ANIMEExpo Logo 500pxwideJuly 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

The AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium has a broad, educational mission. It will be open to all AX attendees. Therefore, speakers are urged to consider subjects, topics and approaches that will be of interest to general, non-specialist audiences and do not require significant backgrounds in film/animation, Asian Studies, media theory, literature, etc.

The Symposium is specifically open to a wide range of topics. Possible areas to explore can include – but are not limited to:

  • Critical studies and comparative/close readings of individual works.
  • Genres, genre conventions and subversions, franchises (Gundam, Sailor Moon, Neon Genesis Evangelion), evolutions of particular genres over the course of history of anime/manga.
  • Explanations for the particular appeal of certain anime/manga to audiences in Japan and around the world.
  • Depictions of sexuality, portrayals of gender issues, and the role of gender in the production and consumption of anime/manga.
  • Fan service and objectification, the male and female gaze, the interplay of male and female creators, producers, and audiences.
  • Age, class, race, ethnicity/nationality and other social differences.
  • Responses to current social and political issues, such as terrorism, relations between Japan and other countries, the 3.11 Tohoku Disaster and its effects on Japanese society.
  • Remix and remake culture in anime/manga: Adaptation and interpretation of Eastern, Western and other literatures and visual media.
  • Different approaches to bringing anime/manga to Western audiences: Streaming, online comics, crowdsourcing.
  • Anime and manga outside Japan – “Global manga”, live-action adaptations, the effects of Japanese visual culture on American animation and comics.
  • History and evolution of anime/manga fandom: Fan practices and experiences – clubs, conventions, cosplay, fansites, fansubbing, anime music videos.
  • Potentials for anime/manga as platforms for social change and anime/manga fans as actors of social change.

The Symposium particularly welcomes presentations on newer/emerging works and creators.

Speakers are also welcome to submit proposals for roundtable discussions on these and related topics.

Potential roundtables can include:

  • Different theoretical approaches to the study of anime and manga.
  • The development of “anime/manga studies” as an academic field or area of interest.
  • Anime/manga fan practices and activities around the world.
  • Techniques for (and challenges of) using anime/manga in secondary and undergraduate education.


All submissions will be peer-reviewed.

Past Symposium speakers have included Ian Condry (MIT, author of The Soul of Anime: Collaborative Creativity and Japan’s Media Success Story) Marc Steinberg (Concordia University, author of Anime’s Media Mix: Franchising Toys and Characters in Japan), Northrop Davis (University of South Carolina, author of the forthcoming Anime and Manga Go to Hollywood), Casey Brienza (City University London, author of the forthcoming Manga in America: Transnational Book Publishing and the Domestication of Japanese Comics), Kathryn Hemmann (George Mason University), Kukhee Choo (Tulane University), Dru Pagliassotti (California Lutheran University), Shiro Yoshioka (Newcastle University), Lien Fan Shen (University of Utah), Akiko Sugawa-Shimada (Yokohama National University), and many more.

Symposium Archives

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