Dr. James Welker, professor in the Department of Cross-Cultural Studies at Kanagawa University, in Yokohama, Japan, published his latest collection, Queer Transfigurations: Boys Love Media in Asia, with University of Hawai‘i Press on May 31. The volume brings together twenty-one scholars exploring boys love (BL) media and its sociocultural impacts across a dozen countries in East, Southeast, and South Asia. Queer Transfigurations demonstrates that the BL genre, which was created in Japan in the 1970s, has become a truly transnational and transcultural phenomenon. Overwhelming interest, likely from BL fans, led the book to immediately jump on Amazon’s best seller rankings to Number One New Release in Asian Art History, Number Five New Release in Pop Culture in Graphic Design, and Number Ten New Release in Media Studies (Kindle Store), before rising in the general (not new release) rankings as high as Number Two, Number Two, and Number Six in the same categories. For more on the book, refer to the press website. Dr. Welker received his PhD from Illinois’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures in 2010. After a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Asian Studies at the University of British Columbia, in 2013 he joined Kanagawa University, where he teaches about Japanese culture as well as gender and sexuality.
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