Image-Making in Asia: Branding, Commercialization and Product Penetration of Popular Products across Asia with discussants Anne Allison, Ian Condry, and Roald Maliangkay. This panel was moderated by Laura Nelson.
This conference will explore a number of broad threads under the rubric of "soft power." The overarching goal is to examine some of the important ways in which culture, product branding, export projection of national cultures, athletic events, and global NGOs serve to create a more unified (or divided) Asia.
To what extent are cultural and athletic activities used by national governments to project positive images? Do transnational groups such as NGOs operate independently of governments as cross national cultural unifiers? Are cultural products such as films, soap operas, and toys moving more easily across national borders in ways that foster some comprehensive sense of "Asian-ness" or "Asian identity?"- Institute of East Asian Studies, UC Berkeley
Anne Allison (Ph.D. University of Chicago 1986) is Professor and Chair of the Department of Cultural Anthropology at Duke University. Her specialties include globalization of culture, sexuality, popular culture, political economy, gender, cultural theory, and Marxism. Professor Allison's current research covers the recent popularization of Japanese children's goods on the global marketplace, and how its trends in cuteness, character merchandise, and high-tech play pals are remaking Japan's place in today's world of millennial capitalism.
She is the author of various articles as well as three books, Nightwork: Sexuality, Pleasure, and Corporate Masculinity in a Tokyo Hostess Club (University of Chicago Press, 1994); Permitted and Prohibited Desires: Mothers, Comics, and Censorship in Japan (Westview/HarperCollins, 1996); and Millennial Monsters: Japanese Toys and the Global Imagination (University of California Press, 2006).
Ian Condry (Ph.D., Yale University, 1999) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literature at M.I.T. Professor Condry specializes in contemporary Japan, with a focus on media, popular culture, and globalization.
His first book, Hip-Hop Japan: Rap and the Paths of Cultural Globalization (Duke University Press, 2006) is an ethnography of the Japanese rap music scene, exploring issues of race, gender, language, popular music history, and cultural politics primarily through the perspectives of Japanese musicians. His current research project is Global Anime: The Making of Japan's Transnational Popular Culture.
Roald Maliangkay (Ph.D., SOAS, London) is Head of the Korean Language Program and lectures on Korean popular culture at The Australian National University. His specialties include Korean music and entertainment industries in the early and mid-twentieth century and he has authored various articles on the subject.
His current research focuses on traditional music and the recording industry in colonial Korea, Korean animation, advertisements during Korea's colonial period, and the representation of Korean traditional music in Europe.
Laura Nelson (Ph.D., Stanford University, 1997) is Assistant Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Anthropology at California State University-East Bay. Professor Nelson's research interests are focused on two areas. She has published a book, Measured Excess: Status, Gender, and Consumer Nationalism in South Korea, on economic and social change in South Korea, and continues to look South Korean consumer life.
She has two projects in development for this area, one on credit cards and one on changing demographics in South Korea. Her interests also include the anthropology of public policies in this country, particularly from an applied perspective.