Just as the idea of a scholarly monograph or a peer-reviewed journal article on anime is long past being anything unusual or controversial, so is the idea of a college class on Japanese animation or Japanese comics. These kinds of classes are now offered at many different kinds of colleges/universities – and how they are structured can be different. Some are just general surveys, while others use Japanese animation and Japanese comics as starting points to explore other related topics. A good example of the “general survey” approach is The Fantastical World of Japanese Anime at the University at Buffalo (State University of New York). The course description is straight-forward – “This course introduces students to this unique subculture and introduces an academic approach to viewing the anime art form”. A similar approach is in Manga and Anime, at City College of San Francisco – “An examination and analysis of Japanese comics (manga) and animation (anime), and the role they play in Japanese culture as artistic forms of expression, an industry, and as representations of history and contemporary social conditions.”

But, again, these are just some possible approaches. Compare them to Japanese Anime and the Idea of the Posthuman (Dartmouth College), Anime as Human/Animal Hybrids – an Iowa State University honors program seminar (“The goal of this class is to unravel compelling inquiries about what it means to be human, animal, or monstrous within literary settings that blur the lines between these categories”), and Anime – Visual Interplay Between Japan and the World (Carnegie Mellon University – “This course explores Japanese animes appeal to the international viewers today, centering around cultural analyses of anime such as the Studio Ghibli production and Cyberpunk”).

A more comprehensive list is as follows, though this is still probably not complete. Of course, many more classes may include some discussion of anime/manga without them being the major subjects. And, as always, if you know about a class that you think should be included in this list – are taking one, have heard about one – or are teaching one – by all means, let me know, and I will gladly add it!

Anime and Manga on Campus Update: Japanese Animation and Japanese Comics Classes at U.S. Colleges, Spring 2024

  • Carnegie Mellon University
    Visual Interplay Between Japan and the World
    Japanese Studies
  • City College of San Francisco
    Manga and Anime
    Asian Studies
  • Dartmouth College
    Japanese Anime and the Idea of the Posthuman – Krieger’s Virtual Girlfriend
    Asian Societies, Cultures, and Languages / Film Studies
  • Iowa State University
    Anime and Human/Animal Hybrids
    University Honors Program
  • MIT
    Anime: Transnational Media and Culture
    Global Languages (First Year Discovery/Japanese)
  • St. Lawrence University
    Fantasy Religion
    Religious Studies
  • The University of Chicago
    God of Manga: Osamu Tezuka’s “Phoenix,” Buddhism, and Post-WWII Manga and Anime
  • The University of Kansas
    Manga: Histories and Theories
    Art History
  • University at Buffalo
    The Fantastical World of Japanese Anime
    Asian Studies
  • University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
    Manga: The Art of Image and Word
    Japanese Arts and Aesthetics
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    Manga as a Japanese Art & Culture
  • Williams College
    A Global History of Manga and Anime
    Asian Studies / History
  • University of San Diego
    The World of Japanese Anime

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