Call for Papers & Speakers: 2014 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

Call for Papers / Call for Speakers

2014 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

July 3 – July 6
Anime Expo 2014
Los Angeles Convention Center (Los Angeles, CA)

Keynote Speaker: Prof. Marc Steinberg (Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)

Submission Deadline: May 1, 2014

Japanese animation (anime) and comics (manga) represent one of the major contributions that Japan has made to global visual and popular culture. The academic area of anime and manga studies is young, only about 30 year old, but extraordinarily vibrant. It welcomes a wide range of interpretations and approaches, draws on different disciplines and methodologies, and can involve both academics, industry professionals, independent scholars, and fans/enthusiasts.

The Anime and Manga Studies Symposium is a unique opportunity for scholars to look at all aspects of anime and comics – the works themselves, their creators, producers, and audiences, their history, and their global impact. It is an opportunity to present cutting-edge work, to explore a diversity of topics, and to receive constructive feedback. A major goal of the Symposium is to bring together speakers from diverse backgrounds, fields and areas to exchange ideas, chart new directions, and contribute to building a community of anime and manga studies.

Uniquely, it is an integral part of the schedule of Anime Expo, the largest gathering of fans of Japanese popular culture in the U.S. This will give speakers an opportunity to present their research and scholarship directly to public audiences, to interact with fans of anime and manga from around the world, and to become participants in a celebration and appreciation of Japanese popular culture. In turn, the Symposium also introduces the convention’s attendees to the practices and ideas of formal scholarship of Japanese visual culture.

The Symposium invites submissions for papers on a wide range of topics dealing with anime and manga. Possible areas to explore can include—but are not limited to:

• Critical studies of individual creators, directors and animators, especially in larger contexts such as anime/manga as a whole, animation, comics, Japanese literature/film, science fiction, war literature, etc.

• Close readings of particular works, with a focus on genre conventions and subversions and relationships to previous works in anime/manga and other media.

• Gender and Sexuality: Fan service and objectification, the male and female gaze, the interplay of male and female creators, producers, and audiences

• Age, class, race, ethnicity/nationality and other social differences

• Reflections on current social, political and ecological issues

• Responses to the world and to Japanese history: The 3.11 Tohoku Disaster, World War II, interactions between Japan and other countries

• The impact of new technologies (wireless communication, augmented reality, mobile computing) on storytelling in anime/manga

• The use of remix culture: Adaptation and interpretation of Eastern, Western and other
literatures and visual media in Japanese popular culture

• Copyright, obscenity, and other legal issues

• Anime and manga as tools of globalization and agents of promoting Japanese culture

• The history and evolution of anime/manga fandom outside Japan: Fan practices and experiences—clubs, conventions, cosplay, fansites, fansubbing, anime music videos

• The future of anime/manga consumption – streaming, online comics, crowdsourcing, etc.

• Potentials for anime/manga as platforms for social change and anime/manga fans as actors of social change

• The ethics and challenges of presenting Japanese popular culture products around the world

The Symposium particularly invites papers focusing on newer works and emerging creators.

Speakers are also welcome to submit proposals for roundtable discussions on these and related topics.

Potential roundtables can include:

• Differences in theoretical approaches to anime and manga

• Anime/manga fan practices and activities in different countries, cultures and regions

• New directions, new opportunities, and new challenges in thinking, writing, and teaching about anime/manga

The AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium will be open to all AX attendees. Speakers are urged to consider subjects that will be of interest to general non-specialist audiences and do not require significant backgrounds in Asian Studies, media theory, literature, etc, and to tailor their presentations accordingly.

For consideration, please submit the title of your paper or panel, an abstract (300 words maximum) and a CV to


All submissions will be peer-reviewed.

All invited participants will be offered free admission to Anime Expo.

Thanks to Kathryn Hemmann!
See post on CFP (Call for Papers).

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