Mari Kotani (born in 1958), SF& Fantasy critic, served as vice president of SFWJ (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of Japan) and chair of the Women Writers Committee of Japan PEN Club. Her first book Techno-Gynesis : The Political Unconscious of Feminist Science Fiction (Tokyo: Keiso Publishers, 1994) won the 15th Japan SF Award (SFWJ), Japanese Nebula in 1994. Her second book Evangelion as the Immaculate Virgin (Tokyo: Magazine House, 1997) sold more than 80,000 copies and established the author as an authority on anime. She regularly published reviews and essays in Japanese major newspapers such as Yomiuri Shinbun, Nihon-Keizai Shinbun, and many magazines such as Hayakawa's SF Magazine, S-F Studies, and SF Eye. Her collaborations include Blood Read edited by Joan Gordon and Veronica Hollinger (Philadelphia: U of Pennsylvania P, 1997). Being one of the active members of The Japanese Association of Gender Fantasy and Science Fiction, she helped found in 2001 The Sense of Gender Award as the Japanese equivalent of the Tiptree Award. Being one of the first cosplayers in Japan, she also established in 2003 the annual Kotani Cup for celebrating the best cosplayers at Japanese National SF Convention.
Programming for Mari Kotani
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Science Fiction, Gender, and Social Change
The workings of any society are a confluence of many different forces and movements. As society changes, its literature and arts (including SF) reflects, anticipates, and perhaps influences the direction and scope of change. How has SF influenced and reflected the changes in gender and gender roles over the past quarter century? As we look back to the work of writers such as Ursula LeGuin and Joanna Russ in the sixties and seventies, what can we say about their impact and that of their heirs today?
And the Award for Best Anime Goes To...
What are the all-time and current favorites?
Beginning to now
WTF? Truly Bizarre Anime
"Cat Soup", "Angel's Egg", "Lain", the aply-named "Mind Game", "Narutaru", "3X3 Eyes", "Paranoid Agent", "Kinniku Man", and "Zenmai Jikake no Tina" are some examples of titles that have been called "mind-f*ck anime." How do they even get these made?
Seiun Awards: An Introduction to Japanese Science Fiction
This panel will give you an update on what’s going on in the various fields of Japanese science fiction: novels, films, and fanacs. What is more, the panelists will carry out the Seiun Awards Ceremony in order to celebrate the winners of the 2009 and 2010 Seiun Awards, the Japanese equivalent of Hugo established in 1970.
Science fiction is a well-established literary field in Japan, with an energetic fandom that hosted the 2007 Worldcon. Yet, Japanese SF is not much read in North America. How has Japanese SF developed over the past forty years? How does it address both traditional Japanese literature and Western ideas, as well as current cultural and literary developments?
Cross-Cultural Influences in SF
How are cross-cultural inflences manifested in Science Fiction? We look at the impact of both modern and ancient cultures on on SF. How, say, has American SF been affected by Japan? What are the trans-Atlantic influences in play? We expect a wide-ranging discussion.
J-Music - Music in Anime
The music in most anime is of a high quality, due to the size and influence of anime in Japan. What do you like? What do you hate?