Category: Programs

Online Symposium – Queer and Feminist Perspectives on Japanese Popular Cultures

The full schedule is now available for the upcoming online symposium Queer and Feminist Perspectives on Japanese Popular Cultures, organized by a team of scholars from Concordia University (Canada), UNSW Sydney (Australia) and Tulane University (USA), and supported by the Media, Gender and Sexualities Study Group (University of Tokyo). The goal of the symposium is to explore points of contact between Japanese popular culture broadly defined – including anime/manga, videogames, fashion, literature, and other fields and areas – and feminist studies, with an emphasis on issues of and intersections among gender, sexuality, race, queerness, disability, and class.

Over three days, the symposium will feature more than 20 speakers, representing institutions from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Italy, Japan, and other countries, as well as two keynote addresses. Emory University professor Erika Kanesaka, the creator of the website CuteStudies.com, will speak on the topic of “Cute and the Asian American experience”, and Laura Miller, the Eiichi Shibusawa-Seigo Arai Endowed Professor of Japanese Studies, University of St. Louis-Missouri, will speak to “Taking Girls Seriously”. Dr. Miller is the author of Beauty Up: Exploring Contemporary Japanese Body Aesthetics (University of California Press, 2006) and co-editor of, among other titles, Manners and Mischief: Gender, Power, and Etiquette in Japan (University of California Press, 2011) and Modern Girls on the Go: Gender, Mobility, and Labor in Japan (Stanford University Press, 2013). Just some of the articles on Japanese popular culture she has written include Extreme makeover for a Heian-era wizard, Japan’s Cinderella motif: Beauty industry and mass culture interpretations of a popular icon, Behavior that offends: Comics and other images of incivility, and Rebranding Himiko, the shaman queen of ancient history.

The symposium is free, but registration is required, and a Zoom link will be sent to all individuals who register for the event.

April 15

5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
BL and queer studies

  • A utopian poetics of female observers inside/out in BL Manga
    Marianne Tarcov (McGill University)
    Emma Wang
  • Who put the ♂ in M♂M? Locating the breedable male body in shōshika BL
    Yoshika Han
    Jaclyn Zhou (University of California, Berkeley)
  • The bishōnen as void, and void again: Understanding Rio Kishida’s Summer Vacation 1999 through a framework of zero
    River Seager
(more…)

‘Cats, Single Ladies, and Manga: Feminist Fantasies of Cohabitation in East Asian Discourses’ lecture

Over the past ten or so years, the Japanese program at Baruch College (City University of New York) has hosted a series of mini-seminars and talks by individual speakers on topics related to Japanese animation and comics. The series started in 2015 with Globalized Manga Culture and Fandom and continued with Alt Manga: Alternative Manga Symposium (April 2016), Manga/Comics and Translation (April 2017), Manga/Comics against Human Trafficking (April 2018), and, in 2019, Untold History of Japanese Comics: Prewar and LGBTQ+ Manga. And, after an understandable hiatus, it has continued, with the latest one scheduled for next week.

The speaker, Dr. Grace En-Yi Ting is an assistant professor in the gender studies programme, The University of Hong Kong, and author of, among other publications, the essay The desire and disgust of sweets: Consuming femininities through shōjo manga (U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal) and the Gender, manga, and anime chapter in the Routledge Companion ot Gender and Japanese Culture. Entitled Cats, Single Ladies, and Manga: Feminist Fantasies of Cohabitation in East Asian Discourse, the talk is an examination of Japanese popular culture’s approach to themes of “heteronormative pressures regarding marriage and reproduction”, as expressed in particular in the manga The Masterful Cat is Depressed Again Today and its 2023 anime adaptation.

Thursday, April 4
12:50 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Baruch College
55 Lexington Ave, VC-4-165
New York, NY 10010)

The talk is open to members of the Baruch community and the general public, but registration is required. Additional details and the registration link are available on the Baruch Japanese Program website.

