2009-2010 Events

theme: virtual worlds, real bodies

The MIT/Harvard Cool Japan research project is planning several events for the current academic year. This year’s theme is “Virtual Worlds, Real Bodies,” in which we explore various ways in which popular culture and media related to Japan are intertwined with issues concerning the body, gender, and sexuality. Too often the scholarship that examines popular culture reinforces the impression that media representations exist on screen, in earbud headphones, or are associated primarily with the technologies of conveyance rather than in their points of contact with material bodies, with ideological and practical relations of gendered and transgendered people, and permeating the intimate spaces of desire.

event highlights

Hip-Hop Japan Remix Mixer
DJ Ian Condry at the Enormous Room, Cambridge MA

Come hear the latest Japanese hip-hop, and meet others interested in Cool Japan!


(In conjunction with Beat Research [www.beatresearch.com])

Date: Monday September 28, 2009
Time: 10:00 PM - 1:00 AM
The Enormous Room
569 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139

"Hip Hop and Tokusatsu (Special Effects Films) Robots: Expanding the Language of the Body in the Japanese Avant-garde Dance Butoh"
Prof. Bruce Baird (U Mass, Amherst)

Talk and discussion (with free pizza lunch)

TOPIC: The avant-garde dance form butoh has both fascinated and bewildered audiences who have been struck by its power, but quite unable to understand it. What could this esoteric dance form have to do with popular culture?

BIO: Bruce Baird received his Ph.D from the university of Pennsylvania in 2005 and now teaches Japanese theater, cinema, philosophy and manga and anime at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is currently working on a book on the Japanese avant-garde dance butoh.

Date: Tuesday November 17, 2009
Time: 12:30 - 2:00 PM
Location: MIT 4-364


Summer Wars Screening and discussion with Director Mamoru Hosoda

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On March 1, 2010, the MIT/Harvard Cool Japan research project and MIT Comparative Media Studies program host the New England premiere of a nominee for the Japan Academy Prize for Best Animated Film of 2009.

The film Summer Wars will be shown at 7:00pm, Room 26-100, MIT, and will be followed by a discusion with the director Mamoru Hosoda. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to hear directly from one of Japan’s hottest young animation directors and to see his latest film. The event is free and open to the public.

Date: Monday March 1, 2010
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: MIT 26-100

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