuel Hernández-Pérez, University of Hull, UK

Dr. Aurore Yamagata-Montoya, Independant Researcher, Lithuania

Prof. Jessica Bauwens-Sugimoto, Ryukoku University, Kyoto

Publication: Mutual Images, 6

Dear readers,

We are glad to announce the publication of the sixth issue of our transcultural research journal, Mutual Images. True to our philosophy, we have rendered this issue – titled “Mediatised Images of Japan in Europe: Through the Media Kaleidoscope” – freely available, as an open access ressource, on our Mutual Images Journal Website. To access it, click on “Research Journal” on the top-right corner.

Please enjoy this sixth issue of Mutual Images.

Marco Pellitteri, Main Editor

Newsletter: Spring 2019


Dear readers,

We are delighted to present you the first MIRA Newsletter. We have gone a long way since 2013 when two young graduate students decided to organize a workshop. Since then, MIRA co-hosted events in Japan and Europe on an annual basis, published five issues of the Mutual Images Journal, and worked with an increasingly large network of fellow researchers from all over the world.

Because we are growing with more and more events, new active members, new places to visit and always new subjects to study, we tought that the newsletter will allow all members of MIRA’s network to keep updated on the latest events, publications and news of MIRA but also from MIRA members. We also have a dedicated section of “mutual images” – themed events and publications.

You will be able to read all about our annual Spring “Mutual Images Worskhop”, which 7th edition will take place in Vigo University, Spain (spoiler alert!). In addition, we will be having punctual events in autumn all over the globe, you will read more about those in the next newsletter.

We also introduce a novelty: a summer school. MIRA’s goal to encourage research among students and give a voice to young researchers has always been central to our work. We hope with the summer school, not only to share the knowledge of the teaching team, but also their passion for research and for Japan. The Call For Participation is still open. Don’t miss it!

And because, it’s never enough with us, we will start a new section in Mutual Images Journal: a series of interviews from people working in the manga and anime industry: from translators to producers. You will be able to read them starting in issue n°6 (June 2019).

In this newsletter, we will introduce the newest active members of MIRA. They joined the editorial or scientific boards of Mutual Images Journal or the team of volunteers that help run the association. Without them, MIRA wouldn’t exist. Thank you for your precious participation, giving us time and energy.

I also want to thank the editorial and scientific board members, the peer-reviewers and the proof-readers who help to make Mutual Images Journal possible. Their knowledge and time are greatly appreciated.

I wish you a pleasant reading and hope to see you at one of our future events !

Aurore Yamagata-Montoya, President of MIRA

[To access the newsletter, please check the PDF below]

Call for Applications: MIRA International Summer School

UNIVERSITY OF MESSINA (MESSINA, ITALY)

16-19th July 2019


Mediated and cultural representations in East Asia, Italy and Europe


Mutual Images Research Association, and DiCAM—Department of Ancient and Modern Civilisations, University of Messina invite applications for the 2019 Mediated and cultural representations between East Asia, Italy and Europe Summer School, to be held at the University of Messina (Italy) from Tuesday 16 July to Friday 19 July 2019.

The Summer School Mediated and cultural representations between East Asia, Italy and Europe offers an intensive learning experience where graduate and post-graduate students have the opportunity to consolidate their theoretical and methodological skills and engage in thought-provoking conversations on the mediated and cultural representations between East Asia, Italy and Europe.

This week-long program, in addition to offering lectures and seminars on specific topics, provides students with the opportunity to partake in discussions with fellow colleagues and international faculty.

The program will focus on the mediated and cultural representations between East Asia, Italy and Europe, with regard to Japan and China. The disciplinary fields upon which the school’s teaching sessions as well as the keynote lectures are based are literary studies, aesthetics, visual studies and cultural studies, and media sociology. The general range of themes is furthermore informed by the growing importance of the inter-regional dynamics involving the cultural diplomacy between/among the considered regions and countries, and the role of the circulation of the creative industries’ output involved in the mutual receptions/perceptions of the national/cultural contexts at the centre of the school’s inter-disciplinary discussions and analyses.

Lectures and seminars will delve, thus, into a variety of themes and media, including:

  • Mutual images between Italy, Europe, China and Japan in arts and popular culture (cinema, literature, anime, photography, philosophy, fashion, technology…);
  • Cultural influences between in the Asian and European contexts;
  • Travellers and art collectors.

A specific list of seminars will be given in advance after acceptance to the Summer School. The seminars and lectures will be held by members of MIRA, teachers of the University of Messina, and further guests specially invited. The teachers come from Japan, China, Italy, France, Spain, England, and The Netherlands, making it a truly international school.


OPEN TO:

Graduate and Post-Graduate Students with a background or strong interest in Cultural studies, Asian Studies, Japanese Studies, Chinese Studies, European Studies, Media Studies, Film Studies, Popular Culture, Arts, and similar degrees.


