Focus Group Description
Student Faciliator: Mary Hinsvark
Supervised by: Phillip Thurtle
Hayao Miyazaki’s films have reached screens across the world and resonated
with all kinds of populations. He didn’t gain this appeal by dumbing down
his films, having noisy action sequences, or creating musical numbers for his
characters to warble; instead he grew this allurement by creating multiple
points for identification and building complex layers through his animation.
Due to this, closely studying Miyazaki films allows for understanding and
questioning in areas such as cultural studies, media theory, the philosophy
of technology, and gender studies, and their intersectional connections.
This focus group will view the animated films of Hayao Miyazaki and read selected
writings in philosophy, media theory, and cultural studies in order to
investigate the importance of animation in contemporary media, compare
Japanese and Western visual conventions, research the gendered uses of
technology, and interrogate the role of world building and speculative
fiction in understanding the world.