Call for Papers: Queer and Feminist Perspectives on Japanese Pop

Abstract Submission Deadline:
February 1

Notification of Acceptance:
February 15

Dates: Mid-April, 2024 (dates tbc)
Format: Online (Zoom)
In order to facilitate multiple timezones, the event will start at 8am EST/9pm JST

Organizers:

Aurélie Petit, Concordia University, Canada
Megan Catherine Rose, UNSW Sydney, Australia
Edmond Ernest dit Alban, Tulane University, United States of America

Supported by:

Media, Gender, and Sexualities Study Group (The University of Tokyo)

We invite scholars, researchers, activists, and practitioners from around the world to participate in a multidisciplinary two-day exploration of the intersection between Japanese popular cultures and intersectional, trans-inclusive feminist studies. During this symposium we will explore the convergence of gender, sexuality, race, queerness, disability and class. We aim to provide a platform for critical discussions about gender and Japanese animation, fashion, video games, literature and digital cultures. In doing so we hope to encourage new directions in feminist approaches to Japanese popular cultures.

Symposium Themes:

We welcome papers that address, but are not limited to, the following themes:

  • Genre and gender

We encourage papers that seek to move beyond gender binaries, in which “men” and “women” are generalize into monolithic categories of preferences, attitudes and ideologies. We would love to see papers that account for gender diversity, or instances where marginalized groups who move outside these paradigms are included. We encourage papers that open up and challenge assumptions that underpin gendered audiences.

  • Lived-experiences

We seek input and leadership from lived-experience experts on matters of equity, inclusion and justice for marginalized communities (e.g. sex workers, gender diverse people, disabled people, survivors) in relation to Japanese popular cultures. We call for vulnerable voices to be centered in all accounts of “big” ethical dilemmas studies of Japanese culture grapple with. We especially encourage applications from scholars who wish to reflect on their own positionality within the field of feminist Japanese studies

  • Feminism and femininities

Up until fourth wave feminism, gender presentation and the body has been a contested site of debate,colonization and control. We invite contributions that explore ways we can free the body through queer beauty discourses and re-direct feminist activism towards structural change in Japanese popular cultures. We also call for examinations of feminist activism within media industries and the challenges encounteredthroughout the years.

  • Gendered platform-interactions

Here, we invite contributions that explore the role online platforms have played in shaping Japanese popularcultures. Which gendered history have platform-centered approaches perpetuated throughout the years? Which exclusionary practices towards gender-diverse people have been facilitated by social media platforms?

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Submission Guidelines:

Abstracts should be between 250-300 words (title included) and clearly outline the research question, methodology, findings, and relevance to the conference themes.

Submissions must be written in English

Please include a brief biography (50-100 words) along with your submission, as well as the time zone you will be joining us from.

Submissions can be made by email at popculturesjapan@gmail.com, and the full Call for Papers is additionally available at https://t.co/Ltr9MuJiAA

Participation and attendance is free of charge.

The symposium will be held online over two days, in order to accommodate participants in different time zones.

Roundtable – Welcome to Anime/Manga Studies


TUESDAY, November 21
2:00 p.m. (Eastern time)
https://tinyurl.com/mvzedsxm (Zoom)

– Ever thought about writing a college paper on themes and images in Attack on Titan?
– Wanted to take a class on the history of girls’ manga?
– Are intrigued by a book on the many different ways that Japanese manga authors have adapted characters and images from Alice in Wonderland?

Just curious about what “anime and manga studies” even means?

Anime and Manga Studies Projects presents a live interactive discussion introducing the idea of scholarly approaches to Japanese comics and animation and the academic field of anime/manga studies.

  • What is anime and manga studies
  • What do we want to accomplish by approaching anime/manga this way?
  • What kinds of questions can we ask?
  • Who participates in this field
  • What themes and topics are anime/manga scholars interested in exploring?
  • Do I need to be a college professor to participate
  • Do I need to be a Japanese studies scholar to participate

For this discussion, a group of leading anime/manga scholars, from different backgrounds, and at different stages in their careers will share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences.

And we will be happy to answer any questions you may have – about how we chose this field, what exactly we do, and why – and how you too can join us!

