Tag: journal articles

Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies: 1996 Ed.

Going through the history of academic publications on anime and manga, it is no particular surprise that the sheer numbers of such publications have generally increased over the years. This is consistent with the results of most recent studies of trends in academic publishing, across many different fields (although of course, occasionally, such studies do find topics where publications are stagnating or even decreasing). Or, to say it differently, the farther back I go, the fewer publications there are for me to locate and record – from dozens, to really just a few per year.

But, having said that, although only thirteen publications on anime/manga appeared in 1996, these thirteen included several that were ground-breaking then, and still continue to remain important. One is Frederik Schodt’s Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga – an update, and in the author’s own words, “a sequel, or companion volume of sorts” to his 1983 Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics – and to this date, probably the best general introduction to manga as a particular form of Japanese visual culture.

Samurai From Outer SpaceAnother, Samurai from Outer Space: Understanding Japanese Animation, by Antonia Levi, was the first book on anime written by an academic author with PhD-level training in Japanese history and extensive teaching experience. Although not an academic title in of itself, and primarily just a survey of major thematic elements (among them, gods and demons, heroes and villains, death, the roles of women, and depictions of relationships and gender issues) that are frequently present in Japanese animation, it nonetheless also addressed several questions that have since come up time and time again – the complex and multi-directional relationship between anime and American media, anime’s ways of both depicting and avoiding depictions of different races, and even, ultimately, the basic question of what exactly makes anime so appealing to American audiences. It introduced readers to these questions – and to the potential ways of answering them, and served as a demonstration of how an author could write a full-length book on anime. It is also no surprise that scholars have been referring to it, both for its seminal place in English-language anime/manga studies, and for many of its specific arguments, examples and points, ever since.

Beyond these two books, the 1996 list also includes several early articles on anime written by Japanese scholars, but in English, and a series of fascinating pieces on the manga markets in Europe and the U.S., as well as the history of manga criticism, that were published in issues of the Japan Foundation’s Japanese Book News newsletter.

English-language books, book chapters, and academic articles on anime/manga: 1996

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Call for Papers – 30 Years of Studio Ghibli

Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies: 1997 Ed.

One common way to characterize any academic field is by its publication patterns and trends. In what formats is research in this field published? What kinds of topics does it cover? If the majority of the research is published in the form of journal articles, is it concentrated in a small group of journals, or spread out among many?

Developing the annual bibliographies of English-language academic publications on anime and manga is an important step towards coming up with this kind of characterization for anime/manga studies as an academic field. But, each annual list is only a single snapshot. A more thorough understanding of how exactly this field looks like would require comparing the publication patterns of anime/manga studies in different years. For example, the lists of books, book chapters, and journal articles on anime/manga published last year, and three years ago are actually fairly similar. But, of course, the question comes up – how different would the list look if we expand the range more than just a few years? To answer it, I decided to jump back a bit, and also compile the same list for 1997. And, the differences between what is published on anime/manga now and what was published then are immediate and obvious.

The full list of 1997 English-language publications of all types on anime/manga consists of a total of 28 items: 3 books, 5 chapters in edited collections, and twenty articles. This compares, for example to last year’s 8, over 20 chapters, and more than 80 individual journal articles – or to the around 40 articles that have been published this year so far.

All three of the books are “popular”, rather than scholarly; two of them are essentially guidebooks, and the third, a collection of interviews. It is also curious that two of the five chapters deal with the same topic – vampires in Japanese visual culture – and even discuss the same titles. One particularly interesting point to notice regarding the journal articles is that almost every one of them that was published in a a major academic journal is currently available online, either through the journal’s website, or through another database. This is even true for one paper (Transcultural orgasm as apocalypse: Urutsukidoji: The Legend of the Overfiend) that appeared in a journal which ceased publication in 1999. Three more are available in open access – two through their journals’ websites, and one through an institutional repository. So, in fact, it is easier to access and read these articles now than it was when they were first published! And, it’s really interesting to see names on this list – like Helen McCarthy, Anne Cooper-Chen, and Antonia Levi – that should be familiar to anyone with an interest in how Western critics have responded to Japanese popular culture.

