Inter-area/Border Crossing

Organized Panel Session

122 - Trans-Asian and Transformed: “Boys Love” Media, Its Creators, and Its Fandoms in East, Southeast, and South Asia

7/7/2018
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Kadamba, Lower Ground Floor

The female-oriented male–male romance genre known as “boys love” or “BL” emerged in Japan in the early 1970s. Since the beginning of the current century, BL media have rapidly become popular across Asia—and variously transformed in transit. While BL in the context of Japan has been the subject of academic study since the 1980s, in the rest of Asia it has only recently begun to receive scholarly attention. Part of this new scholarly development, the papers in this panel contribute to our understanding of how BL is shaped by local tastes, regulations, and cultural norms in East, Southeast, and South Asia.


First, Yanrui Xu and Ling Yang examine intersections between the male–male romance genres of Chinese danmei, Japanese BL, and Western slash fiction to argue that danmei reflects creative appropriation from the latter two media forms. Then, Asako Saito explores BL dōjinshi (fan-produced works) from China, Japan, and Taiwan based on the Dynasty Warriors video game series, highlighting varied ways the Chinese Three Kingdoms legend is eroticized in the three countries. Third, Aerin Lai looks at the creation of BL in Singapore to show how artists (re)craft it in response to both fan desires and government regulation. Next, Lakshmi Menon considers how conservatism and economic conditions largely limit BL fandom across South Asia to cyberspace and keep it away from the fan conventions and bookstores, where it can be found elsewhere in Asia. Finally, James Welker offers commentary based on his own research on BL media in Japan.

Presentations:

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Aerin Lai

Ochanomizu University, Japan

Presentation(s):

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Lakshmi Menon

HHMSPB NSS College for Women, India

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Trans-Asian and Transformed: “Boys Love” Media, Its Creators, and Its Fandoms in East, Southeast, and South Asia



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