Call for Papers – 桜SGMS: Mechademia Conf. on Asian Popular Cultures

Aoyama Gakuin University
Tokyo, Japan
March 18-20

MechademiaThe organizers of the Mechademia Conference on Asian Popular Culture annual conference, held at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design annually since 2001 (originally as Schoolgirls and Mobilesuits) are now accepting presentation and panel proposals for the Mechademia Conference on Asian Popular Cultures 2016, to be hosted in Tokyo, Japan (at Aoyama Gakuin University), from March 18 to March 20, 2016.

The theme of the conference is “Conflicts of Interest in Anime, Manga and Gaming”. There is no formal list of potential or suggested topics, but the organizers describe its theme as follows:

“After the initial period of explosive expansion and innovation in the arts of Japanese anime, manga, and gaming in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, a new era has arrived in which the effects of that massive emergence and expansion have begun to appear in, on, and around the surface of those arts, in the form of conflicts, ambiguities, controversies, disappointments, as well as stunning opportunities and innovation. These cracks on the smooth surface of this global phenomenon may in fact be the ‘stretch marks’ of its rapid global growth.

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Call for Papers – Communicating with Cool Japan: New Int’l Perspectives on Japanese Popular Culture

Waseda University (Tokyo, Japan)
June 8, 2016

conf2016Scholars at all levels, including graduate students, are invited to submit papers and panel proposals for “Communicating With Cool Japan”, a one-day pre-conference that will be held immediately preceding the 66th annual conference of the International Communication Association. Submissions on any topic related to Japanese popular culture are specifically encouraged.

Some of the potential themes and issues that the Call for Papers highlights include:

  • production processes and/or cultural workers
  • political economy (including the role of the state and markets)
  • media/cultural content (e.g. of anime, manga, fashion, videogames, film, music, television, etc.)
  • the Internet, social/online media, cellular phones, or other technology
  • uses of Japanese popular culture
  • globalization or diaspora
  • cultural policy/diplomacy
  • consumption or media effects
  • identity and the self
  • otaku and fandom

Submissions of up to 200 words for both individual papers and discussion sessions/panels are accepted until January 31, 2016, and speakers will notified of acceptance shortly thereafter.

Communicating with Cool Japan is being organized by Dr. Casey Brienza (City University London) and Dr. Anamik Saha (Goldsmiths, University of London). It will feature a keynote address by Prof. Koichi Iwabuchi (Monash University), the director of the Monash Asia Institute, best known as the author of Recentering Globalization: Popular Culture and Japanese Transnationalism (Duke University Press, 2002)

Dr. Brienza is the editor of the essay collection Global Manga: “Japanese” Comics without Japan? and the author of of the forthcoming monograph Manga in America: Transnational Book Publishing and the Domestication of Japanese Comics, as well as more than twenty book chapters and journal articles on different aspects of the Japanese comics industry and manga’s worldwide impact and reception, such as Books, not comics: Publishing fields, globalization, and Japanese manga in the United States (Publishing Research Quarterly, 2009), Remembering the future: Cartooning alternative life courses in Up and Future Lovers (The Journal of Popular Culture), and Beyond B&W? The global manga of Felipe Smith (in the Eisner Award-winning essay collection Black Comics: The Politics of Race and Representation (Bloomsbury, 2013) as well as several influential papers on emerging trends in scholarly publishing.

Communicating with Cool Japan – full CFP and additional details

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Creator Bibliography: Shigeru Mizuki

Shigeru MizukiWhen manga artist Shigeru Mizuki died last week, news sources not just in Japan, but all around the world – New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BBC, Reuters, and numerous others – published articles about his life and work. Mizuki had been involved in creating manga since the 1950’s, but it is only relatively recently that his work began appearing in English. Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths (originally published in Japanese in 1973) received a “Best U.S. Edition of International Material – Asia” Eisner award in 2012, Nonnonba and Showa 1926-1939: A History of Japan, were nominated in 2013 and last year, and earlier this year, the next two volumes in the non-fiction series, Showa 1939–1944 and Showa 1944–1953 again won in the category.

