This is the info from 2017. Check back at a later time for information on the 2018 edition.
Queering Hogwarts: Sexuality in Harry Potter Universe
This panel tackles bromance and queerness in the Potter universe. J.K. Rowling added a lot of LGBT friendly themes to her canon ever since the original books were written. Fans have praised the relationships between Scorpio and Albus in the Cursed Child, and Dumbledore and Grindelwald. How is friendship and intimacy portrayed? Is it problematic to add LGBT themes post-canon, and how do we value these different texts?
Dancing on Ice: Homoeroticism in Sports Anime
In the world of sports anime, the relationships between male characters are often written to entice a queer reading. Fan service is frequently built into the story in the form of male characters disrobing, multi-ship potential, and the use of sport as a vehicle for masculine emotional bonding. This lecture will explore how Yuri on Ice, an anime series about a pair of male figure skaters, fits into the established sports anime genre, how homoeroticism is incorporated into the narrative, and how fans have responded to the myriad of enticing visuals of the main ship – Victor/Yuri – dancing on ice and soaking in hotsprings. This lecture is given by Dr. Jessica Seymour, HU University of Applied Sciences.
Beyond Stereotypes: Ethnicity in Pop-culture
Though anime has Asian origins, the bodies of its characters often have Caucasian resemblances. Originally, manga drawn by authors as Tezuka explicitly draw from the Anglo-American cartoon culture as seen in Disney movies. Similarly, the iconic movies of Miyazaki portray whiteness, and European landscapes. Does anime erase ethnicity? What are some of the best practices of portraying different ethnicities and cultures, without stereotyping them?
Romance and Sex in Comics
This is an artist panel, in which our favorite artists from different countries, backgrounds and sexualities sit down to discuss their work. They cater to our theme, Love is in the Air, by discussing how romance, dating, sexuality and sex can be represented in comics.
Let’s Talk about Asexuality
Being asexual or “ace” is an identity that is not often represented in media, or recognized in daily life. The panelists discuss both the practice and visibility of being asexual, as well as the cultural awareness of it. How does being asexual relate to romantic feelings? Why don’t we see more asexuals in the media? Love and romance are important, but sexuality does not have to play a huge role in relationships. This panel is open and inclusive. Everyone is welcome to join this discussion, and share their own experiences in a positive atmosphere.