CFP: “Slow Violence and Urban Ecology” (Northeast MLA, April 2018, Pittsburgh), Submission Deadline 9/30/17

Photograph: “Le Plan d’Eau à Metz,” Kristina BEDIJS, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Plan_d%27Eau_2.jpg

This session is inspired by the work of Rob Nixon, the Currie C. and Thomas A. Barron Family Professor in the Humanities and the Environment and author of Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (2013), who will deliver the keynote address, “Environmental Martyrdom and the Defenders of the Forest,” at the April 2018 convention of the Northeast Modern Language Association. Therefore, this session is an excellent opportunity for scholars in ecocriticism to share their research with NeMLA’s audience, as well as to attend Professor Nixon’s address. A preliminary summary of Professor Nixon’s address topic is available here.

Please forward the full call for papers below to potentially interested contributors. 300-word abstracts are due online September 30, 2017, at https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16996. If you have any questions, please email me at derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com or message me on Twitter.

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CFP: “New Approaches in Zombie Studies” (Northeast MLA, April 2018, Pittsburgh), submission deadline 9/30/17

I had proposed this session in April because, with the Northeast Modern Language Association meeting in Pittsburgh, where George Romero filmed Night of the Living Dead, it seemed appropriate to consider how his work and those of other artists have altered what we know about zombies in art and popular culture. Sadly, since this session was approved, Romero passed away. I hope this session, in some small way, can honor his accomplishments and critically assess his work in the context of other texts centered on the living dead.

While this session welcomes proposals that look at Romero’s zombies or the fascination with zombies in Pittsburgh, it is opened to all recent critical approaches to zombie narrative, from Haitian folklore to iZombie and The Walking Dead–and all in-between.

Please forward the full call for papers below to potentially interested contributors. 300-word abstracts are due online September 30, 2017, at https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/16935. If you have any questions, please email me at derek.s.mcgrath@gmail.com or message me on Twitter.

Artwork credits: George Romero (Day of the Dead; credit: Rex), Solomon Grundy (Faces of Evil: Solomon Grundy #1 March 2009 by Shane Davis), iZombie (CW / Warner Bros / Vertigo), Space Dandy (BONES / Bandai Namco)

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CFP: “Hollywood F. Scott Fitzgerald” and “New Approaches to Teaching Fitzgerald” (Northeast MLA, April 2018, Pittsburgh), submission deadline 9/30/17

The Last Tycoon is out on Amazon–so why not submit an abstract about it?

While F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short stories and The Great Gatsby continue to dominate scholarship and teaching, these conference calls for papers look at a wider scope of his literary output, including the stories and scripts he developed while in Hollywood.

The CFP “New Approaches to Teaching Fitzgerald” welcomes a wide range of proposals. And the scope of “Hollywood F. Scott Fitzgerald” is broad enough to focus on multiple ways in which Fitzgerald and California intersect: film adaptations, the place of Hollywood as a setting in his fiction like The Last Tycoon, and his last years living in the state.

300-word abstracts for “New Approaches to Teaching Fitzgerald” and “Hollywood F. Scott Fitzgerald” are due September 30th at those links. Please consider sharing the full CFPs below–and also consider submitting to NeMLA’s special event featuring F. Scott Fitzgerald biofiction novelist Stewart O’Nan!

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Fandom Report for Jun 29 17: Prelude to Anime Expo

I’ll be presenting at Anime Expo starting tomorrow, and reporting from Los Angeles for JAMS Anime. For more Fandom Report on anime, manga, and video games, click here.

And for advice on packing for Anime Expo and other conventions, click here.

Anime and Cosplay

Here’s your Death Note poster.

There is a web series of awkward comedy and cosplay.

Stan Lee and Hiroshi Nagahama’s The Reflection superhero anime will have the Hulk as an idol singer.

 

The new opening for My Hero Academia is out, along with a preview poster, character models, and casting info.

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Packing for a Convention

I take trains or planes to 3 to 5 conventions per year, traveling across time zones and multiple states to get to them all with as little weight and difficulty as possible. I attend many of these conventions because I work in administration–including organization, management, marketing, and promotion–and I attend others as a presenter or just for fun.

I want to share advice for how to best pack luggage to make the most of your convention for your professional and leisure purposes, as well as to keep down weight, prices, and airplane and train hassle. Based on my 10 years experience presenting, managing, promoting, and organizing at annual conventions, I can advise how to prepare for your traveling experience!

This advice is directed to people traveling alone to attend conventions as speakers or attendees. While this advice may be helpful to vendors, the amount of materials to transport will require additional considerations, including whether it is more productive to have materials shipped in advance to be received at the convention’s location or a nearby office and mailing store. Please share in the comments below or tweet @dereksmcgrath additional travel advice, especially for how to travel with children and families.

An earlier version of this post appeared at the Japanese, Anime, and Manga Studies Association. While this post still applies to fan conventions, its revisions are directed to those attending academic conventions. 

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My upcoming cons: Presenting at and reporting from #AX2017–teaching, melancholia, nostalgia, and more!

Anime Expo will take place June 30 to July 4 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. I’m happy to return to AX as a presenter once again–and now also as both a special guest contributor and an on-site reporter for the new site JAMS Anime. Anime Expo is the perfect opportunity for me to continue my work in scholarship, news, and analysis at a location that brings together different elements of the anime community–journalists, industry leaders, scholars, and fans all around–for discussion about Japanese popular culture, in the United States and elsewhere.

My schedule includes:

  • July 1, 8 PM Pacific: Presenting ” ‘Ha Ha! Boring’: Nostalgia and Melancholia in Servamp and Anime Fan Communities,” Live Programming 4 (LP4 / Room 411)
  • July 4, 2:30 PM Pacific: Participating in the special guest panel, “Teaching Happiness: Using Anime and Manga as Educational Tools,” Live Programming 4 (LP4 / Room 411)
  • Reporting all updates and announcements about upcoming anime and manga on Twitter @JAMS_ Anime.

More information is below about these presentations, JAMS, and a conference panel CFP for scholars interested in talking about how they teach anime and manga.

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With Bakugo, “My Hero Academia” shows your fave is problematic

“Todoroki vs Bakugo,” My Hero Academia, Episode 25
Adapting Issues 42, 43, and 44 of the manga, available from Viz
Anime available at CrunchyRoll and Funimation

Well, that was an ending–and, in terms of doing more with Bakugo and the animation, it’s somehow more disappointing than the manga’s version.

Granted, “Todoroki vs Bakugo” improved upon some details from the source material, including the already effective reunion of Todoroki and his mother, and clarified Midnight’s powers, something not as clear in the comic panels and gutters (despite the clue in her name). Comics are thus a double-edge sword. Composed of panels, they are a series of frozen moments, so they cannot communicate movement as easily as animation without having more page space to extend that action into multiple panels. However, the benefit to comics is that they tend to allow audiences to sit and meditate for the longest time on moments frozen in time, like All Might’s heartfelt outreach to Tokoyami and Todoroki, or the humor behind Bakugo’s fury. Meanwhile, when I saw Bakugo shaking in his chains, I wasn’t amused–I was horrified, because whereas characters like Todoroki, Izuku, and Ochaco have reached tenuous resolution to their plots, Bakugo and Iida have not–and Bakugo lacks the kind of sympathetic background to his story. The flashbacks in the cold opening improve upon the manga so as to clarify why we should sympathize with Bakugo–and it’s still difficult.

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