Featuring:

Prof. Brent Allison
Social Foundations & Leadership Education
University of North Georgia

Zoe Crombie
PhD candidate, Film Studies
Lancaster University

Moderator: Mikhail Koulikov
(Executive Producer, Anime and Manga Studies Projects)

Have any questions you would like to ask the speakers, topics you want to see us talk about, issues you feel we need to discuss?

Please send your suggestions to mik@animemangastudies.com!

Japan Foundation Presents – Mecha-Anime

In Anime: A Critical Introduction, Rayna Denison uses the phrases “a cultural phenomenon” and “a sliding, shifting category of media production” to describe Japanese animation. When we think about anime this way, it’s also only natural to consider different genres within anime – one of the most iconic is “mecha” – in the definition that Giuseppe Gatti succinctly provides – “narratives of giant robots piloted by a human within”.

Mecha anime first appeared in the 1970’s, and the genre then evolved in several different directions. Some of the most well-known Japanese animation films and television series of the last several decades belong to the genre, and every year, at least several others try to expand its possibilities. And, for that matter, it is also no surprise that mecha has also attracted a significant amount of scholarly interest – just some examples are essays such as Between the child and the mecha – a reading of the anime series Rahxephon as “an allegory of Lacan’s landmark description of the three stages of subject development”, and “Peace through understanding”: How science-fiction anime Mobile Suit Gundam 00 criticizes US aggression and Japanese passivity.

And now, on November 10, as a part of the Kotatsu Japanese Animation Festival 2023, the Japan Foundation, London is hosting animation journalist and scholar Ryota Fujitsu who will present a lecture on the history of mecha, the way the genre’s features have developed over the years, and some of drivers for these developments.

Friday, November 10, 2023
1:30 p.m. (Eastern time)
REGISTRATION

FUJITSU Ryota is one of Japan’s leading animation critics. He has lectured in the Animation Studies program at Tokyo Polytechnic University, and served as a programming advisor for the Animation Section of the Tokyo International Film Festival. His publications include アニメ「評論家」宣言 / Anime Hyoronka Sengen (Anime Critic’s Declaration), Tokyo: Fusosha, 2003, チャンネルはいつもアニメ――ゼロ年代アニメ時評 / Channeru wa Itsumo Anime: Zero Nendai Anime Jihyō (We’ve Been Watching Anime All the Time, When We Sit in Front of TV!), Tokyo: NTT Shuppan, 2010, a collection of personal reflections and notes on television anime in the years from 2000 to 2010, and アニメと戦争 / Anime to sensō (Anime and War), Tokyo: Nippon Hyoron sha, 2021.

Mechademia June 2022 – Migration and Transition

When in 2001, the Minneapolis College of Art & Design hosted a “Weekend Intensive study in the culture and creation of Japanese Manga (Comics) and Anime (Animation)” under the title Schoolgirls & Mobilesuits, it was one of the first events of its kind anywhere in the world. In the more than 20 years that have passed since, the idea of an academic workshop or symposium on anime/manga is no longer particularly novel, and that first SGMS event gave rise to Mechademia, a series of annual conferences held first at MCAD, and later, in several locations in South Korea and Japan. The Mechademia conferences also played a significant role in the launch in 2006 of Mechademia: An Annual Forum for Anime, Manga and the Fan Arts, which was then published for 10 issues, went on hiatus, and has since returned as Mechademia: Second Arc, with a twice-yearly publication schedule and a more expanded subject focus.

As was the case with most live events, Mechademia did not take place in either of the last two years, but returned last month, though with a major change in location to Los Angeles, to more closely co-incide with Anime Expo, the largest anime convention in the U.S., also returning live after after a two-year-break. And, although it has now been several weeks since Mechademia 2022, I think it’s important to preserve and present the schedule for this year, even as a guide to the range of subjects and topics that an event of its kinds and scope could cover, and the speakers it attracted.

