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After much thought--years of thought, in fact--I have decided to remove "Unlikely Explorers--Gender and Sexuality in Shoujo Manga" from my web site. It was a pretty good paper for a graduate syudent who had not yet begun his formal fieldwork, way back in 1994. But obviously 15 months in the field, not to mention many years of subsequent study and experience, changed my views a great deal. Some of the things I wrote then I still believe, but much of it, in hindsight, is pretty shaky.

Strangely enough, this was, apparently, the most popular paper on my site, judging from the number of requests I received to quote or refer to it, or even to translate it into another language! Maybe it's because many of my assertions were recklessly bold, and therefore more interesting than my subsequent, more cautious statements. I don't know. Maybe it was just because the word "sex" was in the title. (Haha.)

In any event, I gradually became uncomfortable with the idea that this paper was being seen as my representative work. So, it's gone. But you're not missing much. The kind of material and themes I addressed in this paper were addressed much better (I think) ten years later, in "Girls and Women Getting Out of Hand: The Pleasure and Politics of Japan's Amateur Comics community."


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Matt Thorn ()
Cultural Anthropologist
Translator
Freelance Writer