When Fandom and Academia Collide
Madeline Ashby · From fps #8 · June 22, 2006 | On May 18 and 19, the York Centre for Asian Research at York University in Toronto, Ontario, hosted the International Conference on Asian Comics, Animation and Gaming (ACAG). Co-sponsored by the International Journal of Comic Art and the Asian Cinema Studies Society, the conference aimed to bring together scholars, students and industry professionals to present papers on manga, anime, games, and issues pertaining thereto. The conference was a truly international gathering, featuring presenters from Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Ireland, England, Canada, and the United States. ACAG was a place for fans and theorists from all over the world to share ideas on their favourite art forms.
When fans and academics collide, both parties involved expect some degree of misunderstanding. Fans, frustrated by the fact that professors "don't speak fan," feel like the subjects are over-analyzed, and theorists cannot resist the temptation to study both the art form and its fandom objectively, clarifying their thoughts and sharing those thoughts with others in the field. Fortunately, the action at ACAG was friendly to all involved. Theorists, often fans themselves, relished the opportunity to discuss anime and mangaon an intellectual level, with individuals who "get it."
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