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!!EMI Seminar!! 6/13 Reshaping Queer Politics: Audience Reception of Thai Boys’ Love Series in Japan and China

6/13 Prof. Amporn Jirattikorn: Reshaping Queer Politics: Audience Reception of Thai Boys’ Love Series in Japan and China

【Speaker】Amporn Jirattikorn(Associate Professor, Department of Social Sciences and Development, Chiang Mai University)  
【Time】 10am-12pm, 6/13, Thursday, 2024
【Venue】 TWL 88155
【Moderator】Prof Yang Fang-Chi, Taiwanese Literature Department
【Organizers】Taiwanese Literature Department  【Co-Organizers】Center for Gender and Women Studies, Center for Multi-cultural Studies


Over the past two decades, boys’ love (BL) media has developed to become a strong subculture in Asia. Thailand, an unprecedented player in Asian pop culture, has risen to become a significant producer of BL series within the last decade. To date, Thailand has produced more than 100 BL series and has garnered a large following throughout Asia. This talk explores how Asian fans engage with Thai BL texts, focusing particularly on two different countries, Japan and China. In Japan, despite BL texts originating in Japan, the country has now become a consumer of BL content from Thailand. Historically, cultural exchanges between Japan and Thailand were characterized by an imbalance, with Thailand primarily receiving cultural influences. In China, despite the development of its own robust BL literature called “danmei”, the production of BL live-action series is limited due to strict censorship. Chinese audience have thus become significant followers of Thai BL media.

Using the “inter-Asia referencing” framework, the paper analyzes how Thailand is imagined and idealized by Asian youth in relations to its portrayal of queerness. Thailand, once a relatively minor player, has emerged as a key reference point, influencing queer politics across Asia. Through in-depth interviews with Japanese and Chinese audiences, the paper explores how the interregional circulation of Thai BL not only diversifies knowledge sources about homonormativity but also challenges the hegemony of Euro-American voices, placing Asian voices and experiences at the forefront.


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