This community was started in advance of a directed reading course for a Master's thesis. The subject of the course is close readings of cyborg anime. The goal here is to involve both fans and aca-fans, and if possible to encourage membership on the part of those whose works are being read. During my Fanthropology course, which was hosted strictly on my LJ and involved others only through the comment function, I found the conversation to be not quite interactive enough. I want Otaku Academy to build on that experience and move toward a more classroom-like model. This should function as a space not only to read and discuss essays and articles pertaining to anime, but also a place to post CFP's, relevant news articles, and thoughtful reviews of anime films, series, books, manga, games, and conventions.
You can find the bibliography for this course by clicking here. Reading the texts listed there is not a requirement for membership. I will be reading all of these texts in chronological order and blogging them as per the requirements of my directed reading course. I have made an effort to include a variety of texts that are available online, so that "students" without access to university databases can comment if they are so inclined. There is no expectation that everyone will be able to "read along" with me all the time, although I think I can only benefit from discussion with others regarding the texts.
I have offered the community the chance to decide whether we would like to flag ourselves for "adult concepts" using LJ's new self-description system. Currently, community opinion says that no, we would not like to flag ourselves. Until I see a large enough shift in consensus, I have no intention of changing our status.
Currently, posts -- not comments -- in this community are moderated. That means they go through me before they go live. That may not always be the case. I am a first-time moderator, and you will have to bear with me as I learn the ropes. I myself am conflicted on this issue: on the one hand, this is my classroom and I wish to preserve some control of it; on the other, I do not wish to hinder the organic development of the community. Please post, comment, or send me a message if this strikes you as too totalitarian.
Hate Speech, Spam, Trolling
This is my classroom. If I find you cluttering up my classroom with your hate, I will ban you. If someone walked into your classroom wearing a Klan hood, you would call security. Otaku Academy is no different. The same goes for spam, trolling, flamebait, etc. I can and will turn the mood of this community from Hippie Alternative School to Elite Private School in nothing flat if you say something to hurt my "students."
Research Ethics and "Minimum Risk"
The Canadian Tri-Council (the three federal funding bodies for academic research) does not yet have an official policy on blogging. They regard it as "informed consent." That means that by participating in this community, you are implying informed consent for your words to be used in academic research. There are certain long-term "minimum" risks associated with this assumption that you the user should be aware. They are as follows:
*risk of an intellectual property/copyright infringement lawsuit *risk of being "outed" as a fan
By maintaining the security of your alias, you ameliorate these risks. If you choose to "out" yourself at a later date, and ADV Films Googles this site and reads posts wherein you comment on distributing fansubs after the English-language license has been obtained, ADV will know better how to find you and send you a Cease & Desist notice. But if you maintain anonymity, you will have one more level of protection. This is a simplified example of long-term risk. It qualifies as "minimum" risk because it is no greater than the risks you might otherwise engage in during everyday life. However, there are ways that I can protect you. They are as follows:
*using only your LJ alias in academic writing *not logging IP addresses *encouraging you to use TOR and other privacy-protection programmes
Your security is important to me. I want you to be careful and savvy with how you distribute personal information. Do not post anything that you might not want published later on. Do not post information that might lead someone to toward your "RL" identity. Do not endanger yourself.