So far, Mizuki’s work has received only a small amount of scholarly attention – certainly compared to the number of academic publications on Hayao Miyazaki and Osamu Tezuka. Why this is so is a valid question. Obviously, Mizuki is still largely unfamiliar to Western audiences. In addition, the few works of his that have been translated differ significantly in their style and subject matter from most other manga available in the West, so it is plain-out hard to analyze them comparatively. In fact, I would argue that the most direct way to approach Mizuki’s writing would be to de-emphasize the manga aspect of his work, and to read him alongside authors like Erich-Maria Remarque, Gunther Grass, and Yuriy Bondarev – writers for whom the War (whether the First World War or the Second) was the defining event of their lives and the single event that directed their entire careers. It is no surprise, for example, that Christina Knopf includes Mizuki’s work in her survey The Comic Art of War: A Critical Study of Military Cartoons, 1805-2014 (McFarland, 2015).

So, as I have already done for Miyazaki, Mamoru Oshii, Satoshi Kon, and Makoto Shinkai, and as I am in the process of doing for Osamu Tezuka, I would like to begin compiling a bibliography of English-language academic writing on Shigeru Mizuki. The entries in it are drawn from items that are already included in the Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies, and correspond books, chapters in edited collections, and articles in academic/scholarly journals that discuss Mizuki’s life and work extensively. I am, of course, aware of other academic publications that mention Mizuki in passing or include discussions of his work – an example is the essay “Early modern past to postmodern future: Changing discourses of Japanese monsters”, in The Ashgate Research Companion to Monsters and the Monstrous  (Ashgate, 2013) – so this bibliography is selective, rather than comprehensive. It is also a work in progress, and will be updated continuously as I identify new items to add. Any new additions will be reflected on a separate page, not in this post.

Shigeru Mizuki: A Bibliography of English-Language Scholarship

2015

Olutokun, Deji Bryce. The Showa masterwork of manga pioneer Shigeru Mizuki. World Literature Today, 89(3/4), 24-28.

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Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – 2003 Ed.

The most memorable moment for Japanese animation in the U.S. in 2003 – and, quite possibly, to date – was the selection by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences of Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away as the year’s best animated feature film. The Oscar could be used as an easy explanation for why Western scholars and Western audiences should pay attention to anime – even if, paradoxically, Spirited Away, much like Miyazaki’s other films, is decidedly not representative of Japanese animation as a whole.

Anime_ExplosionStone Bridge Press, already the publisher of Helen McCarthy’s Hayao Miyazaki: Master of Japanese Animation, as well as Gilles Poitras’ The Anime Companion What’s Japanese in Japanese Animation and Anime Essentials: Every Thing a Fan Should Know, eagerly welcomed the opportunity to introduce readers to Japanese animation in a format that would probably be less intimidating than a theoretical, heavily footnoted text such as Anime From Akira to Mononoke. Anime Explosion! The What? Why? & Wow! of Japanese Animation would be just such an introduction – a necessarily breezy, maybe even surface-level tour through anime’s major stylistic and thematic elements. No, this is not the same kind of book as Napier’s – or, for that matter, as Thomas Lamarre’s The Anime Machine – but, I think it achieves its particular purpose as an introduction and a prompt for critical thinking and follow-up questions – quite effectively.

(Dennis Redmond’s The World is Watching: Video as Multinational Aesthetics, 1968-1995, an in-depth close reading of three seminal television/video series from three different countries, cultures, and time periods – including Neon Genesis Evangelion – is listed on Amazon as having been published in 2003. However, the book itself has a 2004 copyright date, and so, for the purposes of compiling annual lists of publications on anime/manga, I include it in the one for 2004).

In terms of individual articles on anime/manga, the 53 that appeared in English-language academic journals in 2003 were the largest number not only to date, but in fact, in any year until 2007. The International Journal of Comic Art once again welcomed the greatest percentage, with 6 (11%), but 5 more were published in a special issue of the U.S.-Japan Women’s Journal with a particular focus on manga, and 3 in an “Asian animation” special issue of Asian Cinema. Other journals that featured scholarly articles on anime/manga in 2003 included Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture, the Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, and the Social Science Japan Journal, for a total of 37 different journals. 7 of them (19%) were published by commercial publishers (2 each by Taylor & Francis and Wiley, 1 each by Common Ground, Intellect, and Sage), and 3 more by university presses (Duke University Press, Oxford University Press, University of Hawaii Press). 19 of the articles (36%) are currently available in open access.

