CALL FOR PAPERS “Identity Politics in East Asian Popular Culture”

Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
Deadline: January 6th 2020
20-21st Jul 2020

East Asian Journal of Popular Culture (EAJPC)
The Journal for the East Asian Popular Culture Association

The East Asian Popular Culture Association (EAPCA) is planning its second international conference to mark the 10th anniversary of the International Center of Taiwan Studies (ITSC), College of Liberal Arts, National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU). The conference is organised in collaboration with the Kyushu University Taiwan Studies Program, and will be held at Kyushu University’s Nishijin Plaza, Fukuoka, Japan, on July 20th -21st 2020. We are seeking up to 75 paper presenters. A highlight will be two keynote lectures and an extended session on Taiwanese popular culture. Names to be disclosed asap.

EAPCA II is seeking panel sessions that investigate the role of East Asian popular culture in shaping and reflecting the politics of identity in societies across the region. This could include sessions dealing with Asian film (past and present), television, music, celebrity and fandom, the body, fashion, digital media, comics and popular literature, gender mainstreaming studies, sport, heritage, and curation. We are interested in papers that adopt not only historical, but especially comparative and culturally situated perspectives that engage with ideas of intersectionality, inclusivity and marginalised voices.

The deadline for submission of panel or individual paper proposals is January 6th 2020.

There will be opportunities for networking, publishing, and developing caucus groups within the EAPCA. Presenters will be encouraged to develop their papers for
publication in East Asian Journal of Popular Culture (EAJPC), and the journal editors will be working closely with session convenors to identify suitable papers.
Paper and panel proposals will be subject to peer review. Individual presentations must not exceed 20 minutes in length, while each panel will be allocated a total of 90 minutes. In case of panel proposals, please provide a short description of the panel along with abstracts for each individual presentation.
Each paper proposal should include a 300-word abstract, the presenter’s full name, affiliation, and contact details (as a Word-file attachment, not a PDF). Please submit to Alessandra Ferrer by January 6th 2020 at the following email address with in the subject line: NAME OF THE APPLICANT, TITLE OF THE PROPOSAL. Receipt of proposals will be acknowledged via e-mail. Accepted abstracts will be notified by February 28th 2020. Presenters who would like to be considered for publication in the East Asian Journal of Popular Culture, are highly encouraged to submit their paper by mid-June 2020.
The conference draft program will be announced by April 30th 2020 along with registration and accommodation details on the EAPCA website.

Papers and panels will be grouped into the following thematic sessions:


(A) Imagining Japan in Contemporary Asian Popular Culture
Japanese popular culture remains highly salient and influential across East and Southeast Asia, and important to the ways in which many societies conceive of their collective cultural identities. The changing portrayal of Japan as an ‘Other’ in the public and popular cultures of East Asian societies was the subject of an international study coordinated by Paul Morris, Edward Vickers, Naoko Shimazu and Christine Han from 2010 to 2013 (resulting in the 2013 edited volume Reimagining Japan in Postwar East Asia). This session will bring together scholars from across the region and beyond to discuss recent developments in the reception and interpretation of Japanese popular culture, the portrayal of Japan itself in local popular cultures, and implications for identity discourse in Asian societies. For example, we welcome presentations that look comparatively and historically at how Korean identity as expressed through popular culture has incorporated, adapted or reacted against, Japanese images or tropes, and portrayals of Japan as an ‘Other’.

(B) Imagining ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ in Popular Culture within and beyond the People’s Republic of China (PRC)
This session will feature discussion of understandings of ‘China’ and ‘Chineseness’ in Asian societies. But rather than focusing solely or primarily on the portrayal of China as an ‘Other’, we also seek presentations that consider how ‘Chineseness’ is constructed through popular culture within as well as beyond the borders of the PRC. This raises especially contentious and interesting issues with regard to societies such as Taiwan and Hong Kong, which have traditionally seen themselves as quintessentially ‘Chinese’, but where the popular culture realm has in recent years witnessed growing challenges to established notions of ‘Chineseness’. A particular focus of this session will therefore be on the diverse, and possibly divergent, ways in which Chinese identity is constructed through popular culture in Taiwan and Hong Kong by comparison with the PRC.


(C) Beyond Gender: Identity Politics, Sexualities, Social Movements and Citizenship How we define and engage with categories such as ‘male’ or ‘female’ permeate all societies at every level. How gender intersects with other dimensions of identity in any society is crucial to an understanding of its identity politics. This session will bring together scholars who study the gendered aspects of discourses of citizenship in various Asian contexts in order to analyse how official and popular discourses of gender in all its forms, interact, both shaping and reflecting evolving notions of citizenship, subjecthood and identity. We are interested in exploring how more traditional modes of gender and sexuality engage and intertwine with the complexities of modern identity politics, how to interrogate ideas of citizenship and social movement as expressions of local, national, and even international political strategies. How has democracy and freedom been narrated from a gendered perspective? How have those who are often neglected in the literature (LGBT, non-binary, trans, intersex) been vicariously mobilised, villainised, ignored, and represented in the East Asian context. We welcome alternative forms of conference presentation panels to be proposed for this session.

