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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
My first ever refereed scholarly journal article was just published! 
24th-Feb-2009 01:48 am
The title of the article is Paratexts in Translation: Reinterpreting "Manga" for the United States, and it was published in The International Journal of the Book Vol. 6 (Issue #2). Originally written for Ben Kafka's "Print Media and Modernity" graduate seminar, it was my first ever graduate-level paper, as well as my first ever attempt to write about manga in a critical, social context. Of course, if you are already familiar with the history of manga publishing in the U.S., nothing in this paper will come as a great surprise to you.

The following is the abstract (excuse the academese):
The market for manga in the United States has exploded over the past decade at a time when growth in other segments of the book and comics publishing industries has remained flat. Little research has been conducted to account specifically for this phenomenon, and what has been done invariably conflates manga with other forms of imported Japanese popular culture such as anime. In this paper I argue that it can only be sufficiently understood in the contexts of the specificity of the print medium and localized conditions of book production and distribution. Using Gérard Genette’s Paratexts: Thresholds of Interpretation as a theoretical starting point, I show that a series of paratextual innovations pioneered by Tokyopop in 2002 and soon thereafter adopted as an industry standard across the translated manga field led directly to dramatically increased output from an increasing number of publishers and greater visibility in bookstores, where most manga is sold. This paratextual standardization of manga then became a source of aesthetic distinction that, by admitting titles as “manga” which do not fit the old definition of manga as comics from Japan, further fueled the medium’s expansion. Indeed, the paratext is so powerful that it also exerts pressure upon the American definition of the word “manga” itself; since 2002, the old, objective definition has been placed in competition with a new, subjective one, wholly dependent upon the textual content and structure. In conclusion, I suggest that this new, inherently fragile and unstable definition of one category of comics is representative of the way in which rationalization can, paradoxically, open up space for irrationality.
Available for download at a nominal fee here. Please support Common Ground by buying their articles; participating in one of their conferences last year was a very positive experience for me, so I know from firsthand experience that theirs is a worthy cause. If you are institutionally affiliated, you may be able to get the article through interlibrary loan.

I'm very excited about this, so by all means feel free to spread the word! ^__^
24th-Feb-2009 10:50 am (UTC)
Whoa...awesome. Good for you, seriously!
24th-Feb-2009 12:48 pm (UTC)
Hey Casey -- this is Carissa from MHC (if you remember me!). I was in your nihonogo class and lived next door to you in Brigham basement! Gloria Oh sent this link on Facebook to your achievement: Congratulations! I had wondered what happened to you after your Fulbright...!
24th-Feb-2009 02:12 pm (UTC)
Of course I remember! ^_^ Great to hear from you. (You can get my cell # from Gloria; I'd love to catch up.)
24th-Feb-2009 02:01 pm (UTC)

24th-Feb-2009 03:00 pm (UTC)
Extremely cool, I say ^^.
24th-Feb-2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
great. Congrats.
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24th-Feb-2009 07:10 pm (UTC)
since you're talking about OEL-manga

Not specifically. The paper is about paratext, not text--a.k.a. the "Tokyopop size" of manga published in the U.S. and its effects.
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24th-Feb-2009 07:16 pm (UTC)
Do let me know what you think! ^__^
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25th-Feb-2009 04:43 am (UTC)
I'm not surprised it was published. =Þ

Is there an electronic copy available, so that I can search for it on my school journal databases?
25th-Feb-2009 04:50 am (UTC)
Here: http://ijb.cgpublisher.com/product/pub.27/prod.275

I don't think they're paying for indexing anymore. Try to convince your library to buy it for you. XD
25th-Feb-2009 09:05 am (UTC)
Congrats but I'm not surprised it was published^_^ will have to see if I can get a copy.
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