May. 12th, 2010

starlady: Fuck you, it's magic.  (kick ass fantasy)
Transformative Works & Cultures: Nationbending
Avatar: The Last Airbender
September 2012

Avatar: The Last Airbender is that rare animal: American-produced anime faithful to both its Japanese cinematic influences and its pervasive Chinese iconography. A vast amount of research was invested in bringing a fantasy Asian environment to life: martial arts master Sifu Kisu choreographed each fight and assigned specific fighting forms to each character; a Chinese calligraphy consultant wrote the signage that appeared in each episode, and the series’ creators visited China to study its traditional architecture. These elements create an enticing mash-up of genuine Asian signifiers within a fictional environment. The series’ popularity encouraged a live-action film adaptation from director M. Night Shyamalan. Fan controversy erupted when white actors were cast in roles previously “played” by characters with dark skin. Protests against this act of “racebending” included T-shirts and bumper stickers with the slogan Aang Ain’t White!, the founding of, and a renewed discussion among online fans about the long cinematic history of whitewashing and yellowface

This issue aims to investigate the cultural significance of A:tLA as a transforming and transformative text. Like the Avatar, A:tLA and its settings and characters have many incarnations online, on television, on film, and in print. Likewise, the definitions of anime, cartoons, Asia, and race have been bent by fans and producers alike. A:tLA is part of the ongoing transformation of American media in a global context. We welcome contributions focusing on Asian studies; media theory and film studies; religious studies and anthropology; postcolonial and queer readings of the series, the films, and the fan works they have inspired; reviews of both canon and fanon texts; interviews with both canon and fanon producers; and reviews of relevant texts, whatever form they might take.

TWC accommodates academic articles of varying scope as well as other forms that embrace the technical possibilities of the Web and test the limits of the genre of academic writing. Contributors are encouraged to include embedded links, images, and videos or to propose submissions in alternative formats: interviews, collaborations, podcasts, comics, drawings, video, multimedia works.

Theory: Often interdisciplinary essays with a conceptual focus and a theoretical frame that offer expansive interventions in the field. Peer review. Length: 5,000–8,000 words plus a 100–250-word abstract.

Praxis: Analyses of particular cases that may apply a specific theory or framework to an artifact; explicate fan practice or formations; or perform a detailed reading of a text. Peer review. Length: 4,000–7,000 words plus a 100–250-word abstract.

Symposium: Short pieces that provide insight into current developments and debates. Editorial review. Length: 1,500–2,500 words.

Due dates

October 1, 2011, for contributions for blind peer review (Theory, Praxis). November 1, 2011, for contributions for editorial review (Symposium, Interview, Review).

Guest editor
Madeline Ashby, Ontario College of Art & Design

Contact her via the form at:
starlady: headphones on top of colorful buttons (music (makes the people))
I went to see Sea Wolf at the First Unitarian Church Sanctuary two Sundays ago. I really like Sea Wolf--they remind me of Blitzen Trapper by way of The Arcade Fire, or maybe the other way around, and they put on a show that for my money was really good; they are really energetic and committed live performers (related: I sometimes wish I were a bass player. Bass players always seem to be having the most fun, hanging in the back, wandering around the stage, rocking out). But it was about 100ª in the sanctuary even at 10 pm when their set ended, and I only lasted a few songs into the set by The Album Leaf before I walked out, because I was tired and completely uninvested in and unhooked by their music. The pre-concert email from R5 compared them to Sígur Ros, to which I can only, yeah, a downmarket English-speaking version. But the sanctuary was packed when I did leave, as it hadn't been for Sea Wolf, so what do I know?

I bought the new album by The New Pornographers, Together, and it is growing on me steadily, though it's not as good as Challengers. I also bought Owen Pallet's album Heartland (which says Final Fantasy on the case? I don't even know) and it is great, but not as good as his live sets. Owen, release a live album, please? And I scored the first of Sonic Youth's experimental 20thC classical music albums for $3, and it's really good, though my bird does not approve. For the record, all birds like music, and the ones we've had have had distinct musical tastes; the parrot likes classical music such as Mozart and Beethoven but also goes for anything with a strong beat like most of those songs in the playlist I posted last week; he particularly likes that Gaslight Anthem track. Our late parakeet Sunny, by contrast, didn't care about Mozart but loved Bartok. And Janelle Monáe's new album comes out Tuesday, I'm so excited.


starlady: Raven on a MacBook (Default)

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