(D) Popular Culture and Civic Activism in Asian Societies
Popular culture is not just a mirror for the reflection or display of discourses of identity, but also a stage on which various actors seek to shape related narratives through their performance. The role and scope of civil society remains highly restricted or problematic in many Asian societies, but nowhere does the state shape identity discourse in a cultural or political vacuum. Presentations in this session will therefore analyse the role and extent of popular agency and civic action in molding a sense of collective selfhood in contemporary Asian societies. We also welcome comparative and
historical panels that address popular depictions of politics. Examples of this could include how the CCP was portrayed in Martial Law era Taiwan, the portrayal of the KMT in Maoist and post-Mao China, and comparisons of the portrayal of politicians in nominally democratic Asian countries, such as Japan or the Philippines, with their depictions in more authoritarian societies.
(E) Historical and Comparative Perspectives on Modernity as Mediated through Asian Popular Culture Modernity is generally seen as comprising a new stage of human experience, though what precisely is new or distinct about it remains the subject of fierce debate. A central aim of studies of popular culture has been to examine how modernity (however conceived) has impacted everyday life, and ways in which it is perceived and understood. The aim of this session is to accommodate presentations that address the broad theme of the conference (to do with the role of popular culture in shaping or reflecting identity in modern / contemporary Asian societies), but do not fit neatly into the sessions outlined above. These could encompass topics from the study of religious change to fashion and shopping, sport, martial arts, storytelling, and work. Papers adopting historical and/or comparative perspectives are encouraged.

Additional Sections

We are looking for submissions to two additional special panels that deal with particular topics of interest: ‘The Occult in Everyday Life’ and ‘Money and Business’

(1) Modern life has brought traditional beliefs about the nature of the universe into contact with the scientific method, modern engineering and new conceptions of man’s relationship with nature that these have ushered in. How have individual beliefs about magic, religion and the supernatural adapted to cope with this? Topics of interest here include contemporary understandings of creatures such as ghosts, monsters and demons; the evolution of practices such as fengshui, astrology or qigong (and popular perceptions of them); the influence of Asian occult practices or beliefs in the West, and of the Western occult in Asia; and the role of religion in politics. The potential for this topic is very large and interested presenters are encouraged to submit abstracts that they think might be related.

(2) What has been the cultural impact of the introduction and spread of modern financial instruments? These could include a wide range of practices from modern adaptations of traditional savings organizations to pyramid schemes and business studies such as leadership, business management connections, pop leadership, business motivation books, and bestselling business programs. It could also include, research on self-help, self-development, and spiritual growth. Researchers
interested in presenting papers covering other topics that explore the contemporary consumer and professional lives of people in Asia are encouraged to submit abstracts.

(F) Beyond East Asia: Asian and African Screen Worlds in Dialogue
This panel is specifically designed to bring African and Asian film scholars (as very broadly defined) into conversation with one another, to explore cinematic sources, themes and aesthetics that both link and divide these regions. Contrary to visualising ‘Africa’ and ‘Asia’ as essentialist categories (as they are so often figured in the Euro-American imagination), the idea that inspires this panel is to challenge the homogenisation encouraged through a ‘world cinema’ approach by inviting scholars to explore how East Asian screen worlds engage with the screen worlds of South East Asia, South Asia and Africa. This panel wishes to move away from the Euro-American as the oscillation point around which global cinema operates and instead focus on the narratives, co-production, audiences, aesthetics and histories that exist between Asia and Africa. Geographically we defined these vast regions as inclusively as possible – with Africa as extending from South Africa to the Maghreb, and with Asia including East, South, and South East Asia, as well as the Middle East. Papers can be both contemporary and historical in focus and we welcome practice-based research.

East Asian Popular Culture Association (EAPCA)
The East Asian Popular Culture Association (EAPCA) is the leading international community of scholars researching East Asian popular culture. The idea of forming EAPCA was first conceived by participants at the 2009 International Popular Culture Conference in Finland. While the board of EAPCA is based in Taiwan and Japan, the Association includes scholars working on popular culture throughout East Asia, based across the region and beyond. The EAPCA Inaugural Conference (EAPCA I) was held in Taipei in September 2011. EAPCA II will take place July 20-21st 2020 at Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.

EAPCA & EAJPC TEAM (in alphabethical order):
Yin C. Chuang, Alessandra Ferrer, Ann Heylen, Nathalie Mingboupha, Scott Sommers, Kate Taylor-Jones, Edward Vickers
National Taiwan Normal University, Kyushu University, Sheffield University, Ming Chuan University.

Download this announcement as PDF: EAPCAII_CFP_IDENTITY POLITICS_20-21JULY2020