(Another editorial caveat. I recognize that my criteria for selecting items to include in these lists are inherently subjective. Some – such as, for example, Memories of pilots and planes: World War II in Japanese manga, 1957-1967 – clearly a scholarly article on Japanese comics, published in what is clearly an academic journal – are obvious candidates for inclusion. But there are others that, under more selection criteria, would have been left out. The 2003 list in particular includes several articles that appeared in the non-academic magazines Kategaiho, Look Japan, and Nipponia, produced in Japan but aimed at Western audiences, as well as several pieces authored by undergraduate students and published in journals intended primarily to present such writing to small, most likely local audiences.)

English-language books, book chapters, and journal articles on anime/manga – 2003

This list is also permanently archived as a separate page. Any additional items will be added to the archived list only.

Books
Total published: 1

Drazen, Patrick. Anime explosion! The what? Why? & Wow! of Japanese animation. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge. (more…)

Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – 2004 Ed.

Stray Dog - 1st Ed.2004 marked another year of steady growth in the number of academic English-language publications on anime and manga. One clear highlight was Stray Dog of Anime: The Films of Mamoru Oshii, the first book-length examination of the works of an anime director other than Miyazaki. Interestingly, it grew out of work that its author, Brian Ruh, completed while he was a graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, studying under Susan Napier, already the author of 2001’s Anime From Akira to Miyazaki: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation.

Pikachu's Global AdventureThe one relevant essay collection published in 2004 – Pikachu’s Global Adventure: The Rise and Fall of Pokemon – is notable immediately for its rather unfortunate title. As the years since have shown, 2004 was clearly too early to talk about a “fall of Pokemon”. Having said that, the book itself was certainly timely, and included a very wide range of approaches to the “Pokemon phenomenon” in Japan and around the world, such as an excellent case study of the process of “localizing the Pokemon TV series for the American market”. Perhaps because of its timeliness – and maybe because it was coming from a high-profile academic publisher (Duke University Press), it received favorable reviews in several different academic journals, such as Popular Communication, Social Science Japan Journal, and The Journal of Asian Studies.

The 45 articles on anime/manga that were published in 2004 in English-language academic journals were spread out over 33 different journals. The International Journal of Comic Art published 5, Femspec, another 3, and 6 journals had two articles each, with 25 others only publishing one. Some of the journals that accepted publications on anime/manga in 2004 included English Journal, M/C: A Journal of Media and Communication, Publishing Research Quarterly, Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media, and Sex Roles.

Only 6 of the articles (13%) appeared in journals published by for-profit publishers, rather than university presses, academic departments, or non-profit organizations. 20 of the articles were published in open-access journals or are now available in open access. And, two of the 45 articles are particularly worth highlighting:

Oishinbo’s adventures in eating: Food, communication and culture in Japanese comics, by Laurie Brau deserves the award – if there was ever such an award – for appearing in the most unlikely subject-specific academic journal to accept a paper on anime/manga. It was published in Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies.

In The creative commons (Montana Law Review), Lawrence Lessig, then a professor of law at Stanford University, and recently, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President, specifically uses dojinshi as an example of the kind of creativity that can only flourish when it is not subject to the kind of burdensome copyright regime that is currently in place in the U.S.

English-language books, book chapters, and academic journal articles on anime/manga – 2004

This list is also permanently archived as a separate page. Any additional items will be added to the archived list only.

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Call for Papers – Transnational Comics: Crossing Gutters, Transcending Borders

University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida)
April 8-10, 2016

The Call for Papers for the upcoming 13th University of Florida Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels is now open. The theme of the conference is “Transnational Comics: Crossing Gutters, Transcending Boundaries”, and the list of suggested topics specifically includes “Comics that have been translated and/or disseminated across countries (for example, the translation and reception of manga and bande dessinée in the US)”, as well as a number of others, such as “comics that deal with border-crossings” and “the effect of globalization on comics industries” that can include Japanese comics.

