Symposium: AX Anime and Manga Studies 2012

Los Angeles, CA: June 29 – July 2, 2012

Anime and manga are visual culture and media, popular entertainment, commercial products, objects of interest and sometimes obsession – and for many people, their first and sometimes only contact with Japan. Scholars in Japan and around the world have increasingly become interested in the themes, topics, and issues of anime and manga – and of all Japanese popular culture.

The goal of the AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium is to highlight cutting-edge research and critical thinking about Japanese animation and comics by examining emerging trends in anime and manga studies around the world. Anime Expo is the largest gathering of fans of Japanese popular culture in the U.S., and, as an integral component of the AX program, the Symposium will also serve to introduce anime and manga studies to a general, non-academic audience. Another goal of this event will be to establish crucial connections and facilitate
bridging gaps between scholars and fans.

Speakers are invited to present papers on any topic related to Japanese comics and animation, global anime and manga fandom, and the anime/manga industry in Japan and elsewhere. Individual presentations can focus on themes and topics such as:

– Close readings of particular individual anime and manga texts.
– Uses of anime and manga to present viewpoints on Japanese and world history
– Japanese animation and comics in historical perspective: anime and manga before Tezuka.
– Anime and manga as a corpus: Sequels, remakes, reinterpretations, reimaginings.
– Anime and manga adaptations and adaptations of anime and manga: Failures and successes.
– Global conversations with Japanese popular culture – Non-Japanese uses of anime and manga, e.g., Animatrix, Batman, First Squad, Iron Man, Supernatural, etc
– The role of the creator and director (and individual creators/directors) in the development of anime and manga.
– Cultural production approaches to Japanese visual culture: Examining production, promotion, marketing, international licensing and distribution, translation and sales to understand anime’s global impact.
– The activities of anime/manga fans – for example, fanfiction, cosplay, anime music videos, and website development. Other ideas are also welcome.
– Beyond mainstream anime and manga: Experimental and non-mainstream Japanese animation and comics.
– Anime and manga in the classroom: Theories and experiences of teaching Japanese visual culture.
– Popular culture responds to reality: The Great Eastern Japan Earthquake and future directions in Japanese visual culture.

The symposium particularly welcomes studies of recent and new anime and manga (including, but definitely not limited to Durarara!!, Eden of the East, Madoka, and Redline) and papers that engage with recent Japanese and Western scholarship on these and other related topics.

This list is not exhaustive, and other topics and approaches will be welcome as well.

All submissions will undergo peer review.

The Symposium program will also feature several roundtable panel discussions, bringing together scholars from different institutions to share different perspectives on anime and manga and the anime/manga studies field.

Roundtable panel 1: Anime and manga studies at 30: Issues and directions.
Roundtable panel 2: Fan cultures and practices in Japan, America, and beyond.
Roundtable panel 3: The future of Japanese visual culture.

If you are interested in presenting your paper, please submit the title, a 300-500 word abstract words, and your CV. All abstracts will undergo peer review.

Potential panel speakers are invited to submit a summary of your experience and background, a formal CV, and a 300-500 word statement of your interest and specific approaches to one of the Roundtable Panel topics. Additional panel topics may be considered. Please forward your submissions by no later than May 15, 2012, to Mikhail Koulikov at
All speakers will receive complimentary admission to Anime Expo 2012.
Some reimbursement of travel expenses may be available.

The 2011 program is available online at

About Paula

Paula lives in the vortex of academic life. She studies medieval Japanese history.
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1 Response to Symposium: AX Anime and Manga Studies 2012

  1. Pingback: Manga Mad Tokyo | Watch the Documentary Film Free Online | SnagFilms « All things international…

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