New Issue – Japan Forum: Japanese Popular Culture and Contents Tourism

Japan ForumOne feature of scholarly communication that is common to many different academic fields/areas is a small group of journals that are considered to be “core” to that particular field or area. These journals are the field’s most important and most prestigious – and often also the most heavily cited. Anime/manga studies does not (yet?) have such a core group. One reason for this is that as an academic area, it’s still very young. Another, perhaps more important reason is that as a label, anime/manga studies encompasses a wide range of approaches, grounded in many different disciplines. There is very little in common that articles like Satoshi Kon’s Millennium Actress: A feminine journey with dream-like qualities, Bringing anime to academic libraries: A recommended core collection, Ownership, authority, and the body: Does antifanfic sentiment reflect posthuman anxiety, and Viewer perception of visual nonverbal cues in subtitled TV anime have between them – other than that they all, to one degree or another, discuss Japanese animation as an art form, a commodity, or an object that audiences can respond to. (more…)

The Origins of English-Language Anime Studies

When I talk about anime and manga studies, especially in formal presentations, some questions come up over and over again. How much academic/scholarly writing on anime/manga is out there? How many scholars study (and more specifically, write about) Japanese animation, Japanese comics, and related topics? And, can we really talk about a “history” of anime/manga studies and anime/manga scholarship?

My work has actually put me a in pretty good position to answer the first two questions. I have identified almost 100 individual English-language books on anime/manga (with several more due to be published later this year). When I put it on hiatus about a year ago, my database of English-language publications on anime/manga of all types (books, book chapters, and journal articles), contained over 1,520 entries, and the names of over 900 individual authors. And neither of those numbers include the materials and authors I have identified in 2014 and this year so far.

It’s the third question – “what are the origins of anime/manga studies?” that’s more complicated. (more…)

Call for Papers – “The Future in Comics”

Stockholm University (Stockholm, Sweden)
September 3-5

Future in Comics

“This conference aims to investigate ways in which comics explore the idea of ‘future.’ Its goal is to gather scholars from the field of comic studies and related fields, such as linguistics, philosophy, literary studies, cultural studies, sociology, anthropology, film studies as well as others that can discover a conceptual connection to the rigorous study of comics. Given our broad and yet specific purpose, we aim to discuss work on comics originating from all major traditions: French bande desineé, American and British comics, Italian fumetti, Japanese manga, and so on. In pursuing this cross-cultural approach, we wish to discuss not only how different conceptions of the future in comics can be compared and analysed, but also how comics offer unorthodox modes of representation that allow for creative, intellectual freedom that may be different from literature and cinema. In particular, we are interested in, but not limited to, discussing these themes:

  • The cross-roads between utopia and dystopia (e.g. Gundam‘s Universal Century, Transmetropolitan‘s representation of life in “the city”, Harlock‘s 30th century, the world of Rogue Trooper);

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Publication patterns in anime/manga studies, 2010-2014

Over the last year, I have been using this blog to promote, foster and facilitate the developing field of anime/manga studies, and document various new developments in this field. And, I also hope to be able to say that with this blog, I can  demonstrate just what we mean by the term anime and manga studies. One easy way to do this is simply by highlighting the range of academic books, book chapters, journal articles, and other publications on anime/manga – as I do in the Bibliography section. Another is by noting that many of these publications themselves specifically use the terms ‘anime studies’/’manga studies’.

But, pointing out that anime/manga studies is an academic field then raises a direct question – what are some of the characteristics of anime/manga studies as an academic field? What kinds of programs are the scholars writing about anime/manga based in? What form does the “scholarly output” of anime/manga studies take? What is the field’s “citation landscape” – what kinds of publications do anime/manga scholars cite in their work, and are there particular publications (or even particular individual titles) that are cited with such frequency that they should be considered “core” for the field as a whole? Academic fields or areas can also be characterized by their “publication patterns” – that is, the kinds of journals (or the specific journals) that scholarship in these fields tends to appear in. Do anime scholars seek to publish their work primarily in Japanese or Asian studies journals? Film studies/animation studies journals? Other types? (more…)

Speaking Opportunities (NYC): Anime Research Group

The Anime Research Group is an informal New York City-based organization that works to organize various cultural and educational events related Japanese animation. Its current major project is a series of anime film screenings held at Manhattan theaters. This year so far it has screened Magnetic Rose (one of the segments of 1995’s Memories anime anthology, with a script by Satoshi Kon), along with several other anime short films, and Gunbuster: The Movie, a condensed version of the classic 1998 Gunbuster series, directed by Neon Genesis Evangelion’s Hideaki Anno.

Going forward, the Group’s plans are to incorporate into each screening a short introductory lecture that would contextualize the film or films within Japanese animation as a form of media/visual culture, highlight major themes, and raise questions for audiences to consider. If you are interested in participating in this project as a speaker, please contact Michelle Ceja at info@animeresearchgroup.com for more information. Speakers who are able to discuss science fiction in anime, the magical girl genre, and kawaii culture are particularly welcome. Some compensation may be available for your time.

[Editor’s note: Several years ago, Gorgeous Entertainment, an NYC-based theater/film/special events production company organized a similar series of screenings and lectures, under the label Anime Masterpieces. Venues that hosted Anime Masterpieces screenings and accompanying lectures included the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), the Fisher Center for the Study of Women and Men (Hobart and William Smith Colleges), and the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Japanese Studies.]

