An Introduction to Japanese Subcultures: Free online course, starting Oct. 31

boys-order-goro-memo(Source: goro memo; CC BY-SA 2.0)

Sorry for the lack of posts everyone: I’ve been insanely busy, and still am in fact. Naturally then, I’ve just decided to make myself busier still, by signing up for the free online course “An Introduction to Japanese Subcultures” provided by FutureLearn and Keio University. Here’s a description from their welcome page, which also has an introduction video:

Subcultures have existed for a long time: the greasers of 1950s America, the mods and rockers of the 1960s and 70s in England, the grunge of the 1980s and 90s, to name a few. Each subculture sits within a broader ‘parent’ culture and can often give us an insight into cultural fears and hopes, especially in the youth of the population.

On this course you will get an introduction to Japanese subcultures that have developed since the 1970s.

Explore different aspects of Japanese subcultures

Japanese subculture has been long considered as ephemeral youth culture compared to authentic traditional culture. It contains, however, subversive power which encourages younger generations to re-create the world they live in. We mainly focus on the significance of immaturity and vulnerability of youth which eventually give permission to younger people (in other words, minorities) to stay as they are.

In this course, together with three other specialists, Professor Niijima, Professor Takahashi and Professor Ohwada, we will explore girls comics, boys comics, the Hatsune Miku vocaloid, cosplay, and J-pop idols, focusing on the themes such as Love, Battle, Technology and Fan culture, in which you’ll learn about the different cultural creations that underpin Japanese subcultures. With materials for cultural analysis, you’ll develop a basic knowledge of key Japanese subcultures, learning the recognisable traits of each.

Understand the historic context of Japanese subcultures

On the course you’ll discover historic background of youth culture in Japan, and understand the enormous impact of World War II.

Learn about Japanese subcultures and the youth of Japan

Finally, this course will give you a new perspective on the young people of Japan, exploring how they can be seen to elaborate the world of “immaturity” and “vulnerability.” You will see the reason these characteristics of Japanese subculture attracts “global” attentions.

This post isn’t an endorsement of course, but the course does sound interesting, and hardly demanding at 3 hours a week for 4 weeks. Please let me know if you sign up too (we can be buddies!), and/or if you’ve done any other FutureLearn courses and what you thought of them.

Meanwhile, seeing as we’re on the subject of Japan, I do very much want to give an endorsement of Cecilia D’Anastasio’s interview of Amelia Cook, about her new site Anime Feminist. Frankly, Cook’s answers really spoke to me about the work I do in Korea, and especially most recently on the male gaze, which just goes to show how universal some of the pop culture issues she addresses are—so I’m sure you’ll have lots to take away from the interview too. Make sure to check it out over at Kotaku.

Radio Interview on Korean Feminism and the Media, Tonight at 7:30

The Year of the PenisAt 7:30 tonight, I’ll be briefly appearing on Inside Out Busan at Busan e-FM, to talk about Korean feminism and the media. Please tune in if you can, and feel free to ask me here to expand upon or clarify anything I mention in the interview. I’ll also post a link to a download once it becomes available.

(Update: Voilà!)

Open Lecture on “Korea’s Feminist Movement: Past and Present”

Open Lecture on Korea’s Feminist Movement Past and Present.(Source: Critical Korean Studies.)

See the poster for the details, and click here to go straight to the registration link :)

Ask Me Anything…Before Sunday!

I feel as if I'm one with the cactus(Source: unknown)

This Sunday, Sung Kim from the web magazine Vox Coreana will be coming down from Seoul to interview me about the blog, Korean feminism, K-pop, and so on. To help make it worth his while, please help me make it worth your while, by letting us know any questions you may have. Time permitting, I’ll do our best to answer them during the interview, and will make sure to answer them here if there’s any we can’t cover. Either way, I’ll post a link to the video once it’s available.

