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19th October
2004
written by Caryn

Proving once again that there is a field of study for everyone; historians, writers and anthropologists are meeting to discuss the social impact and significance of a twenty story tall lizard. While unenlightened citizens may scoff at such an idea, Godzilla is representative of the hopes and fears of the world at large.

(AP) The University of Kansas plans to pay homage to the giant lizard later this month, organizing a three-day scholarly conference for the 50th anniversary of his first film.

It’s not just about celebrating campy creature features. Planners want to provoke discussion of globalization, Japanese pop culture and Japanese American relations after World War II.

“I would like people to take Godzilla more seriously,” said Bill Tsutsui, a history professor at the University of Kansas and author of the book “Godzilla on My Mind,” which discusses the history of the monster’s movies.

The conference that begins Oct. 28 will offer speeches, panel discussions and free screenings of Godzilla films, including “Gojira,” the Japanese movie that started Godzilla’s career in November 1954.

Later this year the University of Kansas will also be holding conferences to decipher the true ethical significance and political agenda of “Look Who’s Talking”.

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