Anime and manga studies is a field that is inherently interdisciplinary. It intersects – and takes from – of course literature, film, and Japanese studies, but research on anime/manga can draw on theories and methods from dozens of other subjects. From law to developmental psychology, from library and information science to history, from folklore studies to translatology – scholarship on Japanese animation and comics has found a place for itself in all of these areas – and in many more.
Over the years, I have compiled a list of journals that have been particularly welcoming to papers on anime and manga. Again, it’s no surprise that Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal or ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies would be on it. But those are only two journals, out of several dozen. And one that I just recently learned about is the new Journal of Popular Television.
“The Journal of Popular Television is an international, peer-reviewed journal designed to promote and encourage scholarship on all aspects of popular television, whether fictional and non-fictional, from docudramas and sports to news and comedy. The journal is rooted in the belief that popular television continues to play a major cultural, political and social role, and thus seeks interdisciplinary contributions that contextualize programmes, genres, personalities and phenomena. The journal seeks to be equally responsive to contemporary developments in television production and within television criticism and theory, and to historical approaches and re-evaluation of canonical and non-canonical texts.”
The first issue was published in April, and featured a paper by Tania Darlington (University of Florida) entitled Josei drama and Japanese television’s ‘new woman’, discussing Japanese live-action television adaptations of the manga Hataraki Man, Suppli, and Hotaru no Hikari. And even if this particular paper’s focus is not precisely on Japanese comics, that it was published shows that the publisher behind this journal welcomes papers that look at ‘popular television’ around the world – including Japan.
Of course, there is no way to tell if or when the journal will publish a paper on anime. But regardless, it’s exactly the kind of publication that anyone interested in studying anime should be keeping in mind. And needless to say, if you are writing or planning to write a paper on Japanese animated programs on television – whether in Japan, in America, or elsewhere in the world – you should be considering this journal as a potential – and welcoming – home for our paper!