Planning on attending next month’s Anime Expo convention? (Los Angeles, California – July 1-4)? Have always been interested in “anime and manga studies” – or just in the idea of approaching anime and manga in the same way that scholars approach film and literature? For that matter, want to see just how scholars from many different fields talk about anime and manga, and would like to participate in this conversation?

Anime Expo 2017 will once again offer an Academic Program (also known as the AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium) – bringing together college/university professors, graduate students, undergraduates, and independent scholars from around the world for four days of lectures, presentations and discussions on a wide range of topics related to anime and manga. The Academic Track will be open to all AX attendees – no particular academic background is required, and all are welcome!

AX 2017 Academic Program
“Teaching Happiness” – Education With and About Anime and Manga

Anime Expo 2017
Los Angeles Convention Center
LACC 411 / AX Live Programming 4
July 1-4

Saturday, July 1:

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Introduction and Welcome
Mikhail Koulikov (Executive Producer, Anime and Manga Studies Projects)

Keynote Address
Consuming Japan: Popular Culture and the Globalizing of America

Andrew McKevitt
Assistant Professor, History
Louisiana Tech University

Anime fandom in the United States was born at a tense moment in the relationship between the United States and Japan. To many Americans it seemed that, decades after the end of World War II, Japan’s newfound global economic power would challenge the U.S.-dominated international system. Popular publications foretold the “Danger from Japan,” or the “Coming War with Japan.” But a national “Japan Panic” was not the only way Americans encountered Japan in the 1970s and 1980s. Throughout the country, in local places like automobile factories and anime fan clubs, Americans engaged with Japanese culture in new and transformative ways.

Andrew McKevitt teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of U.S. foreign relations, the postwar United States, modern Russia, and modern Japan. He received a Ph.D. from Temple University, and previously served as the Hollybush Fellow in Cold War History at Rowan University and as a visiting assistant professor of history at Philadelphia University

Dr. McKevitt’s research focuses on U.S. cultural relations in the postwar era. His book on the history of U.S.-Japan relations in the 1970s and 1980s told through the lens of consumerism in the United States will be published in October. In 2011, he received the Stuart L. Bernath Scholarly Article Prize, awarded by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations for the year’s best article in the field, for his paper “You Are Not Alone!” Anime and the Globalizing of America. Published in the journal Diplomatic History, it examines the local, national, and transnational cultural networks created by fans of Japanese animation in the 1970s and 1980s.

8:00 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Panel Session
Studying Anime Fans Around the World

  • Why We Fight for Love and Justice: A Survey of Sailor Moon Crystal Fans
    Casey McDonald, University of Florida
  • “Ha Ha! Boring”: Nostalgia and Melancholia in Servamp and Anime Fan Communities
    Derek S. McGrath, Stony Brook University

Sunday, July 2

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Special Guest Lecture
Before Ghibli was Ghibli: How and Anime Studio is Born

Rayna Denison
Senior Lecturer, Art, Media and American Studies
University of East Anglia

Studio Ghibli may have become Japan’s most important and successful animation brand, but its early significance is far more debatable. To challenge current perceptions of Ghibli’s dominance of animation in Japan, I revisit the early history of Studio Ghibli, and examine the industrial and promotional discourses circulating at the time of Studio Ghibli’s formation. In doing so, I argue for a corrective analysis of Studio Ghibli’s brand significance. Even the most powerful of anime studio brands can have humble beginnings, and that we need to view anime brand construction as a piecemeal, historical process, rather than as an ahistorical constant.

Dr. Rayna Denison researches and teaches contemporary Japanese and Asian media. She is a specialist in popular Japanese film and animation, and is the author of Anime: A Critical Introduction and the co-editor of the Eisner Award-nominated Superheroes on World Screens. She is widely published on anime and Japanese cinema in academic journals such as Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal, Cinema Journal, the International Journal of Cultural Studies and Japan Forum. He current projects include editing a collection of essays on Princess Mononoke (due to be published in January) and a special issue of the East Asian Journal of Popular Culture analyzing 30 years of Studio Ghibli (due out later this year), and researching anime tourism and Studio Ghibli’s industrial history.

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Panel Session
Anime and Manga Studies in Japan

  • Anime’s Pop Surrealism: Why, and Why it Matters
    Herb Fondevilla (Aoyama Gakuin University)
  • Mangaki: Creating an Open-Source Manga Discovery and Recommendation Platform
    Jill-Jênn Vie (RIKEN)
  • Reinvening the Cityscape: Anime Pilgrimage and the Transformation of Collective Memory
    Project Animatexture: A Research Group for the Study of Anime, History and Society (Ritsumeikan University)
    Yoshiya Makita, Yuri Kojima, Hiroki Tamai, Nao Suzuki, and Hideki Morita

Monday, July 3

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Special Guest Presentation
Musical and Historical Journeys Through Contested Japanese Masculinity: Rurouni Kenshin
Stacey Jocoy and Christopher Hepburn (Texas Tech University)

This presentation confronts the opposing musical narratives of the Rurouni Kenshin anime and live-action films using musical semiotics combined with comparative iconographic-aural analysis to unpack this heroic discourse of the Meiji samurai, arguing that the overt musical differences reflect a shifting conceptualization of Japanese gender politics across the 1990s and 2010s.

5 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Panel Session
Rising Stars of Anime and Manga Studies

  • Drawing Lines Between Boys and Girls: Blurred Signs and Conventions in Shonen and Shojo Manga
    Mia Lewis (Stanford University)
  • Researching the History of Manga: 1970’s – We Want to Revolutionize…
    Andrea Horbinski (University of California, Berkeley)

6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Panel Session
Building Communities of Fans and Scholars

  • Cosplayer-Creators and the Textual Experience of Cosplay
    Caitlin Postal (University of Washington)
  • Expanding Manga Studies: Publication Trends, Demographics, Markets
    Andrew John Smith (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

Tuesday, July 4

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Panel Session
The Goals and Challenges of Anime Fans’ Transformative Practices

  • A Room of Their Own: Creating and Consuming Anime/Manga Fanfiction as Reparative Reading
    Breanna Robles (California State University, Los Angeles)
  • Perceptions of Race in Cosplay
    Madison Schmader (California Lutheran University)

2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Special Guest Panel Discussion
Teaching Happiness – Using Anime and Manga as Educational Tools

Chair: Brent Allison (University of North Georgia)
Stevi Grimm
Derek S. McGrath (Stony Brook University)

4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Panel Session
Critical Approaches to Depictions of Gender in Japanese Visual Culture

  • Women Come Apart: Fractured Female Identity in the Shounen Harem
    Oscar King IV (Loyola Marymount University)
  • Fanservice in Anime: A Continuum from Complicity to Critique
    James Pyke (University of Michigan)

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