Mechademia 2022 – Migration and Transition

Tuesday, June 28

10:00 a.m. – Panel 1
Definitions and Delineations

Transcultural Perspectives on Moe: Fan Theories, Discourses
Paul Ocone (University of Maryland, Baltimore County)

Rise of the Weeaboo: Differentiating Japanese Otaku from Global Anime and Manga Fans
Ana Matilde Sousa (CIEBA – Artistic Studies Research Center, University of Lisbon)

10:00 a.m. – Panel 2
Outsiders: Assimilations and Erasures

‘Time is the Last Sacred Territory’: Tenuous Temporalities and Ainu Erasure in Naoko Takeuchi’s Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon
Taylor Janeen Pryor (Cornell University)

Glimpses of the Gaikokujin: Engaging with the ‘Outsider’ in Modern Manga
Ananya Saha (Assistant Professor, English, St. Xavier’s University, Kolkata)

1:00 p.m. – Panel 1
Dislocated Identities

I Love, Therefore I Am: Dismantling the Cartesian Dichotomy and Unifying the Self in Ghost in the Shell
Maria Grajdian (Associate Professor, Media Studies and Cultural Anthropology, Hiroshima University)

Society Eats Their Own: The Transnational Image of the Cannibal
Wendy Goldberg (Lecturer, Composition & Rhetoric, University of Mississippi) (more…)

‘Manga in a Postdigital Environment’ Symposium

On May 30-31, Universida de Vigo, Pontevedra Campus, will host an international academic symposium entitled Manga in a Postdigital Environment. The symposium, organized by the research group DX5 is open to the public, and also will be broadcast online via Zoom. For additional information, including registration instructions, please contact grupodx5@uvigo.es.

The full program will consist of 12 individual presentations, with speakers from a number of leading European and Japanese universities, representing the cutting edge of global manga studies. For more details, including abstracts of the presentations and further details about the speakers, please see full symposium program.

Monday, May 30

10:00 a.m. – Opening Remarks

– Jorge Soto (Vice-Rector, Pontevedra Campus, Universidade de Vigo)
– Ana Soler (Director, dx5 Research Group)
– Jose Andres Santiago (Symposium Coordinator)

10:15 a.m.
From Cover to Page. From Title to the Speech Balloon: An Analysis of Typographic Applications in Naruto and Bleach
– Jose Andres Santiago (Universidade de Vigo)
– Tatiana Lameiro Gonzalez (Universidade de Vigo) (more…)

‘What is Manga’ British Library Symposium

One of this year’s major cultural events related to Japan has been the Manga exhibition hosted by the British Museum – “the largest exhibition of manga ever to take place outside of Japan.” It opened on May 23, and immediately received significant critical attention. The Economist praised it as a “dynamic, exuberant and ambitious celebration of Japan’s comic-art narrative form”, as did the Financial Times, while responses in The Guardian (“asking us to compare today’s graphic artists with greats of the past is misguided”) and The Telegraph (“is Manga really as significant as Rodin and the Ancient Greeks?”) were not as enthusiastic. In any case, an exhibition of this scale – and at this kind of venue – attracts attention.

And now, following up on the exhibition’s success, and connected to it, the British Library has announced plans to host a special one-day What is Manga academic symposium that will bring together many of the world’s leading scholars of manga specifically and comics/sequential art in general, as well as museum practitioners, and a range of international perspectives for a discussion on manga in a global context and the role of cultural institutions such as the British Museum in preserving, presenting, and promoting manga. The Symposium is open to the public, but tickets must be purchased via the British Library website.

What is Manga – Exploring Japanese Manga and Visual Narratives
[full program – PDF]

Friday, August 23
10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
The British Library
Knowledge Centre Theatre
96 Euston Road
London NW1 2DB

Schedule:

10:20 a.m.
Opening Remarks
Dr. Eugenia Bogdanova-Kummer (Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures)

10:30 a.m.
Keynote Address
Manga Studies’ “Manga” and the Outsider Perspective: Intercultural Observations
Prof. Jaqueline Berndt (Stockholm University)

