CFP: Japanese 'Cute' Children's Culture 1995-Now (3/1/07; MLA '07)

full name / name of organization: 
jaimy mann
contact email: 

Modern Language Association (MLA) 2007

Chicago -- December 27-30

Children=92s Literature Division

Japanese =91Kawaii=92/=91Cute=92 Children=92s Culture 1995-Now

             =93Cute,=94 as we now commonly conceive of it, originated =
in =20
the U.S. in the late 19th century. Japanese =93kawaii=94 is a quite =20
recent import altering and adding to =93cute=94 in a variety of ways. =20=

Contemporary Japanese artists creating animated feature length films, =20=

children=92s picture books, video games, characters, and fine art =20
gallery and museum installations, are both borrowing from and also =20
changing children=92s literature and culture. This panel seeks to =20
explore the uniquely Japanese form of =93cute=94, known as =93kawaii=94. =
 In =20
the United States, Asian-American subculture is increasingly =20
identifying with kawaii, as is the larger American culture (e.g. =20
Target and other retail stores consistently sell Hello Kitty books =20
and merchandise, Katamari video games, and Spirited Away DVDs.) This =20
session invites papers that approach this topic from any angle, but =20
particularly welcome are scholars taking an Asian-American, post-=20
colonial or international perspective. Papers might address why =20
Japanese artists whose kawaii art depicts children or children=92s =20
literature references are receiving international recognition and top =20=

auction prices when all other Japanese artists are virtually ignored. =20=

How does this change North American conceptions of multiculturalism? =20
How and why are countries including Korea, China, France, and the =20
United States consuming kawaii Japanese artists/products so happily =20
and then changing these artists/products? How is this proliferation =20
changing children=92s culture production =96and conceptions of =93the =20=

child=94 internationally?

Possible artists include Hayao Miyazaki, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo =20
Nara, Chiho Aoshima, Chinatsu Ban, and Aya Takano. Possible =20
characters include TarePanda, Hello Kitty, Pucca & Garu, MashiMaro, =20
Cinnamoroll, Burnt Toast, Chibamaru, and Mr. DOB.

Deadline for submissions: March 1, 2007

Please submit abstracts for a 15-20 minute presentation or 8-10 page =20
papers along with a short bio and contact information to:


Jaimy M. Mann
Department of English
University of Florida
P.O. Box 117310
Gainesville FL 32611-7310

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Received on Tue Jan 16 2007 - 17:18:38 EST