#AX2017        #AnimeSymposium

Submission Deadline: May 19, 2017

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, the parent organization of Anime Expo (AX), the largest anime convention in the U.S., is inviting proposals for presentations and panel discussions for the 2017 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium. The Symposium will be held from July 1 to July 4 at the Los Angeles Convention Center (Los Angeles, California) as the Academic Program track of this year’s Anime Expo.

Japanese animation (anime) and comics (manga) are unique forms of visual culture that attract, engage and inspire audiences around the world. As art forms, commercial products and platforms for transcultural fan communities, education, and cultural expression, they have a reach far beyond Japan.

The AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, now in its 7th year, is the leading site for academic discussion on topics such as how anime/manga are created and distributed, their histories, the themes and issues they explore, their connections to other Japanese and global media, their pedagogical potentials and uses, and how fans around the world interact with them. As an integral part of Anime Expo’s programming, and open to all convention attendees, it serves to build relationships and conversation between scholars and the general public, reconceptualize anime and manga’s place within the imaginations and lived experiences of its creators, users, and prosumers, and support and promote the development of anime/manga studies as an academic field.

The Symposium is inter-disciplinary, with a broad educational mission, and welcomes approaches from different subject areas.

Early-career academics, graduate students, undergraduates, and independent scholars/industry professionals are especially invited to submit proposals for individual presentations, roundtables, or workshops ! Speakers are urged to consider subjects, topics and approaches that will be of interest to general, non-specialist audiences and do not require significant theoretical backgrounds or familiarity with narrow academic subjects.

If you are interested in presenting your research in the format of a 20-minute talk, please submit the title, an abstract (300 words maximum) and your CV to Mikhail Koulikov, The organizers of the Symposium may also consider proposals for longer lectures (45 minutes), as well as roundtables/panel discussions .

2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the first “known” Japanese animated film. To commemorate this, the Symposium particularly welcomes presentations dealing with:

  • The history of anime/manga production and distribution in Japan and around the world
  • Specific non-commercial uses of anime/manga (derivative creative works, educational, propagandistic)
  • Anime/manga’s acceptance of – and resistance to cultural, technological, and social change
  • The growth and development of anime/manga studies, its current status, future directions, and the field’s relationship to Japanese studies, film studies, comics/animation studies, literature, and other fields.

The Symposium is also interested in exploring approaches to anime/manga and related topics that move beyond the “film/book review model” and draw on political science, economics, sociology, anthropology, education, and other fields beyond the humanities, cultural studies and the “production of culture”  perspective, and qualitative (interviews) and quantitative (surveys and data analysis) tools to explore issues such as:

  • The roles of particular creators, as well as other individuals traditionally ignored in the creative process
  • Entrepreneurial and business models and their relationships to the global anime industry as well as anime fans functioning as entrepreneurs under both the traditional economy and the gift economy
  • The state of the anime/manga industry in Japan, in the U.S., and around the world; industry trends and future projections
  • Schooling as traditionally conceived (i.e. the canonical curriculum, direct instruction, and the test) versus anime and manga’s disruption of it as part of a broader project of educational reform
  • The decline of the “soft power” model of anime and manga in the study of international relations in favor of newer and more critical approaches to their place in world affairs

Other potential areas/topics the presentations can address include:

  • Anime/manga as global media products: Franchises, adaptations and interpretations of Japanese and non-Japanese literature and other media, cross-media adaptations, remakes and reimaginings
  • Anime/manga as art: Visual styles and visual effects, uses of music, depictions of other art forms
  • The impact of anime/manga outside Japan: Translations, adaptations into live-action cinema, influences on video games, animation, art, and other media
  • The growing prominence of anime/manga as tools for depicting and responding to social issues
  • Fan service and objectification, the male and female gaze, the interplay of male and female creators, producers, and audiences.
  • Anime/manga – and their fans – in the current environment of rising global tension

Deadline for submissions: May 19, 2017.

Selected speakers may be offered complimentary admission to Anime Expo 2017.

For additional details about the AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, including previous programs and speaker lists, please visit

This Call for Papers is also available as a separate flyer. Please feel free to distribute it to your colleagues, students, friends, acquaintances, or anyone else who you think may be interested in participating in the Symposium as a speaker or attendee.