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Franco-Asian Connections and Intersections through Popular Culture

Asian pop music, comics, drama, film, graphic novels; these cultural products are increasingly present transnationally signaling new currents of popular culture and underscoring the interconnected nature of our globalizing world. Within the pan-Asian context, the concepts of “familiar difference” and of a collective Asian identity have catalyzed the fame of East/Southeast Asian singers and TV series (Iwabuchi, Recentering 15). In Western societies, the “culturally odorless” quality of mass-produced Japanese comics and animation film has facilitated their dissemination and reception (Iwabuchi, Recentering 27). Transnational media has therefore notably impacted both Asian and Western consumers. Yet modern technologies have siphoned Asian popular culture off to publics beyond the original targeted populations. Social and digital media in particular have facilitated access to these cultural products by minimizing potential economic and geographic divides. At the postcolonial Franco-Asian crossroads, where “Franco” encompasses the Hexagon yet also communities that self-identify as French-speaking, fans from non-Asian non-Western societies have been posting about and liking K-pop and Korean drama celebrities.

A(n) (re)examination of the origins and impact of popular culture will therefore unveil the unprecedented implications of soft (cultural) power. What forms of cross-cultural exoticism or familiarity have been attracting new viewership? How might these findings pertaining to media globalization push us to reassess the notion of cultural imperialism? And how could this new knowledge encourage (de)constructive dialogue and a self-(re)examination that calls for an inclusive de-centralized outlook on the implicated societies? This panel seeks to explore these significant yet minimally addressed questions in order to better understand the impetus behind and influence of the changing tides of cultural flows that are pervading the Franco-Asian world.

This panel welcomes papers that examine Franco-Asian connections and intersections through popular culture (e.g, pop music, TV series, film, comics, graphic novels). “Franco” can encompass the Hexagon and also comprise communities that self-identify as French-speaking. Possible themes can include but are not limited to: media globalization, cultural flows/imperialism, and soft (cultural) power.

Please submit abstracts via the NeMLA website: https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/15639


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