Alisa Freedman is a Professor of Japanese Literature, Cultural Studies, and Gender at the University of Oregon, the Editor-in-Chief of the U.S.–Japan Women's Journal, and the Chair of the Northeast Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies (2019-2020). Her books include Tokyo in Transit: Japanese Culture on the Rails and Road, an annotated translation of Kawabata Yasunari's The Scarlet Gang of Asakusa, and co-edited volumes on Modern Girls on the Go: Gender, Mobility, and Labor in Japan and Introducing Japanese Popular Culture. She has published widely on Japanese modernism, Tokyo studies, youth culture, gender, television, humor as social critique, teaching pedagogies, and digital media, along with publishing translations of Japanese literature. She is writing a book about Japanese women who studied in the U.S. between 1949 and 1966. Alisa has been nationally recognized for excellence in mentoring.
Charles Dunbar is a consummate fan. And they never expected their fandom to become such a huge part of their life. After deciding (on the road back from a con, no less) to study con culture back in 2008, they have spent the next decade of their life devoted to not only Japan (and its history, monsters, and culture) but to building their own base of knowledge from which they can draw and teach others. Since then, they have lectured at over 150 cons (including Anime Boston, from 2010-2014, before a triumphant return in 2017!), libraries, and universities on all manners of fandom, history, culture, and folklore, and anything else that strikes their fancy, in hopes of bringing new perspectives and points of view to the appreciation of Japanese animation, and everything else associated with it. You can keep track of their ramblings on Facebook.