2012 Anime/Manga Studies Bibliography

Continuing my work in building a comprehensive list of published English-language scholarship on Japanese animation and comics, the anime/manga industry, and the activities of anime/manga fans around the world, I have now completed the Annual Bibliography for 2012. It contains 93 individual titles – among them, eight new books, including the highly regarded and well-reviewed Anime’s Media mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan and Passionate Friendship: The Aesthetics of Girl’s Culture in Japan, Mostly Manga: A Genre Guide to Popular Manga, Manhwa, Manhua and Anime (a “selection and readers’ advisory guide” aimed specifically at public librarians working to introduce Japanese comics and animation into their libraries’ collections), an excellent collection of essays by Western and Japanese scholars on otaku culture, at least fifteen individual essays on topics related to anime/manga appearing in edited collections, and over fifty articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals.

The titles of these essay collections and journals again give an excellent indication of the sheer breadth of the “field” that now welcomes research and scholarship on anime/manga

  • Arts Marketing: An International Journal
  • Journal of Media and Religion
  • Linguistics and the Study of Comics (book)
  • Popular Culture and the State in East and Southeast Asia (book)
  • Science Fiction Film, Television, and Adaptation: Across the Screens (book)
  • World Literature Today (journal)

The full 2012 Bibliography appears below. As with all editions of the Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies, it is likely that this list is not complete. Recommendations or suggestions for additional entries to add are always welcome!

The Bibliography is also available and permanently archived as a separate page. Any new titles I locate will be added to the archived page only. (more…)

Manga Futures – 6th Int’l Scholarly Conference

Manga FuturesThe University of Wollongong and the International Manga Research Center (Kyoto Seika University) have unveiled the full schedule for this year’s Manga Futures: Institutional and Fan Approaches in Japan and Beyond academic conference. This event will be held at the University of Wollongong, Australia, from October 31 to November 2. It will bring together leading scholars of Japanese comics from around the world for an intensive schedule of keynote and plenary addresses, interviews, and individual presentations arranged in several topical streams, with the broad goal of examining the full scope of “manga culture” and the production, distribution and consumption of Japanese comics. Some of the specific themes the conference’s Call for Papers highlighted included:

• Fan appropriations of and contributions to manga culture in Japan and beyond
• Commonalities and differences in fandom-based creation and criticism between Japan and other countries
• Ethical and legal challenges in the production and consumption of manga (copyright, representations of violent and sexual content, potential fictional “child abuse” images etc.)
• Institutional support for or criticism of manga culture
• The use of manga in Japan studies and Japan language pedagogy
• The future of “manga studies” – theory and methods

Manga Futures 2014 – Schedule (more…)

Call for Papers – ‘Parody, Satire, and Humor in Superhero Narratives’

Northeast Modern Language Association, 46th Annual Convention
Toronto, ON, Canada – April 30 – May 3

Comedy and Comics – Parody, Satire, and Humor in Superhero Narratives

Stan Lee bristles at calling them “comic books,” lest readers think they are only “funny books.” This panel identifies how humor operates in works centered around superheroes—as parody, satire, and comedy. Potential topics include comedic twists on the superhero archetype; “campy” TV and film adaptations of “serious” characters; webcomics and humorous children’s books; teaching satire through comics; and cross-cultural appropriation of the superhero motif.

This topic can include comedic, satiric, or parodic portrayals of superheroes as portrayed in manga, anime, Super Sentai, and more, whether Tiger and Bunny, Japanese adaptations of United States comics characters (Marvel Comics), or wackier fare such as Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo.

Abstract submission deadline (300 words) – September 30
Session chair: Derek McGrath (Stony Brook University)

Comment/Response: Bringing Anime to Academic Libraries

Ten or fifteen years ago, the idea that academic libraries should collect “sequential art” of any kind, whether comics, graphic novels, or manga was if not controversial, then at least cutting-edge. Since then, however, these kinds of materials have found wide acceptance in library collections, to the point that librarians are now publishing articles on the “best practices” of collecting comics in a research library (O’English, Lorena, et al., Graphic novels in academic libraries: From Maus to manga and beyond) and looking at the sizes of comics collections in major academic research libraries (Masuchika, Glenn & Boldt, Gail, Japanese manga in translation and American graphic novels: A preliminary examination of the collections in 44 academic libraries). On the other hand, up until recently, there were no similar articles on the practices of building anime collections in academic libraries.

Robbins, Laura Pope (2014). Bringing anime to academic libraries: A recommended core collection. Collection Building, 33(2), 46-52. (more…)

Researching Anime/Manga Scholars

When conducting research on any topic, there are certain things that any researcher must keep in mind. One of these things has to do with the basic design of bibliographic access systems – library catalogs, scholarly databases, subject bibliographies. These systems are tools for locating “bibliographic units” – books, book chapters, and individual journal articles. So, they are great when a researcher is looking for, for example, journal articles on the classic anime Neon Genesis Evangelion – a search for “Neon Genesis Evangelion” in the EBSCO Academic Search Premier database retrieves records for three articles. These three are by no means all the English-language articles that have been published on Evangelion, just the ones that have appeared in the journals covered by this particular database. But, locating these three can be a start.

