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Distributed for Intellect Ltd

Planet Cosplay

Costume Play, Identity and Global Fandom

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

Planet Cosplay

Costume Play, Identity and Global Fandom

This book examines cosplay from a set of ground-breaking disciplinary approaches, highlighting the latest and emerging discourses around this popular cultural practice. Planet Cosplay is authored by widely-published scholars in this field, examining the central aspects of cosplay ranging from sources and sites to performance and play, from sex and gender to production and consumption. Topics discussed include the rise of cosplay as a cultural phenomenon and its role in personal, cultural, and global identities. Planet Cosplay provides a unique, multifaceted examination of the practice from theoretical bases including popular cultural studies, performance studies, gender studies, and transmedia studies. As the title suggests, the book’s purview is global, encompassing some of the main centers of cosplay throughout the United States Asia  Europe and Australasia. Each of the chapters offers not only a set of entry points into its subject matter, but also a narrative of the development of cosplay and scholarly approaches to it.

308 pages | 82 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2018

Culture Studies


Media Studies

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"Little book-length scholarly analysis of cosplay has been published to date. [The authors] seek to remedy that in this multidisciplinary, internationally focused exploration, which draws from popular culture, media studies, gender and queer studies, literary and historical scholarship, ethnographic observation, and interviews. The first of the book's three sections examines the performance of cosplay: costumes as citation of cultural texts, the place of photography, and behavior at a cosplay convention. Section 2 analyzes the subculture of cosplayers: costuming as play, cosplay sites, and the ethos of costume creation. The third section situates cosplay theoretically and historically, discussing costuming antecedents and theoretical ties to queer identity and pornography. . . . The authors reveal cosplay as a process of becoming, of redefinition of identity in relation to the body. The study is ultimately laudatory of cosplay as therapeutic and empowering. The book includes color photos documenting examples of cosplay. . . . Recommended."


"While the academic study of cosplay has blossomed in the last decade, this book is the first scholarly monograph on the subject. As can be seen by the topics plumbed in Planet Cosplay, this phenomenon is quite complex, and this book is a welcome examination of many aspects of this complicated practice.  . . . An excellent monograph. Its use of several different approaches to understand cosplay makes it a fine resource for the study of this intriguing practice."

Arienne McCracken | Fashion, Style & Popular Culture

"An effective primer for anyone looking to better understand the topic. . . . Where the book is particularly effective is in providing broader histories and working definitions for an under-researched area. While many accounts of cosplay begin with Takahashi’s 1983 article, the first part of Planet Cosplay charts how costuming as characters from popular culture dates back over a hundred years. . . . This rounded approach enables the authors to position this under-analysed fan practice as an important site of cultural exchange, fluid identity and communal participation. Collectively, these perspectives make a persuasive argument that cosplay is worthy of sustained scholarly interest and that Planet Cosplay should provide a useful entry point for those hoping to take up that research."

Journal of European Popular Culture

"As far I know, Planet Cosplay is the first major theoretical text about cosplay from an academic press. . . . To say that the work is timely, fresh, and significant is an understatement considering the relative dearth of scholarship on the topic and the thorough—if broad—treatment the subject receives here. . . . Ultimately, this text must and will see the light of many a fandom studies syllabus and perhaps a broader audience of not only scholars in the fields of play, fandom, and subcultural studies, but also cosplayers themselves. It is entirely possible that there will be fan meta critiques in response to the work, as well as the traditionally expected academic response. In any case, as the first in what is sure to be an entire body of literature, this text is a vital addition to bookshelves everywhere."

American Journal of Play

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