In the meantime, make sure to check out Sung Kim’s site also, which already has interviews of Chance Dorland and Travis Hull, of the KoreaFM podcast and the Only In Korea Facebook group respectively.

Please ask away! :)

REFRACTION: Performance and Discussion on Feminism and the Media. Changwon, Sat. April 2

Refraction poster finalI’ve been asked to pass on the following:

“Refraction” is a performance and discussion regarding feminism and media. All are welcome. Funds raised will be donated to Gyeongnam Women’s Association United. Tickets are ₩10,000 each and include a free beverage from Space Fun. Saturday April 2nd, 7-8:30pm #RFRCTNshow (Facebook event link.)

“굴절현상”은 한국과 전세계 페미니즘에 관한 토론과 예술적인 행사입니다.우리는 미디어에서의 여성에 대한 묘사를 더 깊게 살펴 볼 것이고 또한, 이가 개인과 사회에 어떻게 영향을 주는지 알아 볼 것 입니다. 누구든지 환영합니다.

창원시 사림동 46-9
스페이 스펀

I’d love to go, but unfortunately my wife works until 6 on Saturdays, which doesn’t give me enough time to get there from Busan. If anyone would like to do some babysitting for me on Saturday afternoon though, please let me know! ;)

WikiPeaceWomen Celebrates Women’s Contribution to Peace

WikiPeaceWomenI’ve been asked to pass on the following:

WikiPeaceWomen, One Million PeaceWomen Project of PeaceWomen Across the Globe, Celebrates Women’s Contribution to Peace

HONGKONG, March 8, 2016 — For celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the project Thousand PeaceWomen for the Nobel Peace Prize 2005, the PeaceWomen Across the Globe Association (PWAG) based in Bern, Switzerland, launched the WikiPeaceWomen project in October last year. Its goal is to collect one million stories of women who are working for peace from all walks of life, acknowledging their invisible contribution to peace.

The PeaceWomen are working in all fields of human security, conflict resolution, ecological security, environmental justice, health, education, legislation, and others. While their work will be made visible and recognized, their expertise will also be disseminated outside their current spheres of influence, so as to contribute to different levels ranging from the communities to the global. The process of inviting stories of Million PeaceWomen to be written and translated, and of fostering connections, will be a process of re-activation of the interest and commitment of old and new coordinators from different regions of the world, and of connection and reconnection to the 1000 PeaceWomen as well as the thousands of volunteers who have related in various ways to the PWAG project in the last decade.

Women’s groups, educators, youth groups and others are all welcome to be part of this project. You can send your nominations of peacewomen’s stories for uploading to the website which is in multiple languages. For more details, please visit the Swiss website of Peace Women Across the Globe at http://www.1000peacewomen.org/ and the WikiPeaceWomen Website at http://wikipeacewomen.org. If you have any question about the project, please contact us at wiki.peace@gmail.com, or the East Asia secretariat of PWAG: Kwan Fong Cultural Research and Development Programme, Lingnan University.

Update

writing coffee pexels(Source: Pexels)

Just a quick note to say sorry for the unplanned blogging break everyone, and to let you know that it’s almost over. Mainly, it was just because I had a journal article to complete, which turned out to be much more work than expected. Truthfully though, I’ve also been feeling surprisingly angsty about turning 40 next week, not helped by a good friend just leaving Korea, and by a close colleague of mine suddenly dying over the vacation (she sat next to me actually—it’s been painful thinking about her empty desk). So, it’s been difficult to get in the mood for blogging.

But it felt good to make a fresh start with the new semester today. And the combination of splurging on a trip to Seoul to get drunk with said friend last weekend, and seeing my daughters being just plain adorable enjoying the unexpected blizzard, was already more than enough to break me out of my melancholy. Plus, OMG DID I MENTION ALL THE BOOKS I BOUGHT? SQUEEE~ #BOOKGASM #BESTSEOULTRIPEVER

Books, 27.02.16But seriously: I’m back, it feels great, and I’ll have some posts for you next week! :)