Since the 1980s, and more intensely from the 1990s onwards, a variety of mutual interac-tions and influences have been at play among the creative industries and popular cultures of Japan, South Korea, and China. Through various stages over the years, formi-dably successful cultural objects have exerted a continuous appeal among national and regional audiences in Asia: manga, anime, science fiction television series for children and toys from Japan; pop music boy bands, girl bands and television soap operas for women from Japan as well as the Republic of Korea (South Korea or ROK); and dynamic action movies from mainland China, Hong Kong SAR, and the ROK. Such audiences, besides Korean and Japanese viewers/consumers, include two generations of Chinese youths as well as China’s system of the creative industries itself, which has benefited from those cultural forms as sources of technical and aesthetic inspiration, adapting them into more local frameworks and solutions. Since the 2000s — in a growingly more bal-anced phase of this intraregional circulation of cultural outputs — media and formats of the Chinese creative industries have been receiving attentions in Japan and the ROK, including cinematic storytelling (co-produced films and animations), digital entertainment (a thriving video game industry), as well as new forms of social media (e.g. Douyin).
In the last thirty years, the intersections among these three national markets and their re-spective cultural and creative industries have become more intense. Such triangulations have entailed a constellation of aspects of political nature which often transcend the role of the creative outputs, but are nonetheless linked to their cultural and economic impacts. Among these dimensions, which form the main thematic paths of this international sum-mer school, students will learn and reflect about the following aspects.
Relations between these countries in their possible combinations (JP-ROK, CN-JP, ROK-CN).
ROLE OF SOFT POWER
The growing role of “soft power”, a notion that has become crucial for many national gov-ernments’ policy making and cultural diplomacy.
The ideas within these three national contexts about the by-design or perceived role of national creative output as vehicles of political philosophies or nation-branding strategies.
FOREIGN POP-CULTURAL FORMS AND NATIONAL DISCOURSES
The economic advantage from the domestic circulation of foreign pop-cultural forms vis-à-vis the competition with other, local forms of creative output (cinema, comics, video games, and so on).
FANDOMS AND YOUTH SUBCULTURES
The growing relevance of fandoms and youth subcultures, a social subject that has now a transcultural composition that transcends national or gender boundaries.
WHY THIS INTERNATIONAL SUMMER SCHOOL?
- engage in an intellectual dive into this rich set of topics
- enjoy a multicultural setting and a variety of theoretical and disciplinary perspectives
- engage with an international group of qualified scholars from XJTLU and various Chinese and for-eign institutions will give lively lectures and engage students in seminar discussions
- experience a friendly learning atmosphere that will boost the dialectic process and enhance the social dimension of study and learning
- benefit from the assistance of the Mutual Images Research Association (Mutualimages.org)
- learn more about Suzhou, one of the most culturally and economically vibrant places in China