AX 2019

After a one-year hiatus, Anime Expo®, the largest anime convention in the U.S., will once again feature a dedicated track of academic panel programming, including lectures, presentations, and roundtable discussions. The goal of the Anime Expo Academic Symposium (AXAS) is to give scholars working in the field of anime and manga studies to to share their work with a diverse popular audience, to offer fans and scholars an opportunity to share their enthusiasm with one another, and to provide a site for for all involved to delve deeper into the world of Japanese pop culture. The theme for the 2019 Symposium is “Anime Chronotopes: Nostalgia in Japanese Animation and Comics”, and the Call for Papers for it is now open, with a deadline of May 5.

For consideration, please send the title of your paper or proposed panel, and an abstract of 250-400 words to The full Call for Papers for AXAS 2019 is available below, and as a stand-alone page on H-Announce.

[Note: I organized/produced the Anime Expo Academic Program from 2011 to 2017. However, I am not directly involved in this year’s event.]

Call for Papers
Anime Expo Academic Symposium
“Anime Chronotopes: Nostalgia in Japanese Animation and Comics”
Anime Expo 2019
July 4-7 | Los Angeles, CA

Recent anime and manga evince a pronounced fascination with both the history of Japanese animation and comics and the specific resonances of past texts in the present, a consideration marked not only by genre-savviness and the contemporary tendency towards citation across all media, but also a profound sense of nostalgia for its predecessors. This extends beyond the common association of the term with rose-tinted sentimentality towards the past, reflecting not only this intimacy but also its origins as a medical diagnosis, characterized by an intense sense of dislocation in the experience of the present. Both senses of nostalgia have produced opportunities to establish a ‘leaping chronology’ of the medium, charging the past with a radical sense of contemporaneity. The rediscovery of the radical promises of previous works of anime and manga, and in the process ‘repeating’ their animating concerns and questions, testifies to the possibility of reinventing and reestablishing the unfulfilled potentials of their projects. At a moment when the future itself seems to be foreclosed, such repetitions become one of the few mechanisms by which the glimmer of the radically new may become discernible.

AXAS invites submissions on all topics related to anime and manga, encouraging both submissions pertaining to both nostalgia and general topics related to the mediums and their attending practices. Both panels and individual submissions are welcome. Topics may include, but are not limited to, those below.

  • Contemporary reexaminations of classic texts, whether through adaptations like Masaaki Yuasa’s Devilman Crybaby, metatextually-charged examinations of particular genres such as Re:Creators or Darling in the Franxx, or other intertextual engagements.
  • Reconsiderations of classic material from ‘canonical’ luminaries such as Tezuka Osamu, Shirato Sanpei, or Go Nagai.
  • ‘Vintage’ transnational engagements with anime and manga, from 1980s manhwa and French comics to contemporary Hollywood adaptations of classic Japanese comics.
  • The history of various formats and their production of the sensibilities and practices associated with the medium, from VHS’ role in popularizing anime to international audiences to fan translations to anime conventions themselves.
  • Engagements with the past in anime and manga, from Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei’s nostalgia for the Taishō period to My Hero Academia’s celebration of Silver Age superheroes.

250-400 word proposals should be submitted as a PDF or word document to Please include your name and the paper or panel title in the attached document. Notifications of acceptance will be sent to the email address used for submission. The inclusion of 3-5 bibliographic entries is highly recommended.

Please contact N. Trace Cabot at with any questions.

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