Proposal maximum length: 300 words
Submission deadline: January 15, 2016

Send proposals to anujamadan@ufl.edu

The program of this year’s 12th Conference, “Comics Read but Seldom Seen: Diversity and Representation in Comics and Related Media” included a dedicated session on “Representation in anime & manga”, consisting of:

“The existence of emotion is nothing but a burden:” Emotional repressions as (re)presentations of psychological disorders in anime and manga
– Kathy Nguyen, Texas Woman’s University

Queer cooking: Fumi Yoshinaga and queer existence in modern Japan
– Andrew John Smith, Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

Yamete kudasai! Romanticized rape, humiliated homosexuality: A deconstruction of patriarchal values in yaoi and gay manga
– Janardana Hayton, Florida State University

See below for the full Call for Papers.

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New Issue: Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art

One of the most interesting trends in the development of the academic field of comics studies over the last two or so decades has been the emergence of several academic journals focused specifically on comics – broadly defined, and including manga. This trend started with the launch of the International Journal of Comic Art; since then, it has been joined by the online-only (and so, open access/free-to-read) Image [&] Narrative and ImageTexT, as well as the more traditional (i.e., distributed primarily to libraries that pay a subscription price for electronic access and/or print issues) Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics and Studies in Comics. Another, The Comics Grid, was first launched as a WordPress-driven blog, but has since converted to a more traditional format, with all pieces published in a given year assigned to a unique volume and given an individual article number – so, The relationship between personalities and faces of manga characters can be identified – and cited to – as being published in Volume 5, and as Art. 3. Its editor provided an in-depth explanation for the reasons behind this change.

SJoCA-CoverOne more such journal – and one that I was not previously aware of – is the Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art. The journal’s first two issues were published in 2012, none in the next two and a half years, but a new one is now available. As per its profile, it is “global in scope and aims to publish high quality research regardless of national or regional boundaries” – the “Scandinavian” in the title refers primarily to where its editors are originally from and/or are currently based. The theme of the issue is “Nordic history and cultural memory in comics” – and one of its three articles deals specifically with manga.

Yamazaki, Asuka. The body, despair, and hero worship: A comparative study of the influence of Norse mythology in Attack on Titan (pp. 25-49).

“The Japanese comic Attack on Titan has become greatly popular, currently with a circulation of more than forty million. Its worldwide popularity crosses national and generational boundaries, and it has been translated into numerous European and Asian languages. Attack on Titan presents a more than a century long battle between the human race and the Titans, whose ruthless hunting and devouring of human beings has forced the last of humanity into a fortress surrounded by three enormous, concentric walls. This article studies the influence of Norse mythology on Attack on Titan from an aesthetic and philosophical perspective. It focuses in part on the Titan legend, including Attack on Titan’s unique figure Ymir, who is compared with an important creature in Norse mythology, the giant Ymir. It also focuses on similarities between the motif of the wall in this comic and of the Miðgarðr in Norse myth. Finally, the paper analyzes the structure of hero worship in Attack on Titan in relation to mythological concepts, especially the metaphorical ritual of extracting a warrior’s heart and the image of the damaged body of the warrior.”

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Finding and accessing dissertations and theses on anime/manga

Academic writing on anime/manga can exist in several different formats. Most of these are intuitively familiar to readers – the book written by a single author, the edited collection of essays by several, the individual chapter in a collection, the article in a scholarly journal. But, one format that many readers may not be as familiar with is the Ph.D. dissertation or master’s thesis.

In the Western academic tradition (which, granted, has largely been adopted by academic institutions all over the world), the culmination of a graduate program, whether at the doctoral or master’s level, is a major piece of original scholarly writing that can conceivably be published as a stand-alone book. Doctoral programs always or virtually always require one, in addition to coursework and an oral examination, and many master’s programs (though by no means all) do as well. In its The Doctor of Philosophy Degree: A Policy Statement, the Council of Graduate Schools states that the dissertation both “makes an original contribution to knowledge”, and serves as a significant training experience for an academic career. And, as Paul D. Isaac emphasizes, in Faculty perceptions of the doctoral dissertation, it also plays significant “cultural, informal, and historical academic roles” such as providing a common experience for all Ph.D. recipients, regardless of their specific personal backgrounds, disciplines, or schools/programs.

