Mechademia 2023 – Aftermath
Kyoto International Manga Museum
May 27 – May 29, 2023

Originally launched at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design as “Schoolgirls and Mobilesuits”, the annual Mechademia conference is now a premier site for new research on a wide range of topics related to Japanese popular culture, including anime and manga, but also encompassing video games and fan activities and practices. Last year’s conference was held in Los Angeles immediately preceding the Anime Expo convention, and for 2023, Mechademia will take place in Kyoto, at the Kyoto International Manga Museum, and potentially at Kyoto Seika University (home of the Graduate School of Manga). Options for line presentations will be available, but in-person participation is strongly encouraged.

The keynote speaker for this year will leading manga scholar Prof. Jaqueline Berndt (Stockholm University). Some of recent work includes contributing the introduction to the new Stockholm University Press open-access essay collection Anime Studies: Media-Specific Approaches to Neon Genesis Evangelion, and the essay More Mangaesque than the Manga: ‘Cartooning’ in the Kimetsu no Yaiba Anime to a special section on Demon Slayer in an issue of the journal Transcommunication, and serving as one of the co-editors for Shojo Across Media: Exploring “Girl” Practices in Contemporary Japan. Prof. Berndt has also written adn lectured widely on the future of anime and manga studies as a field.

The theme for 2023 will be “aftermath” – in connection to concepts of a “a sense of destruction”, apocalyptic images, and shifts in lived experiences in response to these events and changes. Some suggested topics that participants are invited to consider in their papers include:

  • Methodological shifts within the field of anime and manga studies
  • Effects of digitalization on media mixes
  • BL as a global genre
  • The rise of the fujoshi market
  • Acceptance, utilization, or criticism of nation-branding
  • Institutionalization of the field
  • The transnational production of anime, manga, and games
  • The implementation and effects of platforms for anime, manga, games, fandom
  • Anime, manga, and games as global media
  • Shifts within the various industries
  • (Post)apocalyptic themes in anime, manga, games
  • Formulations of race, gender, and/or class explored in anime, manga, games, fandom
  • Ecological worldviews for anime, manga, games
  • Explorations of life in the (post)Anthropocene
  • Reconceptualizations of social life in media and fan practice
  • Narratives of wellness
  • The global prevalence of cosplay as fan activity

If you are interested in participating in Mechademia 2023, please submit a 200-word proposal through If your proposal is accepted, you will be notified by early February.

The full Call for Papers, with additional details, is available at

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