TALK: J-Rap, AKB48, and Miku: Japan's Musical Creativity in an Age of Free, Ian Condry (MIT)

Event Date: 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm

Event Location: 

  • SSMS 2135

Now that recorded music is always available for free, what are the possible futures for musicians and fans? This talk will explore recent developments in Japan, including the resurgence of Japanese hip-hop, idol groups like AKB48, and a virtual idol, or "vocaloid," by the name of Hatsune Miku. Each case highlights different dynamics in the restructuring of business and creativity, and fan and musician interaction.  I argue that music offers lessons for rethinking capitalism and democracy in the 21st century.

Ian Condry is a cultural anthropologist who studies cultural movements that go global from below.  He is Professor and Head of Global Studies and Langages at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.   He is the author of two books, "Hip-Hop Japan" (2008) and "The Soul of Anime" (2013).  His new research lab is the Creative Communities Initiative which uses ethnography to explore the connections between online and offline worlds, and their potential to offer new solutions to old problems.

Cosponsors: IHC's Reinventing Japan RFG.