Japanese TV anthology--Call for proposals

Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto mitsuhiro-yoshimoto
Sat Nov 17 00:05:20 EST 2001

An Anthology on Japanese Television

Television is important in Japan. It is a formidable entity entrenched in
Japan?s changing political and economic systems. Its presence in familiar,
everyday settings?in a living room or on a tall, metropolitan building?has
become part of many people?s daily experiences, even structuring, mediating,
and reinforcing their way of life.  People in Japan are spending more time
than ever consuming televisual entertainment and information. Even when
television is not the direct object of consumption, its interconnectedness
with other aspects such as education, sports and leisure, and technology has
facilitated many symbolic environments through which people negotiate
identity and culture.

But Japanese television is not just relevant within the Japanese national
boundaries. In the past twenty years, Japanese television has decidedly
entered new spaces and contexts as a result of global movements of people,
capital, technology, and ideas. Some examples can be found in the accidental
?spill? of Japanese television programs via regional satellites in East
Asia, the rental and exchange of programs on video in diasporic communities,
the sales of Japanese VCDs by online retail stores, and the active
distribution of Japanese television programs on local and cable channels
outside Japan. Encounters between Japanese television and new contexts have
set off new debates concerning formations of identities, historical and
cultural imperialism, and processes of globalization.

As a fertile site that bears historical and contemporary importance,
Japanese television is surprisingly under-researched in the academe. The
existing discourse on Japanese television, while valuable, presents limited
viewpoints and approaches. Understandably, the dominating topics?such as
digitalization, government regulation, measurement of audience
rating??rightfully? examine the structure and power that inflect television
as a business and technology. However, without undermining the significance
of issues pertaining to technology, government and business, we need more
voices to interrogate and reflect on the conditions and discourses that gave
rise to these topics as well as to call attention to issues yet to be widely
addressed such as ethnography of Japanese television production and gender
representation in television programs.

Paper proposals addressing the following and other topics are requested from
scholars working in communication studies, cultural studies, film and
television studies, media studies, anthropology, sociology,  history, and
any other relevant disciplines or fields.

--Japanese television programs (e.g., commercial, television animation,
education programs, music/variety shows, dramas, news-infotainment, cuisine
--Cultural role of Japanese television station (e.g., as a theme park, as a
mediator of cultural imagination)
--Television workers (e.g., personalities, news announcers, idols)
--Cultural and social movements associated with Japanese television (e.g.,
media literacy)
--Japanese television and representation (e.g., nationhood, gender, class,
family, generation)
--Japanese television and pastime (e.g., promotion of consumption, trends)
--Japanese television and information society (e.g., cell phone, multimedia)
--Location of Japanese television (e.g., in academia, national boundaries,
regional relations, global context)

The deadline for proposals, which should be no more than 750 words, is
February 1, 2002. The finished paper (5,000 ? 7,500 words) is due by August
1, 2002. Please send proposals to Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto, Department of Asian
Languages and Literature, 661 Phillips Hall, The University of Iowa, Iowa
City, IA 52242. Inquiries can be sent to Mitsuhiro Yoshimoto
(mitsuhiro-yoshimoto at uiowa.edu), Jungbong Choi (juchoi at blue.weeg.uiowa.edu),
and Eva Tsai (eva-tsai at uiowa.edu). 

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