More than just an eye for BL: Fujoshi’s Queer Affective Literacies

Well, didn’t think a meme would be apt for this moment but I really feel that it has been a journey from this blog to this moment.

Twelve (OMG WAT!?) years ago, I wrote a little think piece with research based on good google skills on what I thought was an interesting history between the most popular magazine for boys and their “rotten” female fans. I honestly didn’t feel that this little think piece would take me to places or make me meet some of the most fascinating people I’d ever meet in my career. This little blog post contributed to many changes in my life. Even when it makes me slightly cringe when I read it, this blog posts makes me feel grateful.

Ever since I’ve written that post, the ideas it presented has levelled up in many ways and one of the results of that blog post is this journal article that I wrote for Critical Arts titled: Queer Affective Literacies: Examining “Rotten” Women’s Literacies in Japan. This article unpacks what are the literacies involved in engaging with BL culture and media and the potential of these literacies when used in queering mainstream media such as Shonen Jump. If any of you want to read the article but are unable to procure it from your libraries, send me a DM on twitter!

Of all the articles I’ve written thus far, this is the one I’m most excited about because it gives a preview of the hard work involved in my thesis which I’m hoping to turn into a monograph soon (given time and sanity in all this madness). My monograph looks closer into the development of these boys love literacies in women’s fan culture in Japan with a little look at the early careers of Yoshinaga Fumi, CLAMP, Koga Yun, and many others. This article highlights one of the foundations my scholarly work will eventually build on. Hopefully, other scholars will find it useful too.

Personally, I have bittersweet memories about this article as I remembering working so hard for this piece before a personal tragedy happened as soon as I submitted this. I wasn’t in a mental state to really go through the editorial process but I’m happy I persevered and I’m sure my mom would be proud that I did.

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