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Since the late 1990s anime and popular culture conventions have grown in popularity across Australia and New Zealand with nearly 40 annual and one-off events happening each year. For the most part, these events have attracted attention only in geek/nerd-centric or Japanophile spaces; however this is rapidly changing with the media increasingly bringing mainstream attention to conventions, and by extension, to cosplayers.
This talk will give a very brief overview of how anime and popular culture conventions have changed in Australia, from once niche Japan related events to international pop culture spaces with links to parent conventions in America. It will also look at the changing face of cosplay as conventions and alt culture spaces continue to move from someone’s parents’ basement out into accepted adult realms.
Dr Emerald L King is Lecturer in Humanities at the University of Tasmania and an award-winning cosplayer, cosplay judge and MC. Her research is divided between Japanese women’s writing, cosplay as fan translation, and shōjo manga and culture. Since 2017 she has volunteered at the World Cosplay Finals held in Nagoya in August each year as a translator and Japanese/English interpreter. In 2020 she was named a WCS Cosplay Support Ambassador.