Summer Program 2015 "Mediated Worlds"
The University of Tokyo
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P. David Marshall, Matt Hills
Jason G. Karlin, Patrick W. Galbraith
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Supported by
Kadokawa Culture Promotion Foundation
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Keynote Speaker P. David Marshall Persona Studies
Professor and Chair in New Media, Communication and Cultural Studies at Deakin University
Special Guest Lecturer Matt Hills Media Audiences and Fandom
Professor of Film & TV Studies at Aberystwyth University

Organizer Jason G. Karlin Media and Gender Studies
Associate Professor of Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies at the University of Tokyo
Organizer Patrick W. Galbraith Cultural Anthropology
Project Researcher of Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies at the University of Tokyo

Other lecturers

  • Hideaki Fujiki Cinema Studies, Professor in the Japan-in-Asia Cultural Studies Program at Nagoya University
  • Takako Inoue Performing Arts, Professor of Asian Area Studies at Daito Bunka University in Tokyo
  • Gabriella Lukacs Cultural Anthropology, Associate Professor of Anthropology at Pittsburgh
  • Noriko Manabe Musicology, Assistant Professor in the Department of Music at Princeton University
  • Kazumi Nagaike Media and Gender Studies, Associate Professor of Center for International Education and Research at Oita University
  • Yukiko Nishimura Sociolinguistics, Professor in Global Communication at Toyo Gakuen University
  • Shunsuke Nozawa Linguistic Anthropology, Visiting Lecturer at Dartmouth College
  • Michael Raine Film Studies, Associate Professor in the Department of Film Studies at Western University, Canada
  • Akiko Takeyama Gender and Sexuality, Associate Professor of Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at the University of Kansas
  • Shunya Yoshimi Cultural Sociology, Professor of Interfaculty Initiative in Information Studies at the University of Tokyo
  • Yoshitaka Mouri Sociology, Associate Professor of Musical Creativity and the Environment at Tokyo University of the Arts
  • Mike Featherstone Sociology, Professor at Goldsmiths, University of London

Program Overview

The Kadokawa Culture Promotion Foundation Media-Content Research Project in conjunction with the University of Tokyo will host an annual summer program focusing on various aspects of Japanese popular media culture. The main theme of the program for its second year is “Mediated Worlds: Sociality, Publicness and Celebrity.”

The goal of this year’s program is to better understand how media technologies have transformed the category of celebrity and fame in Japan to produce new modes of socially mediated publicness. Consumer-information society has given rise to a culture of celebrity, wherein fascination with stars, pop idols, and personalities has erased the distinction between the public and private lives of individuals, and produced a society wherein spectacle, self-promotion, and surveillance structure everyday life and politics.

This year’s program will be focusing on film, television, and social media. It will examine socially mediated publicness in its many forms, including idols, voice actors, film stars, and television and net celebrities. It will examine how audiences are organized into fan communities for the consumption of goods and services, how fan and social activities are productive of capital, and how public figures hold affective and social meanings for audiences and collaborators.

The two-week summer program consists of two parts: lectures and experiential learning. The main organizers, Jason G. Karlin (University of Tokyo) and Patrick W. Galbraith (Duke University), have designed an intensive two-week program that will explore the theoretical and methodological connections between celebrity studies (persona studies) and audience studies (fan studies). The first week of the program will focus on transformations in the presentation of the public self. Professor P. David Marshall (Deakin University), serving as keynote speaker, will discuss how celebrity has become a powerful and pervasive trope in contemporary culture. For the second week, Professor Matt Hills (Aberystwyth University) will frame how audiences are attracted to and shaped by their shared interest in media objects as fans. Other lecturers tentatively include Gabriella Lukács (University of Pittsburgh), Noriko Manabe (Princeton University), Hideaki Fujiki (Nagoya University), Takako Inoue (Daito Bunka University), Akiko Takeyama (Kansas University), Kazumi Nagaike (Oita University), and Shunsuke Nozawa (University of Tokyo), Yukiko Nishimura (Toyo Gakuen), Michael Raine (Western University), Mike Featherstone (Goldsmiths), Yoshitaka Mouri (Tokyo University of the Arts), and Shunya Yoshimi (University of Tokyo).

