The full schedule for this year’s AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, the Academic Program track at Anime Expo, the largest anime/manga convention in North America, has now been finalized. This year’s Symposium consists of four plenary addresses, a special roundtable discussion, and 12 individual presentations on various topics related to anime/manga, with a total of 18 speakers from colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Austria, Belgium/France, and Japan. The sessions will be spread out over all four days of Anime Expo 2015, and will all be held in the Theater (Room 411) of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
The 2015 Anime and Manga Studies Symposium program is also available as a separate page.
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AX 2015 Academic Program / AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium
Anime Expo 2015
Los Angeles Convention Center (Room 411 / AX Live Programming 4)
Los Angeles, California
Thursday, July 2
5:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Introduction: Anime and Manga Studies at AX and in 2015
5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
Critical Approaches to Japanese Animation and Comics
- The Beautiful End of the World: Eschatologies of the Bishojo
Many of the most iconic characters in anime/manga are young women directly associated with apocalyptic and posthuman themes. Cultural critics have highlighted the parallels between these bishojo and motifs related to freedom, flight, hope, and healing, so it is interesting that often, they are also closely connected to themes of human extinction. I argue that, through the regenerative capacity of such characters, whose emerging sexuality is not yet tainted by masculine bodies and masculinist ideologies such as nationalism, militarism, and scientific rationalism, anime/manga present the “end of the world” as positive event that promises ecological balance and emotional serenity.
Kathryn Hemmann (George Mason University)
- Stories in Shades of Black and White: Use of Color in CLAMP’s Manga
Many Western comics depend on color, shading, and delicate variations in inking techniques to tell their stories, Japanese manga must create a visually compelling narrative with only black and white. Yet, many manga use significantly fewer inking techniques than standard Western comics. I compare techniques described by famed inker Klaus Janson for Western comics with those in three works by CLAMP in markedly different styles and targeted at different audiences By creating their aesthetic based on the tone and message of a specific work, CLAMP creates synergy between the narrative and visuals, integrating the disparate elements of the page, and transmitting a sense of depth in a manner entirely distinct from Western comics.
Mia Lewis (Stanford University) (more…)