Upcoming Public Speaking Engagements

Spring is going to be busy.

Saturday, March 19th, Philadelphia :

  •  “Writing Fan Fiction: From Literary Grassroots Movement to Mainstream Commercial Success” Link to FB event here Fan fiction has influenced every aspect of popular culture and pop media. We’ll trace the development of modern-day fan fiction from its inception in mailed-out zines of the 1970s to contemporary international distribution via crowd-publishing websites carrying works to millions of readers every day. Authors—from the published professional to the enthusiastic novice— increasingly use fan fiction to market themselves and their works, following the trend of several breakout fanfic writers receiving six-figure book deals, as well as movie and television contracts. Come learn how creating fan fiction can improve your writing, expand the reach of your readership, and help you market yourself as an author.

Friday, March 25-27, Boston: 

  • “How Fan Fiction is Changing the World” Link to event posting here Intercultural analyst and creative writing teacher M. Jean will introduce fan fiction, explain how to read it, write it, publish it, and celebrate it. We will explore how fan fiction is changing media, communities, consumers, as well as the producers of our favorite stories. (Spoiler: Even if you’ve never heard of fan fiction, it has effected you!)
  • “Disappearing Women: Tracing Feminine Gender Roles through US and Japanese Television Media” Link to event posting here In Japanese popular culture, we are presented with both ultra-progressive and ultra-conservative women’s gender roles. Comparing US television with Japanese shows including Ouran High School, Junjou Romantica, and more, we will discover trends, deduce their larger meanings, and celebrate why we love these shows.
  • ” Localisation vs Translation:The Debate on the Americanization of Anime” Link to event posting here. What is the difference between localisation and translation? Where should we draw the line with the “Americanization” of Japanese anime? This program will be a short academic presentation followed by guided audience debate.

Friday, April 1-3, Lancaster, PA: (information to be updated as it is made public by Zenkaikon)

  • “Morality and Technology in Maze Runner: WCKD is Good”
  • “How Fan Fiction is Changing the World”
  • “Harry Potter According to Fan Fiction”

Upcoming Speaking Engagements this Spring

I will be giving the following talks at conventions on the East Coast:

Zenkaikon (Lancaster, PA)

  • “Dark Pasts, Bright Futures: Tracing Japanese-American Relations through Film Media”
  • “The Politics of Bravely Default”
  • “The Global Yaoi Phenomenon”

Anime Boston (Boston, MA)

  • “Introduction to Transnational Media”
  • “Dark Pasts, Bright Futures: Tracing Japanese-American Relations through Film Media”
  • “The Global Yaoi Phenomenon”
  • “Otaku Anthropology” (added 3/26/15)

Public Speaking Engagements and Facebook

As many of you know, I’m very active in intercultural dialogue. I regularly give talks on the intersection of Japanese and USian cultures at anime conventions and other cons that promote Asian culture. This spring I spoke at Zenkaikon and Anime Boston. This summer I’m convening several panels and a workshop at Otakon. In order to keep in touch with attendees of my lectures and participants in my workshops, I now have a public facebook that will keep them apprised of future speaking engagements, as well as interesting news/webpages that come across my social media pages. It is www.facebook.com/AnegoJean

Resources from Otakon Vegas talks, part 2

Here is some of the information presented at my panel on fan fiction from Otakon Vegas.

Fanfiction community publishing websites:

  1. Archive of Our Own (AO3) the best that’s out there, also look up the parent organization, Organization for Transformative Works, they have a great amount of resources there.
  2. Fanfiction.net – the oldest, and with the best international fan base. (Beware of purgings.)
  3. Live Journal, Deviant Art. (Beware of purgings.)
  4. Tumblr – in my opinion, works better for graphic exchange than text exchange, but still worth a mention here.
  5. Wattpad- a good resource for publishing original fic. They recently branched into fanfiction as well.

Fan Fiction professional publishing websites:

  1. Amazon: Kindle Worlds (beware of exclusivity contract)
  2. Outlier Digital  (read about it here: http://www.digitalbookworld.com/2013/kindle-worlds-has-first-imitator-outlier-digital-from-twilight-producers/)

Resources for talks given at Otakon Vegas, part 1

“Disappearing Women: Tracing Women’s Roles from Yaoi to Reverse Harem and Beyond”

1: “You only have two hands”

  •  Women who try to balance personal/familial life and professional ambition. The story is made up of their struggles and failures, sometimes they come out balanced, sometimes not.
  • Japanese Examples: Kaichou wa Maid-sama, Hana Yori Dango; Kimi Wa Petto; Gokusen. (Honorable Mentions: Pride, Anego, the Wallflower.)
  • USian examples: Iron Lady, Zero Dark Thirty, The Devil Wears Prada; Mona Lisa Smile; Dream Girls; Frozen. (Honorable Mentions: Twilight, Sherlock)
  • Thematic trends: Women have to chose either proffessional life or personal/familial life. We also see the emergence of the need of concealment of “feminine” or “familial” side of a woman in the professional sphere. There is also the smaller trend that women must be workaholics in order to be present (possibly succeed) in the professional sphere.

