UPDATE: Japanese 'Cute' Children's Culture 1995-Now (3/15/07; MLA '07)

full name / name of organization: 
contact email: 

Modern Language Association (MLA) 2007
Chicago--December 27-30
Children's Literature Division

The deadline for submitting abstracts has been extended to March
15, 2007.

Japanese 'Kawaii'/'Cute' Children's Culture 1995-Now

"Cute," as we now commonly conceive of it, originated in the U.S.
in the late 19th century. Japanese "kawaii" is a quite recent
import altering and adding to "cute" in a variety of ways.
Contemporary Japanese artists creating animated feature length
films, children's picture books, video games, characters, and fine
art gallery and museum installations, are both borrowing from and
also changing children's literature and culture. This panel seeks
to explore the uniquely Japanese form of "cute," known as
"kawaii." In the United States, Asian-American subculture is
increasingly identifying with kawaii, as is the larger American
culture (e.g. Target and other retail stores consistently sell
Hello Kitty books and merchandise, Katamari video games, and
Spirited Away DVDs). This seesion invites papers that approach
this topic from any angle, but particularly welcome are scholars
taking an Asian-American, post-colonial or international
perspective. Papers might address why Japanese artists whose
kawaii art depicts children or children's literature references
are receiving international recognition and top auction prices
when all other Japanese artists are virtually ignored. How does
this change North American conceptions of multiculturalism? How
and why are countries including Korea, China, France, and the
United States consuming kawaii Japanese artists/products so
happily and then changing these artists/products? How is this
proliferation changing children's culture production and
conceptions of "the child" internationally?

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

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


Jaimy Man
Ph.D. Fellow, Department of English
University of Florida
P.O. Box 117310
Gainesville FL 32611-7310
--MARTIN,REGINA K ========================================================== From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List CFP_at_english.upenn.edu Full Information at http://cfp.english.upenn.edu or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu ==========================================================Received on Sat Feb 24 2007 - 13:13:00 EST