Fan Art Contest (Open to all)! OWLS Virtual Convention

Welcome to the month-long virtual convention (official name pending) hosted by the OWLS! As part of the convention, I'm hosting a fan art contest with a prize for the first place winner. You can view the fan art gallery here! The global pandemic lead to the cancelation of beloved conventions around the world for the … Continue reading Fan Art Contest (Open to all)! OWLS Virtual Convention

Hope and the Forest Spirit: A Juxtaposition of Hope’s Weight [OWLS April Blog Tour: Hope]

I'm quickly moving toward the end of my final Master's semester. After that, I promise I'll get back to my regularly scheduled literary-themed content! In the meantime, I've hopped my way into another OWLS blog tour. We're taking a look at the theme of hope presented in our favorite anime and other pop culture. For … Continue reading Hope and the Forest Spirit: A Juxtaposition of Hope’s Weight [OWLS April Blog Tour: Hope]

Exploring Love Through Fan Culture [OWLS September Blog Tour: Lover]

This month, the OWLS are talking about our favorite couples in pop culture as we explore the theme "lover". If you've ever shipped characters in your favorite anime, book, video game, or other narrative work, then you've participated in what reception studies terms decoding and sense-making. When we take in a creative work, we have the opportunity to form our own version of its happenings. These fan-made versions give us a chance to explore meaning in our own lives. For this month's blog tour, I'll be taking a look at fan interpretation related to romance.

Adventures Through Mobile Connectivity [OWLS July Blog Tour: Technology]

Think about the last time you used technology. In fact, you're using technology right now to read this post! We use a lot of technology in our world. It's almost impossible not to. Our interwoven relationship with technology is largely due to how useful it is. We can use it for things like homework, research, habit tracking, or anxiety mitigation fairly easily. Although there is a notable technology gap due to factors like financial well-being, ability, geographic location, or age, technology is largely all around us. It does have some problematic elements, and has great potential for harm, but this technology also has great potential for good, both big and small. Today, I wanted to take a look at some of the everyday positive aspects of our technology showcased in the anime Laid-Back Camp (ゆるキャン△ Yurukyan). 

No One Struggles Alone, Exploring Dual-Vulnerabilities in The Prince and the Dressmaker [OWLS June Blog Tour: Vulnerability]

Individuals celebrate LGBTQ+ visibility everyday using the seemingly endless mediums available to us, including the narratives found in pop culture. Using creative mediums, we tell the stories of LGBTQ+ characters, and sometimes ourselves, in order to keep that visibility alive all year long and often tell the stories of our own vulnerabilities. One such pop culture work worth celebrating this month is Jen Wang’s The Prince and the Dressmaker.

Sakae’s Human-Made Miracle in Summer Wars [OWLS December Blog Tour: Miracles]

Humans, it seems, love to tell stories about miraculous happenings. Some of these miracles come from benevolent otherworldly beings taking pity on humans during a crisis. Others, however, are the handiwork of ordinary humans like Summer Wars's Sakae Jinnouchi. Welcome to December's OWLS Blog Tour.

Losing Control of Your Strengths [OWLS September Blog Tour: Self-Care]

Being highly skilled at something makes us feel good. It's a confident boost. It's a skill that we can consistently do and know that the outcome will be positive more often than not. Recognizing our strengths, and also recognizing the limits of our strengths, is an important part of self-care that sometimes gets left out, overpowered by the images of hot springs, amazing scented oils, and snuggly blankets to hide in that the term self-care often evokes. The anime This Boy is a Professional Wizard (Kono Danshi, Mahou ga Oshigoto Desu) does a beautiful job of addressing this element of self-care...

Exploring Grief Through Playing Rime [OWLS August Blog Tour: Journey]

People say that life is a journey. Though this saying is true, it's not entirely accurate. Actually, life is made of many different types of journeys starting and ending at different points in our lives. Some of these journeys are fun and uplifting, such as creating a new blog, starting a family, climbing a mountain, or getting a degree. Others are more difficult, and often turbulent experiences. Today, I wanted to take a look at one of these difficult types of journeys as explored in the game Rime: grief...

The Magic of Hands-on Learning [OWLS July Blog Tour: Mentor]

Not every mentor is spectacular, but sometimes we come across one that is out of this world. Today, I'm writing about an out-of-this-world teacher from pop culture who never fails the kids she's in charge of educating: Ms. Frizzle of The Magic School Bus...

Envisioning Worlds Without Hate [OWLS June Blog Tour: Pride]

Pop culture acts a platform for self-expression and provides a space for the LGBTQ+ community to find visibility. There are a number of pop culture works that include and revolve around LGBTQ+ characters. A number of these works focus on overcoming hate and discrimination, raising awareness for what individuals in the community experience in the … Continue reading Envisioning Worlds Without Hate [OWLS June Blog Tour: Pride]