2: Feminine Body, Masculine Mask (building from ideas presented in Fanon’s “Peau noire, masques blancs” from 1952)

  • Cross-dressing and gender-bending stories
  • Japanese: Ouran High School, Hana Kimi (from manga to j drama to dramas throughout asia, then j-drama reboot a few years later with the same props.) Also from other regions but internationally popular: Taiwan’s 1/2 Prince, Korea’s Cafe Prince, to lesser success mainland China’s My Bratty Princess
  • Western Examples: Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, Queen Christina (1933, satisfies the Bechdel Test,) Disney’s Mulan
  • Conclusions communicated through these stories: To qualify for the possibility of success, women have to suppress part of themselves. It isn’t a way to succeed, it’s a way to get a chance to succeed.

3: Absent Women: Gender Displacement

  • The rise of Yaoi and Slash in Japan and USA
  • They arrived at the same time: Yaoi grew from male homosexual love stories written for a women’s target audience in the late 1970s and published in doujinshi (Kaze to Ki no Uta, often attributed to being the first yaoi, was published as a manga in 1976.) The first slash between Kirk and Spock appeared Star Trek fanzines in 1970s.
  • Yaoi: seme and uke as masculine and feminine
  • Slash: Even without sex scenes, we still see the main pairing as feminine and masculine. Protagonist is more often the bottom, as is the POV when applicable. USian slash is a little less gender dichotomous than Japanese yaoi.
  • Yaoi is on the decline in USian markets, but slash is on the rise, especially with the growth, strengthening, and gaining of recognition and credence of the fan fiction medium.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What does it mean for our societies when the ideal woman is a man?
  2. Is forsaking our femininity the only way to succeed in the professional sphere? In what ways is our femininity an advantage in the business world?
  3. Is yaoi/slash pure escape from a misogynistic world? Why do we read it?
  4. Name a famous woman who has both successful home and professional life. (The only ones I came up with before the talk were Meryl Streep and possibility Angelina Jolie. Although, my listing Ms. Jolie may be more indicative of how ignorant I am of her life.) The groups came up with Ms. Streep as well. Still, only one name?
  5. Self-fulfilling prophecy?
    • Stories sometimes tell us how we wish things would be, but also tell us how things are. Are the telling and retelling of these negative stories disempowering women? Making them unable to envision a better world? Is it adding to the strength of the glass ceiling by saying “you cannot do this, no one has done it, even this awesome character” ?
    • If these stories are cautionary tales, do they make the women who consume them too cautious? Are women unable to take the necessary risks for success (especially in USian culture where we reward risk taking behavior)  after be informed by these stories?

I’m an Otakon Las Vegas panelist!

I recently was informed that three of my four submissions for presentations at Otakon LV were accepted. I’ll be creating and posting links for some survey monkey questionnaires to gather some information from you fine people to help with the research.

My accepted topics are:

Disappearing Women: Tracing Women’s Roles from Yaoi to Reverse Harem and Beyond Is yaoi more than a guilty pleasure? Does every girl dream of being surrounded by bishounen men? In Asian popular culture, we are presented with both ultra-progressive and ultra-conservative women’s gender roles. Looking at OuranHigh School, Junjou Romantica, Cafe Prince, and more, we will discover trends, deduce their larger meanings, and celebrate why we love these shows.

Combating Otaku Stigma, or Why we will Rule the World International analyst and intercultural trainer M.L. Jean will educate and empower members of Otakorp on how being an Otaku makes us more open minded, more flexible, and better global citizens, as well as smarter and better looking than non-otaku. Learn what to say when your friends say anime is “weird,” or that Japanese culture is “gross.” Jean’s presentation will be followed by a Q&A session and round-table discussion of what it means to be an Otaku and how we can fight the negative connotations of that identity.

Sing-a-long Hour “Gotta catch ’em all”? “She is the one-Sailor Moon!” and “…ira vehementi Sephiroth!” song leader Jean will host an hour of AMVs with lyrics for us all to sing our favorite songs. Informative tidbits will be presented about the songs, and there will be a trivial contest complete with prize! Come in and sing!

 

 

Waitlisted topic: (I’m going to request that it be changed to “An Intro to Publishing Fan Fiction,” since I already gave 1/2 of a talk about that subject, and it would be easy to add more to those notes.)

An Introduction to Fan Fiction:  I will introduce fan fiction, explain how to read it, write it, publish it, and celebrate it. We will explore how fan fiction is changing communities and consumers, as well as the producers of our favorite stories. Whether you are a newbie to the world of fan fiction, or you’ve been shipping since Sailor Moon, this panel has something for you!

 

STAY POSTED FOR LINKS TO SURVEY MONKEY QUESTIONNAIRES!