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Manga Aging: On Popular Media and Japanese Society



27 January 2020

Time: 27/01/2020 - 15:15 to 17:00
Type: Lecture
Place: Centre for East and South-East Asian Studies, Asia Library, Sölvegatan 18 B, Lund

Open lecture with Professor Jaqueline Berndt, Stockholm University

Manga, as serial graphic narrative, is turning into an aging media with respect to readership, technology, and business model, at least in Japan. But this holds also a potential, namely, to exceed established taste communities and increase, for example, age diversity. My talk uses the case of the recently booming subgenre of senior-centered manga, or ‘granny comics,’ to introduce manga research, drawing special attention to the interrelating of popular media and Japanese society within Japanese studies. Considering the positionality of the media texts in question, it discusses how the inclusion of the elderly as characters and readers relates to manga’s system of gendered genres. 

Bio: Jaqueline Berndt is Professor in Japanese Language and Culture at Stockholm University. Holding a first degree in Japanese Studies (1987) and a PhD in Aesthetics/Art Theory from Humboldt University Berlin (1991), her academic work has been primarily in the fields of comics/manga studies and animation/anime studies, focusing on media aesthetics and exhibition studies. She has widely published in Japanese and English, for example, Shōjo Across Media: Exploring “Girl” Practices in Contemporary Japan (co-ed., Palgrave, 2019), Manga’s Cultural Crossroads (co-ed., 2013), and Manga: Medium, Art and Material (2015).