CFP – Childhood and Visual Texts in/of Asia

Call for Papers
Childhood and Visual Texts in/of Asia

An international conference sponsored by the Taiwan Children’s Literature Research Association, the Department of Children English Education, National Taipei University of Education, and the Feng Zikai Chinese Children’s Picture Book Award Executive Committee

Date: Saturday, November 14, 2015
Venue: National Taipei University of Education

Visual texts such as comics and picture books have great impact on contemporary children—as they are entertained by the vivid pictorial images and lively stories, they acquire burgeoning knowledge and information from the words, from the pictures, or from the complex interweaving of words and pictures. As visual signals are replacing their verbal counterparts to mediate human perception of the world, professionals in the field of children’s literature and cartoon theories such as William Moebius, Will Eisner, and Scott McCloud face the irrevocable trend and take up the studies of picture books, comics, and graphic novels—forms that supposedly targeting at the child reader. While studies of visual and verbal interplay in genres mentioned above have been conducted for decades in the West, representation of Asia or Asian childhood through visual texts has not yet been sufficiently explored. Asia in fact has a long history of visual texts, with marvelous illustrators, cartoonists, and picture book writers. For example, in the 1920’s, Chinese painter and writer Feng Zikai integrated Western painting techniques into Chinese ink and wash paintings, creating a series of childlike comics. The purpose of this conference, therefore, is to explore, interrogate, and analyze the representations of Asian childhood through children’s visual texts. To this end, we invite paper proposals that engage the conference theme. Possible topics include but are not restricted to the following:

  • Picture Books Awarded by Feng Zikai Chinese Children’s Book Award
  • Picture Books, Graphic Novels, Comics, Manga, Illustrated Books, Animations, Films
  • Asian Childhood Represented in Visual Texts
  • Representations of Ethnicity in Asian Visual Texts
  • Western Representations of Asia in Children’s Visual Texts
  • Oriental Aesthetics in Picture Books
  • Visual Literacy in Visual Texts
  • Children’s Visual Texts in Translation
  • History and/or Current Developments

Important dates

March 9, 2015: Abstracts Due
March 23, 2015: Notification of Acceptance
October 14, 2015: Revised abstract due for printing in the conference handbook
November 14, 2015: Date of Conference

Submit an abstract (300 words in English or 500 words in Chinese) and a short bio (50-100 words in English or 100-150 words in Chinese) to Carol Ku at and Jean Lai at

CFP – Exploring 30 Years of Studio Ghibli: Spirited Discussions

A Cardiff University and UEA collaborative project – 18 April 2015 Cardiff University

2015 marks the 30th anniversary of Studio Ghibli, and with that anniversary it is time to reflect on the domestic and global success of Japan’s most famous animation studio. With the retirements of Studio Ghibli’s most famous director, Hayao Miyazaki, and it main producer, Toshio Suzuki earlier this year, the future of Studio Ghibli is in turmoil, provoking rallying cries from fans and critics alike. The Wind Rises may have been Miyazaki’s swan song, but this is not his first retirement. Despite Miyazaki’s professed departure, Ghibli’s other directors like Miyazaki’s founding partner, Isao Takahata, and Hiromasa Yonebayashi have produced recent hits of varying degrees for this powerful studio that suggest overlooked aspects of the Studio in need of further analysis and discussion. This anniversary year is therefore a pertinent time to celebrate and critically reflect on Studio Ghibli, not only exploring Miyazaki’s famous films, but also considering other facets of the Ghibli universe. This symposium explores a diverse range of topics, exploring the wide international appeal of Studio Ghibli and the cultural significance of everything from the studio’s canon to its more obscure local activities.

Submissions from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives are welcomed, with possible topics including (but not limited to):

  • Discourses of national and transnational cinema
  • Animation methods and the role of cel animation versus CGI
  • Ghibli anime in comparison to other animation
  • The role of children in Ghibli cinema
  • Adaptation of literature stories to cinematic texts
  • Ghibli’s relationship to other media such as TV series, commercials, music videos, and videogames
  • Merchandising and fan objects/creations
  • The Ghibli Museum and discourses of space
  • The role of auteur(s) and mass media production
  • Postcolonial Studies
  • Subtitles, dubbing, and translating texts
  • Ghibli as brand and business
  • Cross-cultural fan practices
  • Wider socio-political issues played out in Ghibli narratives
  • The studio’s history, development and relationships with outside institutions

Please send a proposal of 250-500 words and a CV/resume, or if you have any queries, to by the 15 January 2015.