European Studies SMLC HKU School of Modern Languages and Cultures HKU

News & Events

20 March 2014

Hailing the Subject: Visual and Narrative Progression in Nananan’s Blue

Professor Monica Chiu
University of New Hampshire

Date: Thursday March 20, 2014
Time: 4:30 - 6:00 pm
Venue: Room 4.36, Run Run Shaw Tower, Centennial Campus HKU

click to see poster

Bio: Monica Chiu is Professor of English at the University of New Hampshire where she teaches Asian American studies and American studies. She is the author of Filthy Fictions: Asian American Literature by Women, Scrutinized! Surveillance in Asian North American Literature; editor of Asian Americans in New England: Culture and Community and the forthcoming (2014) collection Drawing New Color Lines: Transnational Asian American Graphic Narratives (HKUP). In 2011-2012, she was a Fulbright Scholar in the American Studies program at The University of Hong Kong.

Abstract: In Kiriko Nananan’s Blue (1997), overlooked by many scholars in the field of manga studies, the female characters are continuously hailed by their teacher or each other, obligating them to turn back to acknowledge this Althussarian call. The black-haired heads of female high school students, depicted by inked rounds that overwhelm nearly every frame, are juxtaposed against Nananan’s minimalist line drawings and thus impede swift reading progression. Many of these dense patches are the backs or tops of the girls’ heads, not their forward-looking faces, thus visually depicting how Blue’s subjects heed their interpellation visually (by turning back to acknowledge the hailing) at the same time that the manga attempts to resist their incorporation diegetically.

All are welcome. No registration is required. For enquiries, please contact Dr John Wong at



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