Considering all of these publications together, yes, there is the just the curiosity factor of comparing them to to the kind of writing on anime/manga that is published now. But, it is also important to remember that several of these publications are essentially foundational to how anime/manga studies has developed as a field. Through being cited and included in class reading lists, they have influenced how we approach Japanese animation and Japanese comics academically – what general topics and specific works we look at, what kinds of questions we ask, and really, even, what kinds of answers we hope to get…

English-language books, book chapters, and academic articles on anime/manga: 1997

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Call for Papers – ‘Asian Popular Culture’

Journal of Popular CultureThe Journal of Popular Culture, a peer-reviewed scholarly journal that is an official publication of the Popular Culture Association is currently accepting papers for an upcoming special issue on Asian popular culture. The CFP notes that “‘Asian popular culture’ has become synonymous with the ideas, images, and phenomena of East Asia and specifically with Japanese animation and Chinese martial arts cinema”, and aims to expand the scope of the special issue very broadly in terms of both geography (East, Southeast, and South Asia) and topics, such as film, television, music, literature, sports, videogames, youth culture, and fan activities in general.

The Journal of Popular Culture has been published since 1967. Over the years, it has consistently welcomed scholarship on anime/manga. Just some of the articles that have appeared in it include Adams, Kenneth Alan & Hill, Lester, Protest and rebellion: Fantasy themes in Japanese comics (1991); Grigsby, Mary, Sailormoon: Manga (comics) and anime (cartoon) superheroine meets Barbie: Global entertainment commodity comes to the United States (1998), Ito, Kinko, A history of manga in the context of Japanese culture and society (2005), Madeley, June M., Transnational transformations: A gender analysis of Japanese manga featuring unexpected bodily transformations, and, just earlier this year, Maser, Verena, Nuclear disasters and the political possibilities of shōjo (girls’) manga (comics): A case study of works by Yamagishi Ryōko and Hagio Moto. Because of its history and status, it can comfortably be considered one of the highest-profile and most prestigious venues for English-language academic writing on Japanese animation/Japanese comics.

The deadline for submissions is December 31, 2015, and papers must be between 5,000 and 7,500 words. (more…)

The “oligopoly of academic publishers” and anime/manga studies

When I am asked to describe my own “academic interests”, anime and manga are actually not the first thing that I bring up. Rather, what I am interested in first and foremost is knowledge sharing – the theory behind drives (or prevents) people from sharing their knowledge with others, the actual tools and techniques that facilitate knowledge sharing, and the specific ways that individuals share knowledge – such as by publishing books or journal articles. And so, I am also generally aware of the major trends and issues that come up in this context, such as the development of the “open access” model of scholarly publishing, and the general controversy over the spiraling costs that publishers charge for access to journals. A related issue is the supposed extreme and excessive influence of a small number academic publishers that control an overwhelming majority of academic journals that scholars across many different fields need to have access to.

This issue has been mentioned plenty of times anecdotally, and recently, a group of scholars at the Universite de Montreal led by Vincent Lariviere (…whose work I consider to be the epitome of excellent library/information science scholarship) has explored it empirically. Their new paper, The oligopoly of academic publishers in the digital era, PLoS One, 10(6), confirms it, by finding that over the years from 1973 to 2013, the share of both journals and individual articles published by a small group of academic publishers has increased significantly.

Percentage of PapersIn 2013, the authors demonstrate, five publishers accounted for 51% of academic journals – and 54% of academic articles – published in the social sciences and humanities broadly defined, and 66% of academic articles in the social sciences (such as “sociology, economics, anthropology, political sciences and urban studies”). However, in the same year, only about 20% of papers published in the humanities were from the five “major publishers”.

