RCAPS Seminar will be held on June 23rd (Tuesday)
Cosplay -short for costume play- is the practice of dressing up as manga/anime characters and meeting in public spaces to take photographs, engage in role play, buy/sell fan art, and socialize. It is said to have originated in Japan in the 1980s, but is widely acknowledged by its fans today to be a global practice. This presentation will draw on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Singapore to evaluate the ways in which cosplay creates community and shapes cultural identity among the cosplayers. The research focuses on the centrality of 'Japanese-ness' as an index of quality and authenticity that places Singapore-as-Asia in the middle of a global hierarchy that defines Japan as best and the West as worst. How these trans-cultural comparisons contribute to a sense of cultural identity both as Asian and as Singaporean among youths is the central question the presentation will address.
Interested applicants can register on the URL below.