Category: New Journals

New Journal Launch – Journal of Anime and Manga Studies

One of the most well-defined features of an academic field is a journal that brings together the work of scholars who produce and publish research on a particular topic and presents it to readers. The existence of a journal means that there is enough research being published on a topic to support one, and the journal’s title is in many cases also the term used for the field itself. Asian Studies, Japanese Studies, Science Fiction StudiesAnimation Studies, and ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies are all examples of journals that give structure to particular academic fields.

The first English-language scholarly articles on anime and manga appeared in journals like Youth & Society (Contemporary Japanese youth: Mass media communication, 1977), The Journal of Popular Culture (Salaryman comics in Japan: Images of self-perception, 1979, and Female gender role patterns in Japanese comic magazines, 1987), The Journal of Japanese Studies (Panic sites: The Japanese imagination of disaster from Godzilla to Akira, 1993), and Wide Angle (Transcultural orgasm as apocalypse: Urotsukidoji: The Legend of the Overfiend, 1997). It was not until 2006 that the University of Minnesota Press began publishing what could be treated as an anime and manga studies journal – Mechademia: An Annual Forum for Anime, Manga, and Fan Arts, although it was presented as a “series of books”, and right away, embraced other – though definitely related – topics such as video games.


And now, four years since Mechademia went on hiatus, forty since those first articles, and a full sixty since what I have identified as the first scholarly publications in any format in English on Japanese animation or comics (the chapters “Children’s comics in Japan” and “Comparative study of comics: American and Japanese – Sazae-san and Blondie” in the 1959 essay collection Japanese Popular Culture: Studies in Mass Communication and Cultural Change), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has announced the launch of the Journal of Anime and Manga Studies – the first “open-access journal dedicated to providing an ethical, peer-reviewed space for academics, students, and independent researchers examining the field of anime, manga, cosplay, and fandom studies to share their research with others.” JAMS is currently actively welcoming article submissions from scholars at all levels, including faculty members, graduate students, undergraduates, and independent researchers. There are also no particular limitations on potential topics, beyond the general statement that it is dedicated to “scholarly analysis”, or on article length, and submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis. The journal’s first actual issue is currently set to appear in the fall of this year.

I have known about the plans to launch this journal for some time. Needless to say, I am extremely excited to see these plans evolve into something real – another major milestone in the development of the academic field of anime and manga studies. In the coming months, I look forward to following further news about the journal’s development, and assisting the process in any way that I can.

And if you are interested in publishing your research in the Journal of Anime and Manga Studies, review the About the Journal portion of the JAMS website, follow the Submissions Checklist and Author Guidelines, register as an author – and good luck! And I will look forward to hopefully, reading your submission in the journal’s inaugural issue!

Highlighting New Journals – East Asian Journal of Popular Culture

East Asian Journal of Popular Culture

As I have noted just recently, anime/manga studies as an academic area does not yet have a defined group of “core” journals that are considered to be the area’s most important or most authoritative. Nonetheless, it’s possible to identify journals that, at least subjectively, can be considered “important” to anime/manga studies. In fact, in Journals in the core collection: Definition, identification, and applications, The Serials Librarian, 51(3-4), 51-73, Thomas Nisonger specifically mentions “subjective judgment” as one of the possible approaches to determining core journals for a discipline – certainly not the only one, and with plenty of shortcomings – but also, with definite benefits and definite applications. And, just as I work to compile a general bibliography of academic publications on anime/manga, I have also put together a list of “anime/manga studies journals” – academic periodicals that have been particularly open to publishing academic articles on anime/manga, or that, by their very nature and their specific subject focus, welcome these kinds of articles.

Some of the journals on this list are well-known and long-established, with archives going back decades – The Journal of Japanese Studies, The Journal of Popular Culture, Science Fiction Studies. Others, such as the Journal of Fandom Studies, the Journal of Japanese & Korean Cinema, and Studies in Comics have only been published for a few years. Some of them are open access – that is, can be read at no charge, while others are available only to subscribers or via a database. And, just as with the main bibliography, I am always looking for items to add to this list. So, it’s always really interesting to come across a new journal that should clearly be included – such as the new East Asian Journal of Popular Culture, the inaugural April 2015 issue of which has now been published.


Highlighting New Journals – Journal of Popular Television

Anime and manga studies is a field that is inherently interdisciplinary. It intersects – and takes from – of course literature, film, and Japanese studies, but research on anime/manga can draw on theories and methods from dozens of other subjects. From law to developmental psychology, from library and information science to history, from folklore studies to translatology – scholarship on Japanese animation and comics has found a place for itself in all of these areas – and in many more.