Tag: teaching anime

Help Wanted – Anime Professor!

Who are the participants in “Japanese popular culture studies”? Not in the abstract sense, but more concretely – if Japanese popular culture studies is an academic area or field or discipline, do those who are involved in it identify themselves as “professors of Japanese popular culture studies”? For that matter, is such a thing as a “department of Japanese popular culture studies” or a “professor of Japanese popular culture studies” even possible or feasible?

In fact, if we actually do take a closer look at what academic departments scholars who write on anime, manga, and other related topics are actually based in, the patterns that emerge are essentially predictable Thus, when we look at the departments that the authors of the articles in the first seven issues of Mechademia: Second Arc are affiliated with, some of the ones we see include Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Education, Film Studies, Foreign Languages and Literatures, Law, and Musicology. Similarly, the department affiliations of the authors of some of the major recent books on anime/manga include Comparative Literature, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Film and Media Studies, and Film and Television.

What can a professor who is interested in anime/manga as a research subject do to advertise this? One way is to simply mention a book project they are working on, as Prof. Jinying Li (Modern Culture and Media, Brown University) does.

She recently completed her first book, Anime’s Knowledge Cultures
(University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming)

And even if a professor is not actively working on a book, they can mention anime/manga among the subjects, topics, and themes that they are actively pursuing!

His research interests include biblical allusions in literature, missiology, Korean popular culture (e.g. K-pop and K-dramas), and Japanese anime/manga”.

But, a professor announcing what their interests is one thing. A university actively looking to hire a professor who specializes in a particular area is something very different. And, in what I believe is the first time for something like this, a major university has specifically announced that it is seeking to fill the position of Assistant Professor in Japanese contemporary literature and culture – “with interdisciplinary research and teaching interests in manga and animé”. The person who is hired for this position will be expected to teach both undergraduate and graduate courses, including at least one with a specific emphasis on anime/manga, as well as contribute to the development of the collection of original and translated manga in Ohio State’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum.

Requirements for the position include a PhD in “Japanese literature or a related field” – completed by August 2024 – and a good demonstration of what a position can require instead of a “PhD in anime” is the call for a specialization in an area such as “visual narrative media such as manga and animé” or “history of popular media”. The hiring committee will begin screening applications for the position next week (November 1), but screening will continue without any kind of hard deadline, presumably until the position has been filled.

So, what does something like this mean? First of all, it means that next year, there will be at least one new professor at a major U.S. university who is almost definitely interested in both teaching about and researching Japanese animation and comics. This also shows that we are seeing the beginnings of an active process to bring professors. And with this, “studying anime and manga” – an activity and just what you do takes another step in the direction of “anime and manga studies” – a defined area with its own structures, goals, boundaries, aims, and rules.

AX 2015 Anime and Manga Studies Symposium – Speakers and Talk Titles

I am pleased to announce the final program for the 2015 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, the Anime Expo 2015 Academic Program. AX 2015 will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center (Los Angeles, California), from July 2 to July 5, and the Symposium will be spread out over all four days.

The Symposium will feature a keynote address by a leading scholar and teacher, three special guest lectures/presentations, 13 individual talks on a wide range of topics related to Japanese animation and comics, organized into several topical panels, and a roundtable discussion on major issues in teaching about Japanese popular culture and using anime and manga in the classroom. Its main goal remains to highlight new critical approaches to Japanese popular visual culture, but the Symposium also serves a major educational function. It introduces AX’s attendees to the ideas and practices of the academic study of anime and manga, while giving speakers a unique opportunity to present their work to a general audience.

Keynote Address: The Importance of Anime at Film School: Tales from USC

Ellen SeiterEllen Seiter
Professor of Critical Studies
Stephen K. Nenno Chair of Television Studies
University of Southern California

Prof. Seiter teaches courses on television and new media history, theory and criticism, as well as the new new Japanese Anime class, in the in the Critical Studies Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Books she has written include The Creative Artist’s Legal Guide:Copyright, Trademark and Contracts in Film and Digital Media Production (2012), The Internet Playground: Children’s Access, Entertainment and Mis-Education (2005), Television and New Media Audiences (1999), Sold Separately: Children and Parents in Consumer Culture (1993) and Remote Control; Television, Audiences and Cultural Power (1989). (more…)

Anime and Manga Symposium Archives – 2013

By its third year, the Anime and Manga Studies Symposium was firmly established as a part of Anime Expo’s programming. A highlight of the 2013 schedule were the guest lectures on the history of anime and manga studies in Japan presented by Dr. Akiko Sugawa-Shimada (Kansai Gaidai University, Osaka, Japan), and on the challenges of using Japanese animation and comics to introduce American college students to Japanese culture (Masako Hamada, Villanova University). In addition to these full-length lectures, the Symposium again featured a set of shorter presentations and talks on much more focused topics, such as the use of foreign languages in manga, depictions of girls and women across several decades of Japanese animation, and the sometimes uneasy relationship between anime fans’ practices and commercial activities.

AX 2013 Anime and Manga Studies Symposium – Schedule

Thursday, July 4

Keynote Address: Christopher Kuipers (Professor, English, Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

  • Translating Anime and Manga: Let Us Count the Ways

(more…)

University of Michigan Lecture/Workshop: More Information

Later this week, the University of Michigan Center for Japanese Studies will be hosting two programs on aspects of Japanese popular culture and its reception both in Japan and around the world. On Thursday, April 3, Mark McLelland will present a lecture on ‘debates around fictional child characters in Japanese popular culture’. As announced earlier this month, following this, on Saturday, April 5, a group of leading scholars will participate in a one-day workshop on specific ethical, legal, political, cultural and other challenges that Japanese popular culture as a field or area of inquiry presents for teachers at all levels, researchers, and students.

(more…)

The End of “Cool” Japan? (University of Michigan, Apr. 5)

The End of “Cool” Japan?: Ethical, Legal, Political and Cultural Challenges for Japanese Popular Culture Teachers, Researchers and Students

Organizers: University of Michigan Department of Screen Arts & Cultures and Center for Japanese Studies

Location: University of Michigan, North Quad Space 2435 (Ann Arbor, MI)

Date: April 5, 2014

This workshop addresses some pressing concerns for all those with an investment in teaching and learning about Japan via its popular culture. It brings together Japan specialists, both educators and researchers, in order to identify key challenges in research and pedagogy and to develop a framework for a code of ethics that can serve as a guideline for Japan Studies professionals. (more…)