Friday, June 19, 2015

CFP Saga Making in Contemporary (Jap)animations (6/10/15; PAMLA 11/6-8/15)

One last call for the day:

Saga Making in Contemporary (Jap)animations
CFP for PAMLA conference in Nov, Portland, on animation
Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Special session for 113th Annual Conference of Pacific Ancient and Modern Language Association - Portland, Oregon Friday, November 6 - Sunday, November 8, 2015. Submission should be made electrically on the webpage of PAMLA by June 10. Session chair: Takayuki Yokota-Murakami (Osaka University)

Panel description:

Lyotard declared the death of grand narratives in postmodernity. (Jap)animations, however, demonstrate tendency for large-scale chronology (Gundam, Evangelion, etc.). Are these attempts at giving signification to reality? Or are they simply commercialization of time and narrative? This session invites explorations of the notions of history and narrative in contemporary (Jap)animations. Longer description: Lyotard’s diagnosis that grand narratives are dead in the age of postmodernity is widely accepted. However, the penchant for a master narrative appears to have remained active in Japanese animations. This is all the more significant since Japanimation is often regarded as a typically “postmodern” genre. In fact, the Japanese philosopher, Hiroaki Azuma, relying on Aleksandr Kojeve’s idea that history has terminated in Japan, points to a database-like system of Otaku sexuality as opposed to a narrative construction of desire. Nonetheless, many of the canonical Japanimations, notably SF animes, demonstrates a marked tendency for historicization: Gundam series, Neon Genesis Evangelion, and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, etc. Not only do they adhere to large-scale chronology, but some even give the sense of a grand narrative of emancipation (consider, for instance, Evangelion’s Human Instrumentality Project). Do they defy Lyotard’s rejection of grand narratives? Are these sagas attempts at giving signification to reality, by means of narratives, in the postmodern world of relativization? Or are they simply commercialization of time and narrative that is deprived of any sense of emancipation, progress, or speculation? This session thus invites explorations of the notions of history and narrative in contemporary (Jap)animations. - See more at:

Takayuki Yokota-Murakami

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