These numbers, and their implication that large academic publishers do indeed exert a large measure of “control…on the scientific community” are important – but, for the purposes of this blog, and for the purposes of anime and manga studies as an academic field – they have to lead to a follow-up question.

What percentage of the academic output of anime/manga studies is concentrated in journals published by major for-profit/commercial publishers?

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New Issue: East Asian Journal of Popular Culture

Earlier this year, when the new East Asian Journal of Popular Culture published its first issue, I was pleased to profile it as a potential new venue for academic writing on a wide range of topics related to Japanese animation and Japanese comics. In fact, the first issue already included two papers dealing with manga – though the two were substantially different from each other in terms of their focus and methodologies. The journal’s second issue is now available, and 3 articles (out of a total of 8 in the issue) again specifically address anime/manga – again, broadly defined. (more…)

Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies – 2008 Ed.: Part 1

So far, my workflow for building a freely accessible (and more importantly, close to comprehensive) directory of published English-language academic writing on Japanese animation and Japanese comics has consisted of compiling and posting annual lists of such publications – like the ones that are now available in the Bibliographies section. Needless to say, preparing a list that frequently contains more than 150 individual publications – verifying the titles and the names of the authors, confirming that the books are still in print and that individual articles are still available online, whether in open access or at least through a publisher’s website, correcting any spelling or punctuation errors in my original notes – takes a lot of time. So, In the interests of speeding up this process, I will try a new approach – of spreading these lists over several posts. Of course, once each annual list is complete, it will be added to the Bibliographies section for permanent archiving as well.

English-language academic publications on anime and manga: 2008, Part 1 – Journal articles (more…)

“What to take, what to leave”: Thoughts on compiling bibliographies of writing on anime/manga

One of the most basic concepts underlying the practice of organizing and representing information is that it requires making choices. The organization and representation of information, choosing what to present, and how to arrange it is an ideological act, and even to a degree a political act. Guides, indexes, directories, databases, classification systems, and other methods of providing access to information and establishing “bibliographic control” are designed with particular goals in mind, and exist because of particular reasons, affordances, biases and prejudices. And, in turn, being aware of these goals and reasons, and of the effects that they have on information sources, services and tools, is a major component of information literacy, of being an effective user of information and a successful researcher.

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Building an Anime and Manga Studies Bibliography – Tools and methods

It is not easy to make the process of putting together the lists of academic publications on anime/manga that are available in the Bibliographies section of this website sound particularly interesting. But, nonetheless, describing some of the steps in this process can actually be a good demonstration of research skills and techniques – and at the same time, can also highlight the particular “publication characteristics” of anime and manga studies as a discrete field or area. So, as I go about compiling and updating these lists, what do I actually do? (In recording/documenting this process, I am inspired by Robert Singerman’s “Creating the optimum bibliography: From reference chaining to bibliographic control”, in David William Foster & James R. Kelly (eds.), Bibliography in literature, folklore, language and linguistics: Essays on the status of the field (pp. 19-47), Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co – a uniquely pedantic essay, – but it its own way, invaluable.) (more…)

Anime and manga in the OA “Comic Book & Graphic Novel Collection”

The trend towards “open access” is probably the single most important recent development in academic/scholarly publishing, across many different subject ares, and disciplines. As I mentioned in an earlier post, much of the discussion of the new issues, as well as the challenges and controversies, of open access publishing focus on the STM (“science, technology, and medicine”) fields. But open access as a model and a practice is by no means limited to those fields, and scholars in the social sciences and the humanities/liberal arts are embracing it as well. So, for example, of the 75 English-language articles on anime/manga published in academic journals last year that I am aware of, 29 (39%) are available in open access. This compares to 37 of 81 (46%) for articles published in 2013 (the slightly larger percentage is due to two special issues on anime/manga and related topics in Transformative Works and Cultures and the Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Culture), and 22 of 64 (34%) for those published in 2012. In fact, the percentage seems to be holding this year too – with 5 open access articles out of the 13 that have been published on anime/manga so far – a ratio of 38%. (more…)