Often, though, a researcher is looking for information not about individual articles, but rather, their authors. What is an author’s academic background and research interests, what other work has he or she done, where is the author currently teaching – finally, how can I contact the author? Do resources exist for this kind of research? (more…)

New Issue – Int’l Journal of Comic Art

The full table of contents for the latest (Spring 2014) issue of the International Journal of Comic Art (IJOCA), the oldest and most well-established forum for English-language scholarship and research on all aspects of comics, graphic novels, caricature, strips, editorial and political cartoons, animation, and other related topics worldwide is now available at the IJOCA website. The new issue includes at least two papers on Japanese comics:

  • Galbraith, Patrick. The Misshitsu trial: Thinking obscenity with Japanese comics (pp. 125-146)
    [Preview / Read online]
  • Whaley, Ben. Doomed hybrids: Three cases of fatal mixing in the war comics of Tezuka Osamu (pp. 244-257)
    [Preview / Read online]

IJOCA has been published twice a year since 1999. It has grown from 219 pages and 18 articles in the launch issue to almost 800 pages and 42 articles in last fall’s (down to 590 pages and 28 articles for Spring 2014). It has always been actively international in scope, and almost every issue has included at least several articles on Japanese comics. And although it is perhaps not as “reader-friendly” as other, more recent publications, such as Studies in Comics, the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, and the open-access ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies, it remains the single most prominent periodical in English-language comics studies. In fact, earlier this year, it was the only periodical nominated for a Will Eisner Comic Industry Award in the “best scholarly/academic work” category.


Call for Papers: ‘Diversity and Representation in Comics and Related Media’

The University of Florida Comics Studies program is now accepting proposals for paper presentations at the 12th UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels. The dates for the conference will be April 10 to April 12, 2015, and the conference’s title and theme is “Comics Read but Seldom Seen: Diversity and Representation in Comics and Related Media”, and its overall goal is stated as “to celebrate and interrogate the representation of marginalized groups in comics and related media.”

As it has in previous years, the conference actively welcomes papers on Japanese cultural products. Some of the specific themes and topics that the conference’s organizers suggest include:

  • Representations of disability and disorder in manga
  • Representations of homosexuality, alternative sexualities, and related issues in manga
  • Representations of diverse races, ethnicities, nationalities, genders and sexualities in anime/manga
  • Anime adaptations of lesbian/gay/bisexual/transsexual/queer manga
  • Particular titles to examine include With the Light, Real, Revolutionary Girl Utena

The deadline to submit a proposal for the conference (200-300 words) is January 1, 2015.


The Graphic Novel – 3rd Global Conference (Sep. 3-5)

Over any given year, scholars who are interested in presenting their work on comics (including manga) at academic conferences have several options available to them. The San Diego Comic-Con hosts its annual Comic Arts Conference. Mechademia: Conference on Asian Popular Culture (originally launched as Schoolgirls and Mobilesuits: Culture and Creation in Manga and Anime) is another well-known project. The University of Florida’s Comics Studies program also organizes an annual Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, as does the Canadian Society for the Study of Comics. And the Popular Culture Association actively encourages scholars to submit papers on “all aspects of the medium” for presentation at its annual conference under the Comics and Comic Art area.

Recently, I found out about another academic conference that may be of interested to anyone working with Japanese comics. Starting in 2012, Inter-Disciplinary.net  has been organizing an annual The Graphic Novel conference, held every September on the campus of University of Oxford’s Mansfield College. (more…)

Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – 2014 Ed.

In my work documenting anime and manga studies as a discreet academic area by compiling an enumerative bibliography of scholarship on Japanese comics and animation – a project I started (I think) in the spring of my freshman year of college (2000) – my actual practices have changed very little over the years. Locate a new “item”, add it to an ever-growing list, next. For a long time, the “list” was literally just that, a plaint-text file. For several years, I also maintained a basic database using DabbleDB, and when that application was shut down, worked with a developer to create a custom one. That is also currently on hiatus as I prepare for re-launching it on a dedicated website, However, at the end of every year, I would also create an “annual” list of books, book chapters, and journal articles on anime and manga that were published throughout that year, and distribute it on the Anime and Manga Research Circle Mailing List, and to anyone else who was interested.

Now, however, I realize that there is really no need for me to wait until the end of a year to have this kind of list. Accordingly, I am now able to present the 2014 Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies. Note that this is (and will continue to be) a work in progress. Today, it is a record of scholarship and commentary on Japanese comics/animation that has been published this year so far as of today; as I locate new items to add, or as new items are published, this list will continue to grow. But, right now, it is probably the most complete and comprehensive record of the publishing activities of anime and manga scholars around the world this year to date. (more…)

Call for Book Chapters – ‘Cultures of Comics Work’

“We welcome submissions from a variety of theoretical and methodological perspectives and are particularly interested in underrepresented areas of comics scholarship, such as women in comics and comics outside the Anglo-American region.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Cultures and/or experiences of work in the comics production, distribution, promotion, and consumption circuit
  • Theorizing the cultural work of comics casualization
  • Freelance labor, feminization, and other employment inequality and precarity
  • Histories of comics work, how production has changed over time
  • Professional identities and self-identifications in the comics industry
  • New workflow/publishing models for comics in the digital age
  • Case studies of particular national/regional/local comics production cultures
  • Analyses of autobiographical comics and/or fictionalized narratives about the life of the comic book artist

Chapter proposals from authors with both academic and industry/practitioner backgrounds are welcome. Prospective contributors should submit

1) an extended abstract of 300-400 words
2) an indicative bibliography
3) a short biographical sketch

no later than November 30 , 2014