Taking the discussion out of the lecture hall, the program also includes various opportunities for experiential learning. In addition to visiting media archives, the program will conduct surveys at various fan events, as well as structured group interactions with media industry insiders and aspiring idols, and voice actors.

The summer program will provide participants with various opportunities to engage with contemporary Japanese media culture. Our hope is that the participants will pursue work related to Japanese media and popular cultures in the future, whether as critics, researchers, creators, producers, or editors. The program will accept 20 graduate students from universities around the world, who will collaborate with graduate students from the University of Tokyo. The program will be conducted mainly in English (though Japanese will help facilitate encounters and interactions outside of the classroom).

One of the aims of the program is to produce an edited volume with contributions from the participants in the summer program. This volume will be produced for undergraduate education on Japanese popular media culture. Each participant’s contribution to the planned edited volume will be about 3,000 words and will be prepared and submitted in the months following the summer program. Details regarding the participants’ submissions to the edited volume will be discussed during the summer program.

Dates: From July 23 to Augst 5, 2015

Program Highlights

  • Lectures conducted by leading scholars in the field of Japanese media and popular culture.
  • Experiential learning in Tokyo, with access facilitated by the combined networks of Kadokawa and the University of Tokyo.
  • The opportunity to contribute to a published educational text on Japanese media and popular culture.
  • Collaborating and networking with scholars, students, and media professionals from Japan and around the world.

Financial Support

  • The program has no tuition or registration fees. Instead, we will be offering (1) financial support up to 100,000 yen for travel expenses and (2) a 32,000 yen subsidy for accommodations during the period of the summer program (two weeks) to all participants.

Conditions for receiving financial support

  • When the travel expense is paid in a currency other than JPY, it will be converted to JPY at the exchange rate determined by the University of Tokyo. Reimbursement of airfare will be made only upon arrival to Japan.
  • Participants must attend the entire program and may not leave the program without prior written consent from the program administration office.


  • The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

Number of Participants

  • Around 20 participants from universities worldwide (see eligibility requirements below). Additional students from the University of Tokyo will also attend.

Time Schedule (This schedule is tentative and subject to change.)

July 23 (Thr)
14:00 - 15:30
16:00 - 17:30
Welcome and Keynote Adress
18:00 - 20:00
Opening Reception

July 24 (Fri)
The Economy of Idols
10:00 - 11:30
Participant Presentations
13:00 - 14:30
“Idols in the Media Mix” (Jason G. KARLIN)
14:45 - 16:15
“The Labor of Cute: Net Idols in the Digital Economy” (Gabriella LUKACS)
16:30 - 17:30
Roundtable Discussion on “Persona Studies” (P. David MARSHALL, Jason G. KARLIN, Gabriella LUKACS, Patrick W. GALBRAITH

July 25 (Sat)
Johnny’s Shop in Harajuku (Hiromitsu FUKU)

July 26 (Sun)
Costume Play Event (Satsuki UNO)
Akihabara Walking Tour (Patrick W. GALBRAITH)
Kamen Joshi Performance (Patrick W. GALBRAITH)
Visual-Kei Live Performance (Takako INOUE)

July 27 (Mon)
Postwar Television
and Personality
10:00 - 11:30
Participant Presentations
13:00 - 14:30
“Celebrating ‘Riki’ and ‘Mitchi:’ National Idols in the Televised Postwar Japan, 1954-1964” (Shunya YOSHIMI)
14:45 - 16:15
“‘Some Kind of a Man:’ Ishihara Yujirō and the Mediation of Carnal Expertise” (Michael RAINE)
16:30 - 17:30
Coffee Talk with Shunya YOSHIMI and Michael RAINE

