During the current autumn semester we will be taking part in the following two upcoming workshops:
Estudios de Anime. Del objeto a las humanidades digitales. (Anime studies. From the object to the digital humanities.) Organized by the research group dx5 digital_&_graphic_art_research at the Facultad de Bellas Artes, Universidade de Vigo. The workshop will take place in Pontevedra on September 15.
The whole four-day program can be found here. Due to the length of the program, we will only concentrate on highlighting some of the main points from the opening and closing keynote presentations here, which were both very inspiring and an absolute treat. Our own poster presentation by Magnus Pfeffer and Tobias Malmsheimer on the JVMG frontend can be found at the end of this blogpost.
The Japanese Visual Media Graph project is funded by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG). The first grant was for a period of 36 months and the funding program allows for a second grant to continue the project.
We applied for the continuation grant in 2022 and in early June 2023, we received the notice of approval. The reviewers lauded the project idea and the results of the first project phase.
The Mechademia conference series (in association with the Mechademia journal) is definitely one of the most important English language annual events for researchers working on anime, manga, otaku culture and related topics. Last year our former project member Luca Bruno presented at the Mechademia US conference (see his report here), and the year before that we introduced the JVMG project at the online Mechademia Kyoto conference (you can read our report here). This year’s conference, titled Mechademia Kyoto 2023: Aftermath, was held once again in Kyoto, hosted by the Kyoto International Manga Museum and Kyoto Seika University, between May 27-29, and it was a huge success with not only the program packed full of presentations on all aspects of the field but also the rooms overflowing with record visitor numbers.
This year saw the third installment of the FanLIS symposium series (see our reports on the first and second event) – organized by CityLIS – take place on the 18th of May, once again online. All talks and the corresponding chat history are now available online. This year’s title and theme was Halliday Journals and holodecks: audiences and information in sci-fi fandoms. As Ludi Price, co-organizer of the event, explained in her opening address the theme of SF is quite central to the intersection of fan studies and library and information science for a number of reasons. First of all, SF is one of the most important genres for the development of organized fandom as we know it today. Second, the roots of fan information behaviour can also be traced to the genre and the beginnings of fanzin culture. Third, SF is an important domain for the historicizing of fandom. For example, in The Comet, the first SF fanzine, we can see how the modern fan world began to take shape. Fourth, SF works also hold up a mirror to how we conceptualize information needs: are librarians needed in the far future?, after the apocalypse?, or once information access becomes omnipresent? Will information be savoured or so interwoven with our everyday ways of operation that it will no longer be visible as a result of being taken for granted. Fifth, fans have also been at the forefront of appropriating new technologies for fan activities and information provision activities and in this way are always representatives of the near future SF that is just around the corner.
Last week of January we had a fantastic experience hosting the JVMG project phase one wrap-up workshop at Stuttgart Media University with an amazing line-up of collaborators and supporters, some of whom have already contributed to the success of the project over the past three and a half years and others who we are hoping to work and collaborate with going forward. But what made this workshop so special was the lively dialogue between so many different backgrounds and interests, from the representatives of the online enthusiast communities, through academic research librarians, developers and researchers working on various digital humanities and large scale database projects in musicology, literary and fan studies and Japanese media, to researchers from game and media studies, anime and manga research, Japanese studies and even law, from all across Europe, Japan and even North America.