In its fourth year, the Symposium featured an excellent mix of first-time and returning speakers, and a great balance, with presenters from colleges and universities around the U.S., as well as Canada and the U.K. Unlike typical scholarly conferences, the speakers included professors, graduate students, undergraduates, and non-academics, who were all able to draw on their knowledge and share their expertise with an appreciative audience. A particular highlight was the special guest lecture presented by Eiji Otsuka, one of Japan’s most well-known critics of comics and animation.

AX 2014 Anime and Manga Studies Symposium – Schedule

Thursday, July 3

Keynote Address: Marc Steinberg (Assistant Professor, Film Studies, Concordia University)

  • Anime’s Media Mix

Special Guest Lecture: Eiji Otsuka

  • The Rebirth of the Saga and the Fabrication of History: Gundam, the Aum Cult, and Attack on Titan

Japanese Visual Culture’s Female Characters and Female Audiences

  • Girls Gone Wild: Anxious Times and the Weaponized Shoujo Body
    Elizabeth Birmingham (North Dakota State University)
  • Kanoko Sakuramoji’s Refashioned Tengu: Using the Japanese Supernatural to Explore Female Coming of Age in Black Bird
    – Tara-Monique Etherington (University of Exeter)

Friday, July 4

Humanity and the Future in Japanese Animation

  • Here and There and Then: Space Dandy, Science Fiction, and Recursion in Japanese Animation
    – Andrew John Smith (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
  • Good, or Don’t Be: Post-Humanism in Neon Genesis Evangelion and Code Geass
    – Sarah Colclough

Fan Art and Fan Comics in Japan

  • Queering the Media Mix: Comics and the Female Gaze
    – Kathryn Hemmann (George Mason University)
  • Why am I the Uke?!: Performing and Changing Identity Through Language Styles in Japanese Dojinshi Fan Works
    – Ryan Redmond (University of Arizona)
  • Who has the Copyright of Fan Art? A Case Study of Controversy Between Manga Fandom and the Japanese Contemporary Art World
    – Kohki Watabe (University of Southern California)

Special Presentation: Northrop Davis (University of South Carolina)

  • Hollywood Turns to Anime: What Was and What’s to Come

Saturday, July 5

Japanese Society and Japan’s History in Anime and Manga

  • Record of Dying Days: The Alternate History of Ooku
    – Andrea Horbinski (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Cultural Amnesia: Constructed Images of Illicit Drug Use in Anime and Manga
    – Lance Mulcahey (University of California, Los Angeles)

Fan Communities and Fan Activities Around the World

Saturday, July 6

Media and Transmedia Mixes in Japanese Popular Culture

  • Alice in Evasion: Creating Wonderland Without its Main Character
    – Amanda Kennell (University of Southern California)
  • “Pot Smasher”: The Legend of Zelda – A Transmedia Modern Epic
    – Chris Foster (Sam Houston State University)
  • Creating a Cosmology for  the Media Mix: The Case of Pokemon
    – Patrick Wauters (Southeast Arkansas College)

Panel Discussion: Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs of Anime and Manga in the Classroom

Feedback and Media Coverage

The 2014 Symposium was profiled in the Los Angeles Register (the same article also ran in the Orange County Register). It was also covered in the AX 2014 recap article published by Neon Tommy, an online magazine published by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and mentioned in KTLA5’s coverage of the convention.

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