July 28 (Tue)
The Cinematic Star System
10:00 - 11:30
Participant Presentations
14:00 - 16:00
Fieldtrip to National Film Center
“Emerging Film Stardom in Modern Japan”(Hideaki FUJIKI)
16:30 - 17:30
Coffee Talk with Hideaki FUJIKI

July 29 (Wed)
Affective Labor and
Commodified Desire
10:00 - 11:30
Participant Presentations
13:00 - 14:30
“Staged Seduction: Selling Dreams in a Tokyo Host Club” (Akiko TAKEYAMA)
14:45 - 16:15
“The Labor of Love: Idols and Fan Labor in Akihabara, Japan” (Patrick W. GALBRAITH)
16:30 - 17:30
Coffee Talk with Akiko TAKEYAMA
Underground Idol Show and Group Interview (Patrick W. GALBRAITH)
July 30 (Thr)
Popular Music and
the Art of Protest
10:00 - 11:30
Participant Presentations
13:00 - 14:30
“A Short History of Protest Songs in Postwar Japan” (Yoshitaka MOURI)
14:45 - 16:15
“Intertexuality in Protest Music Post-3.11” (Noriko MANABE)
16:30 - 17:30
Coffee Talk with Yoshitaka MOURI and Noriko MANABE
July 31 (Fri)
The Affective Body
10:00 - 11:30
Participant Presentations
13:00 - 14:30
“The Body in Consumer Culture: Image, Transformation and Affect” (Mike FEATHERSTONE) (Open to the public: @ Daiwa Ubiquitous Computing Research Bldg., Ishibashi Memorial Hall (A306, 3F)
15:00 - 16:30
“Back to the Roots: X JAPAN and the Transformation of Fandom” (Takako INOUE)
16:45 - 17:45
Coffee Talk with Mike FEATHERSTONE and Takako INOUE
Aug. 1 (Sat)
Owarai Show (Shunsuke NOZAWA)
AKB48 Theater Performance (Satoshi HAMANO)
Aug. 2 (Sun)
Akihabara Walking Tour (Patrick W. GALBRAITH)
Kamen Joshi Performance (Patrick W. GALBRAITH)
Aug 3 (Mon)
The Narrative Spaces of Fandom
10:00 - 12:00
Participant Presentations
13:00 - 14:30
“Revisiting the Affective Spaces of Fan Conventions: ‘Unfolding Events’ and Sites of Pilgrimage/Pastiche” (Matt HILLS) (Open to the public: @ Daiwa Ubiquitous Computing Research Bldg., Ishibashi Memorial Hall (A306, 3F)
15:00 - 16:30
“Johnny’s Idols as Icons: Female Desires to Fantasize and Consume Male Idols” (Kazumi NAGAIKE)
16:45 - 17:45
Roundtable Discussion on “Future of Fan Studies” (Matt HILLS, Jason G. KARLIN, Kazumi NAGAIKE, Patrick W. GALBRAITH)
18:00 - 19:00
Coffee Talk with Matt HILLS and Kazumi NAGAIKE
Aug 4 (Tue)
Anonymity and the
Voices of Mediation
10:00 - 11:30
Participant Presentations
13:00 - 14:30
“Evaluation and Norms of Appropriateness on 2channel” (Yukiko NISHIMURA)
14:45 - 16:15
“Naka no Hito: Characterization, Voice, and Mediation” (Shunsuke NOZAWA)
16:30 - 17:30
Coffee Talk with Yukiko NISHIMURA and Shunsuke NOZAWA
Aug 5 (Wed)
Voice Actor Studio Visit (Shunsuke NOZAWA)
14:00 - 16:00
Participant Presentations
16:15 - 17:00
Discussion of Participants’ Contributions to Edited Volume
17:30 - 19:00
Closing Reception
                                                             (Last updated on 24/July/2015)

How to Apply

Applications to the Kadokawa "Mediated Worlds" Summer Program for students from outside the University of Tokyo ended.

If you are a student from the University of Tokyo, please visit the website below for information about the program and instructions on how to apply.

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