The Comics Studies Society, has announced the launch of the Comics Studies Society Prizes 2020, its program to formally recognize academic research and other scholarly activities on and related to comics – broadly defined – that took place in the previous year. This will be the third time the Society will award the prizes, and awards will be presented in five categories, a new one. The categories are the Charles Hatfield Book Prize (for a full-length scholarly monograph), the CSS Article Prize (for a journal article or a chapter in an edited essay collection), the Hilary Chute Award for Best Graduate Student Paper Presentation, the Gilbert Seldes Prize for Public Scholarship (for non-academic writing), and the new CSS Edited Book Prize (for an essay collection as a whole).

Nominations for the awards are accepted both from peers and from authors directly. Eligibility for this year’s awards is established by the copyright or presentation date of the original presentation – i.e., only those books or articles that were published or presentations at conferences that were held last year. All winners will receive a cash award of $300 and a plaque. The e-mail address for submitting nominations is awards@comicssociety.org, and the CSS Awards Coordinator, Biz Nidjdam, can be contacted with any questions at the same address. The deadline for submitting nominations is March 15, 2020.

Although none of the awards that have been awarded so far have honored work on a Japanese comics/manga, last year’s awards also included three Best Graduate Student Conference Presentation honorable mentions – one of them to Andrea Horbinski, for “Something Postmodern Going On: The Queering of the Manga Sphere in the 1970s”. But, with the sheer number and variety of books, book chapters, and journal articles on manga that were published last year, I hope to see the CSS recognize one or more of them! Just some possible candidates could include:

For the CSS Book Prize:

Women’s manga in Asia and beyond: Uniting different cultures and identities. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Lessons drawn: Essays on the pedagogy of comics and graphic novels. Jefferson, NC: McFarland.
Representing acts of violence in comics. New York: Routledge.

For the CSS Article Prize:

Atkinson, Rosalind. A Japanese Blake: Embodied visions in William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1790) and Tezuka Osamu’s Phoenix (1967-88).
Cohn, Neil, et al. The cultural pages of comics: Cross-cultural variation in page layouts.
Denison, Rayna. Adaptation in Japanese media mix franchising: Usagi Drop from page to screens.
Junid, Iman, & Yamato, Eriko. Manga influences and local narratives: Ambiguous identification in comics production.
Kakihara, Satoko. Priestess of sake: Woman as producer in Natsuko’s Sake.
Lo, Bradley, et al. Librarians’ perceptions of educational values of comic books: A comparative study between Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Schroff, Simone. An alternative universe? Authors as copyright holders – the case of the Japanese manga industry

So, if you read any of these, or any other book or book chapter or journal article on manga that was published last year, or attended a conference presentation – or wrote one – or presented one – and think it deserves to be recognized with a Comics Studies Society Prize – I very strongly urge you to nominate it for one!

And, to all the nominees, good luck!

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