Medievalism in East Asia conference coming to Salford

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

A special two-day conference on Medievalism in East Asia is coming to the University of Salford’s Digital Curation Lab, as part of a series of international workshops organised by members of Mutual Images Research Association.

December 2021 will mark the 20th anniversary of the cinema’s release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, directed by the New Zealander film director, writer and producer, Peter Jackson; an adaptation that rekindled the flame of Medievalism all over the world.

Thus, this seems a perfect time to look at Tolkien’s influence in East Asia, as well as extend our observations to the general state of Medievalism in and from East Asia, and particularly in and from Japan.

Additionally, with the dramatic passing of Miura Kentarō – author of the manga Berserk, one of the most iconic and influential neo-medieval manga – in May, research on the subject is more necessary than ever before.

On 2 and 3 December the Mutual Images Research Association will present its annual International Workshop at the University of Salford. The conference will aim to explore the reception, interpretations and refashionings of the European Middle Ages across all genres and media in East Asia, from early to most contemporary creations, from printed story-worlds to digital role-playing games. Participants are asked to consider the cultural, ideological, or theoretical implications of such recreations of the European Middle Ages.

The conference is part of a more ambitious project supervised by Dr Maxime Danesin (Mutual Images) and Dr Manuel Hernández (University of Salford) on Global Medievalism.

“A conference on East Asian popular culture seemed to be the perfect way to explore different conceptualisations of medievalism, neo-medievalism and medieval representations through global popular culture,” said Maxime Danesin, Vice-President at  Mutual Images Research Association.

“Stablishing a dialogue among Western and Eastern cultural exchanges is one of the Mutual Images goals as association and core part of our own individual projects, and therefore, in our interest on the study of Japanese media-mixes’ consumption overseas,” added Dr Manuel Hernández from the School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology. 

The jam-packed event will present an array of guest speakers including Dr Björn-Ole Kamm from Kyoto University, presenting a keynote on history of analog role-playing in Japan, Stacey Jocoy from Texas Tech University, looking at Medievalism in anime music and Simon James Bytheway from Nihon University, Japan exploring the reception of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings in 1990s Japan.

There will also be panel sessions on analog and digital games and Medievalism in Japanese manga (comic-books) and animation.

The organisers are offering free places at this one-of-a-kind virtual event. Register your place here.

Find out more about this and other Mutual Images research workshops.


About the Digital Curation Lab

The Digital Curation Lab (DCL) at the University of Salford was established in 2019 on the MediaCityUK Campus as a place for all activities within the institution associated with the field of Digital Humanities to come together in a collaborative environment.

The DCL is designed to create opportunities for all to explore the intersections of digital technology, creative arts, information management, humanities, social sciences, and associated areas of engagement.

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