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Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – 2001 Ed.

The years from 1993 to 2000 constituted the beginning period of the growth of English-language anime/manga studies, as scholars such as Susan Napier, Anne Allison, Antonia Levi, Sharon Kinsella, Mary Grigsby and Kinko Ito first began to publish scholarly writing on Japanese animation and Japanese comics.

Anime From Akira2001, and in particular, the publication of Napier’s Anime From Akira to Mononoke: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation, marked the start of the next stage. Napier had already established herself as a well-regarded scholar of Japanese literature, and this book, coming as it did from a major publisher, introduced the idea of academic approaches to Japanese animation to both scholars and non-academic readers. It was received favorably, with positive reviews appearing in journals such as the Journal of Asian Studies and Monumenta Nipponica, and even made an appearance in Entertainment Weekly, even if the magazine’s response to it was dismissive to say the least – “Why would anyone who loves anime’s unbridled vibrancy want to slog through the antiseptic dryness of a textbook?” And in fact, in addition to the book, that year, Prof. Napier also authored a book chapter on “the body in Japanese pornographic animation”, and articles on anime in Positions: East Asia Cultures Critique and the Harvard Asia Pacific Review – making herself known even further as a “pioneer in the scholarly study of anime”.

(As a caveat, Anime from Akira to Princess Mononoke‘s hard-cover edition actually has a 2000 copyright date – but it wasn’t until the 2001 paperback that the book really started getting noticed – both inside the academic world, and by the general public.)

The two major essay collections with chapters on anime/manga that were published in 2001 essentially present the two major approaches to studying anime that scholars took at that point – within the context of a focus on Asian animation, and, separately, on Asian comics – the implication being that at this point in time, it was just too early for a full essay collection that would focus specifically on either anime or manga. Though, of course, it would only be another several years before such collections began appearing. Finally, another noteworthy publication that appeared in 2001 was the catalog for the exhibition My Reality: Contemporary Art and the Culture of Japanese Animation. Featuring works by over a dozen Japanese and Western artists, it opened at the Brooklyn Museum of Art on July 28, 2001, and traveled around the U.S. through 2004. The highlight of the catalog was Takashi Murakami’s essay on the relationship between anime and Japanese art.

Books, Book Chapters, and Journal Articles on Anime/Manga – 2001

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Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – 2000 Ed.

Adult MangaIn 2000, it was becoming evident that academic interest in Japanese animation and comics was surging across different publication formats – books by single authors, edited collections such as A Century of Popular Culture in Japan and Japan Pop! The World of Japanese Popular Culture (with 9 chapters on anime/manga between them), individual chapters in collections on other, more general topics, and articles in peer-reviewed journals. It was no surprise, for example, that a “global science fiction” special issue of Science Fiction Studies would include papers on Ghost in the Shell and Patlabor II, and a review essay of “books on Japanese comics and animated films”. In addition, 2000 marked the launch of the open access journal Image [&] Narrative, at that point, only the second academic journal on comics and related topics. Its subject focus on “visual narratology and word and image studies in the broadest sense of the term” clearly included manga, and three articles on Japanese comics appeared in the inaugural issue. In total, 26 individual articles on anime/manga appeared that year, across 21 different journals. Once again, beyond the perhaps expected publications such as the Animation Journal, the International Journal of Comic Art, Japanese StudiesJapan Studies Review, and Senses of Cinema, scholarly essays on Japanese animation, Japanese comics, and related topics could also be found in the Journal of Gender Studies, Postcolonial Studies, and the main academic journal of the international Society for Advancement of Management.

As always, the following list will be permanently archived in the Bibliographies section of this site. If I identify any new publications, they will be added to the permanent list only, not to this post.

English-Language Books, Book Chapters, and Journal Articles on Anime/Manga, 2000

Books
Total Published: 2

Kinsella, Sharon. Adult manga: Culture and power in contemporary Japanese society. Richmond, Great Britain: Curzon.

Poitras, Gilles. Anime essentials: Every thing a fan should know. Berkeley, CA: Stone Bridge.

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