Dr. Berndt is one of the world’s leading scholars of Japanese comics. He work has included editing the essay collections Manga’s Cultural Crossroads and Reading Manga: Local and Global Perceptions of Japanese Comics, a number of individual chapters and journal articles that have been fundamental to shaping the field of manga studies (particularly important examples include ‘Historical adventures of a post-historical medium: Japan’s wartime past as represented in manga’, ‘Manga, which manga? Publication formats, genres, users’, and ‘Reconsidering manga discourse: Location, ambiguity, historicity’), and teaching several pioneering classes

11:00 a.m. – 1:20 p.m.
Panel 1: Manga and Comic Theory and Iconography (manga hyōgenron) (more…)

‘Untold History of Japanese Comics: Prewar & LGBTQ+ Manga’ Symposium

Continuing its series of public talks on major topics in manga studies – and expanding the range of topics that scholars who work in the field present to public audiences – the Japanese Program at Baruch College (City University of New York) has announced the latest one in the series. The theme for the talk, the fifth one so far, is Untold History of Japanese Comics: Prewar and LGBTQ+ Manga. Other scholars, such as Ryan Holmberg in Manga Shonen: Kato Kenichi and the Manga Boys, and William S. Armour in Representations of the Masculine in Tagame Gengoroh Ero SM Manga have explored these topics to some degree, but the Baruch Manga Symposium is a unique opportunity for a leading scholar and an award-winning public intellectual, with extensive experience in the manga industry and a personal relationship with several leading manga creators, to share their knowledge directly with the public.

Thursday, April 18
12:40 p.m. – 2:10 p.m.
Baruch College
55 Lexington Avenue, VC12-150
New York, NY 10010

Dr. Andrea Horbinski
Norakuro and Friends: The Rise, Fall, and Triumph of Children’s Manga, 1916-1957

Dr. Horbinski received a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and is currently working on a book on the history of Japanese comics, tentatively to be entitled “Manga’s Global Century”. Her publications include Record of Dying Days: The Alternate History of Ooku (in Mechademia, v. 10), and Even a Monkey Can Understand Fan Activism: Political Speech, Artistic Expression, and a Public for the Japanese Dôjin Community (with Alex Leavitt, in Transformative Works and Cultures, 10). Last year, she received an Honorable Mention in the Best Graduate Student Conference Presentation category at the inaugural Comics Studies Society Prizes.

Anne Ishii
From Niche to Mainstream: The Crossover Success of Gay Manga

Ms. Ishii has extensive experience translating and adapting manga, including working on the Eisner Award-winning My Brother’s Husband, and in marketing and publicity with a U.S. manga publishing company. She is currently the executive director of the Asian Arts Initiative.

The Symposium is open to the public, but registration is REQUIRED.

Anime and Manga at the PCA 2019 Annual Conference

PCAThe annual conference of the Popular Culture Association (PCA) brings together scholars whose research involves a very wide range of topics across many different subject areas – “adolescence”, “animation”, “fan culture & theory”, “science fiction and fantasy”, “visual culture”, and literally dozens more. The 2019 Annual Conference will be held in Washington, DC, from April 17 to April 20, and, as in many previous years, Japanese animation and comics are covered in a number of presentations, including in two dedicated sessions. Taken together, these talks can be seen as a very good survey of the current state of English-language anime and manga studies – the topics that scholars are interested in exploring, the approaches they are taking, and the specific titles they are interested in.

PCA National Conference
April 17-20, 2019
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
Washington, DC

[Full Program]

Thursday, April 18:

9-45 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Animation VI: Commercialism, Consumerism, and Fan Aspects of Animation
– Anime Fandom in Convergence Culture: Gratifications of Anime Fan Production
Erika Junhui Yi

Mythology in Contemporary Culture I: The Epic Present: Contemporary Revisionings of Homeric Myth
– From Mythological Figures to Anime’s Characters: Girls and Women in Ulysses 31 (Jean Chalopin and Nina Wolmark, 1982)
Caroline Eades (University of Maryland, College Park)

11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Fan Culture & Theory Negotiating (Fandom) Identity
– Transnational FANac: Examining fan practices among anime and manga fans outside of Japan
June Madeley (University of New Brunswick)

(more…)