“Anime on Campus”: Courses on Japanese Animation at American Colleges

College classes on Japanese animation/Japanese comics that are currently being offered at colleges and universities around the U.S. or that have been offered in the past are now listed on a separate page. This page will be updated continuously, and if you know of any other classes that you would like to see listed there, please do not hesitate to let me know!

The introduction to the original version of this list is:

Much of the emphasis of this blog has been on scholarly approaches to Japanese animation and Japanese comics as expressed in “scholarly output” – publications, conference presentations, and the like. But, just as with any other academic field or area, “anime studies” has a second side – teaching about Japanese animation. And in fact, the question “are there classes at American colleges/universities on anime” is one that gets asked fairly frequently.

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‘Manga at a Crossroads’ Symposium

On March 6 and April 4, The Ohio State University’s East Asian Studies Center will present Manga at a Crossroads, a two-day symposium on manga as a major form of Japanese popular culture, with influence and impact world-wide. The symposium’s first session will focus on the origins, history and development of manga; the second will examine its global reach. Both sessions will feature talks by leading scholars of Japanese popular culture from around the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain, and are designed to run in connection with the exhibit World of Shojo Manga!: Mirrors of Girls’ Desires, which will be hosted by OSU’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum from March 28 to July 15. (more…)

Call for Papers: AX 2015 Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

ANIMEExpo Logo 500pxwideI am pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, an integral part of this year’s Anime Expo convention.

Call for Papers / Call for Speakers

2015 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

July 2 – July 5
Anime Expo 2015
Los Angeles Convention Center (Los Angeles, CA

Submission Deadline: April 15, 2015

The AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium is the premier international forum for academic discussion about Japanese visual culture and the worldwide popularity and impact of anime and manga. It welcomes a wide range of interpretations and approaches, draws on different disciplines and methodologies, and can involve academics, industry professionals, independent scholars, and fans/enthusiasts. The goal of the Symposium is to bring together speakers from diverse backgrounds, fields and areas to exchange ideas, explore new directions, and contribute to building a community of anime and manga studies.

The Symposium is an integral part of the program at Anime Expo, the largest anime convention in North America, which last year attracted over 80,000 attendees. Participating in it will give speakers an opportunity to present their research and scholarship directly to a public, non-academic audience, to interact with fans of anime and manga from around the world, and to join in this celebration and appreciation of Japanese popular culture. In turn, the Symposium also serves to introduce convention attendees to the ideas and practices of academic study of anime, manga, and other aspects of Japanese visual culture.

Speakers interested in participating in the 2015 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium are invited to submit a proposal title, an abstract no more than 300 words, and a CV to mkoulikov@gmail.com. (more…)

Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – 2010 Ed.

To the best of my knowledge, 2010 was simply THE high point to date of English-language scholarly interest in anime and manga, with 10 new monographs, 6 essay collections (with a total of well over a hundred chapters), 29 more chapters in other essay collections, and over 60 individual articles in scholarly-peer reviewed journals.

Particularly noticeable trends this year included:

  • With Open Court Publishing Company’s Anime and Philosophy and Manga and Philosophy essay collections, at accessible price points and distributed to general book stores, an effort to introduce the ideas and practices of scholarly approaches to Japanese animation and Japanese comics to general audiences.

As always, it is possible that this list is not absolutely complete – you are welcome to suggest additional titles to add.

And, as always, this list is also available as a separate page. Any new updates will be reflected on that page only.

(more…)

‘Globalized Manga Culture and Fandom’ Mini-Symposium

Globalized Manga CultureThis month, Baruch College (New York) will host the art exhibition “World of Shojo Manga: Mirrors of Girls’ Desires”. In conjunction with the exhibition, the college will also present a one-day “mini-symposium” on certain aspects of Japanese comics and their worldwide reception.

Globalized Manga Culture and Fandom

Thursday, February 19, 12:40 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.

Baruch College Vertical Campus

55 Lexington Avenue, 5th Floor, Room 165

Speakers:

  • Masami Toku (Professor, Art and Art History, California State University, Chico)

The focus of Prof. Toku’s research is on the effect of popular visual culture, including manga, on children’s art artistic development, and the potential for the use of manga in art education. She is also one of the organizers of the touring exhibition series Shojo Manga! Girls’ Power! (2005-2006) which was presented at various locations around the U.S. and Canada, including the University of New Mexico, Columbia College Chicago, Pratt Institute, the Japanese Canadian National Museum (Burnaby, British Columbia, and the Japan Exhibition and Culture Center at the Embassy of Japan (Washington, DC).

  • Kathryn Hemmann (Assistant Professor, Modern and Classical Languages, George Mason University)

Prof. Hemmann teaches Japanese culture and Japanese literature, and has presented on topics related to Japanese comics extensively, including at the AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, where she has spoken on the concept of the “female gaze” in contemporary Japanese anime and manga. She is also the author of the blog Contemporary Japanese Literature, and is currently working on a book-length project to be entitled “Writing Women Readers: The Female Gaze in Contemporary Japanese Narrative Media”.

Vertical, Inc., based in New York City, is a leading publisher of English translations of contemporary Japanese literature, including non-fiction (The Toyota Leaders: An Executive Guide, Nintendo Magic: Winning the Videogame Wars), novels (Parasite Eve, The Summer of the Ubume), and manga (Chi’s Sweet Home, Paradise Kiss, Sakuran, Twin Spica).

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.