Professor CJ Suzuki’s talk at FIT (Thurs, April 18th, 2024)

Professor Shige (CJ) Suzuki gave a talk titled “Highlighting the Media-Specificity of Manga in Print Culture and Beyond” at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) on Thursday, April 18th, 2024.

In the past eighty years, manga has grown into a significant economic and cultural force in Japan and beyond. During the last couple of decades, social and cultural institutions have reevaluated the medium, giving it increasing recognition as a subject for university courses and academic research. As the consumption of Japanese manga continues to expand beyond Japan, manga has acquired new meanings distinct from those developed in its originating contexts.

One objective of this lecture is to reframe manga as a unique visual storytelling medium by highlighting its medium-specific nature, in terms of both cognitive and affective communication, through a comparative lens, contrasting it with film, painting, and other narrative art forms. Another objective is to discuss the newly emerged meanings and cultural functions the medium has acquired for a specific group of readers outside Japan, aiming to shed light on the appeal of manga beyond Japan. In the final part of the lecture, as per requests, I intend to briefly outline how new and alternative voices in manga emerge in the participatory cultural domains of Japan’s contemporary cultural landscape.

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