VALIDATION OF CREDITS

The participants can to obtain 2 CFU (Italian university credits, which can be converted into credits of the participant’s original university). All participants who wish to get credits for their participation to the summer school must pass a test after the lectures and seminars. There are no additional charges to take the test.


ACTIVITIES

The Summer School includes a cultural excursion on the last day: a tour to Taormina and Giardini Naxos, outstanding archaeological sites of Ellenistic origin. A detailed description of the activities will be provided at a later date on the website.


COSTS

The total cost of tuition and supplementary activities is 350 euros. The tuition includes five nights accommodation, three meals (two lunches and a dinner together), free access to Wi-Fi on the university campus, access to the libraries and university facilities, and the organised tour. The other meals as well as additional nights and transport to and from Messina University remain at the charge of each participant.


APPLICATIONS

The deadline for applications is 30 April 2019.

Interested applicants are required to send by email a full CV and a Motivation Letter to the Organising Committee at mutualimages@gmail.com with the following subject: Summer School 2019- Application

Specific inquiries can be addressed to mutualimages@gmail.com

Call for Papers: Mutual Images 7th International Workshop

UNIVERSITY OF VIGO, PONTEVEDRA CAMPUS (VIGO, SPAIN)

3-4th June 2019


Painting East: Artistic relations between Japan and the West (Artists, aesthetics, artworks)


Nowadays, intense influences between cultures are commonly associated with new technologies and globalisation. However, when it comes to art, the new millennium is but the last step in a long process of hundreds of years of artistic interaction and cultural exchange between artists from countries all over the world. The relationship between Japan and Europe, strengthened after the Meiji Restoration, richly exemplifies how artists and their production benefit from outside influences, which ultimately permeates between different artistic and cultural manifestations such as cinema, photography, fashion, graphic design, comics or contemporary art. This workshop aims to gather researchers and practitioners who wish to discuss the mutual influence between Japan and Europe on artists, their works and styles. The discussions are open to all periods and artistic media (including fine arts, cinema, photography, graphic design, manga, anime, fashion, etc.). We invite papers that consider individual artists, collectives, artistic movements or specific artworks.

The dx5 digital & graphic art_research group at University of Vigo, in co-operation with Mutual Images Association, invite potential speakers to this workshop. Interested presenters are invited to submit a 300-word abstract on topics related to images of Japan through a foreign lens and vice-versa. PhD students and early career researchers are particularly encouraged to submit papers. Panel submissions are welcome, but also all the individual papers will be grouped with others of a similar theme, where possible. All papers presented may be subsequently published in the peer-reviewed journal Mutual Images: mutualimages-journal.org.

Please send your abstract, along with your details (name, position and institution/affiliation), to: mutualimages@gmail.com

The deadline for abstracts is 30th March 2019. Presentations will be scheduled for 20 minutes, followed by 20 minutes of discussion and exchange. Information about attending as a delegate will be sent out shortly after the deadline. A provisional schedule and details of the keynote will be provided at that time.

We encourage submissions considering the following themes, but not exclusively:

CULTURAL MOVEMENTS AND FLUX:

Japanese artists who traveled to Europe/ European artists who traveled to Japan.

Exhibitions about Japan or Japanese art in Europe/ exhibitions about Europe or European art in Japan.

Reception of manga and anime in Europe.

European cinema in Japan; Japanese cinema in Europe.

Photography in modern Japan as an imported technique/ Japan as the postwar leader in the photographic industry.

REPRESENTATION OF THE SELF AND OTHER IN ART:

Artworks representing Japan and/or Europe.

Self and other in Japanese and European cinema.

Orientalism.

Japonisme.

CULTURAL INFLUENCES:

Japanese artists influenced by European cultures/ European artists influenced by Japanese culture.

Japanese motives/ European motives in fine arts, cinema, photography, graphic
design and fashion.

Manga and anime in contemporary art / European take on manga and anime.

Cross-relations and influences between
different artistic media.

European/Japanese fashion.

Graphic design in Europe and Japan.

WRITING RECOMMENDATIONS

Abstracts should be in Word format with the following information and in this order: a) title of abstract, b) body of abstract, c) up to 10 key words, d) author(s), e) affiliation, f) email address.

Please use plain text (Times New Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline).

E-mails should be entitled: MUTUAL IMAGES 2019 Abstract Submission.

All abstracts will be anonymously reviewed by a jury of specialists. We acknowledge receipt and answer to all paper proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal. We suggest, then, to resend it.

Joint Organising Chairs:

José Andrés Santiago Iglesias, University of Vigo, Spain

Ana Soler Baena, University of Vigo, Spain

Tatiana Lameiro González, University of Vigo, Spain

Aurore Yamagata-Montoya, Independant Researcher, Lithuania

Danesin Maxime, Université de Tours, France

Marco Pellitteri, Shanghai International Studies University, China