Why We Tell Stories About Stories, at Harvard

November 8th, 2013

wtitle1Sorry for being away for so long. Obviously, I had to spend some days with my family. But in the midst of death life goes on.

Wednesday I had the chance to present my lecture on LGBTQ Audience Interpretation of Comics and Manga to a Gender Studies class at Harvard, thanks to the generosity of Prof. Kerey Luis, a good friend of ours at Yuricon. (And thanks to her wife and another good friend, Jude, for coming and getting us at the airport and chauffeuring us. Thanks so very much to both of you for dinner and fantastic conversation!)

This is the lecture I did at Montclair University’s Chibi-con this past summer and a similar lecture to the one I did in Kanagawa University last month. (Here is the the full-text of the lecture and companion slides to the Kanagawa University lecture. I hope to get the videos up soonish)

The basic idea is that we, as an audience, always reinterpret media as we consume it, through filters we create to fill our own needs. You can most easily see this in fanfic and fanart.. We recreate characters and situations to suit ourselves and tell the stories we want to hear. The first half of the lecture is me introducing myself, my writing and Yuricon, “Worldshaking” Fanfic and Okazu, and the second, more infinitely interesting half is comic pages presented without context, that the audience has to discuss and tell me what they think is going on.

The lecture went well, and the students were very receptive, and then we got to listen to them present and discuss issues of fandom. It was exhilarating, honestly.

Now that the lecture is done for the year, I’ve put the whole thing up, with my notes from Kanagawa on Slideshare. But since the good stuff is the class talking to me about how each panel makes them feel, you’ll have to do the work yourself to make the lecture interesting. ^_^

I am now taking applications for 2014, if you’d like to have me speak for your class, organization or event. Feel free to contact me!

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