2012 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium
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 to establish crucial connections and facilitate
briding the 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,
- 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
- The activities of anime/manga fans – for example, fanfiction,
cosplay, anime music videos, and website development. Other ideas are
- Anime and manga adaptations and adaptations of anime and manga:
Failures and successes.
- 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 (such as Durarara, Eden of the East, Madoka, Red Line) 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.
To respond, please forward the title of your paper, an abstract of
300-500 words, and your CV to the attention of Mikhail Koulikov, at
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.
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 participating in any of these discussions,
please contact Mikhail Koulikov, at email@example.com, with a
summary of your experience and background plus a 300-500 word
statement of your interest and specific approaches to your topic
The deadline for all paper and panel proposals is May 15, 2012.
All speakers will receive complimentary admission to Anime Expo 2012.
Some reimbursement of travel expenses may be available.