‘Manga/Comics and Translation’ Symposium

The process of translation – and the work of translators – presents manga scholars with a wide range of questions to ask. What is translated? How do translators in different countries approach manga – Peter Howell asks this question in Strategy and style in English and French translations of Japanese comic books, and Martin de la Iglezia does in The task of manga translation: Akira in the West. Heike Jungst’s “Translating manga”, in Federico Zanettin (Ed.), Comics in translation, is a more high-level analysis. Wood-Hung Lee and Yomei Shaw, in “A textual analysis of Japanese and Chinese editions of manga: Translation as cultural hybridiziation” explore the goals and outcomes of translation as a process.

On April 6, Baruch College (City University of New York) will hold the latest in its series of public discussions on manga, with a specific focus on the challenges inherent to translating manga from Japanese and into other languages, the unique issues that comics/sequential art present for translators, and the role that translators play in the manga industry. Continue reading

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Introduction to Anime/Manga Studies – Otakon 2016 Version

Otakon 2016My work towards developing “anime/manga studies” as an academic field takes several different forms. I run this site – of course, I continue to develop various resources to support the field – the leading one being the Annual Bibliography of Anime and Manga Studies, earlier this year, I once again organized the Academic Program track at Anime Expo, the largest anime convention in the U.S., and I am always glad to draw on my knowledge and experience to provide research/reference assistance to anyone interested in academic approaches to Japanese animation and Japanese comics. In addition, beyond those essentially “support” activities, I also actively look for opportunities to introduce anime/manga studies directly to interested audiences.

In the past, the Otakon anime convention has offered me several such opportunities. And, Otakon 2016, held once again (and for the final time) in Baltimore, did as well – on Otakon’s first day, Friday, August 12, I presented this year’s version of Introduction to Anime/Manga Studies. For it, I was joined by Lisa Lackney (Ph.D. candidate, History, Vanderbilt University) and Andrew Smith (Ph.D. candidate, English, Indiana University of Pennsylvania). Ms. Lackney also participated in this presentation when I first premiered it two years ago; Andrew Smith has been an active contributor to the AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium and has also spoken at other similar events such as the University of Florida Conference on Comics.

Introduction to Anime and Manga Studies (August 12, 2016)

“Ever wanted to talk about Attack on Titan in class? Write a paper on Naruto? Read a book on Madoka? Guess what – you’re not the only one, and you’re in luck. Join members of the Anime and Manga Research Circle to learn about the academici field of – you guessed it – anime and manga studies.”

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Anime and Manga Studies @ Otakon 2016

OtakonFor what it’s worth, for someone like me, the idea of an academic approach to Japanese animation and Japanese comics – and of an actual academic field of anime/manga studies – is something that I have long now taken for granted. But, for many people who are interested in anime and manga, it is still a curiosity or novelty. With this in mind, I do not limit my own work in promoting anime/manga studies to maintaining this site. And in particular, I take every opportunity I can get to introduce anime/manga studies directly to people such as anime convention attendees.

Otakon, the largest anime convention on the East Coast will – for the last time – return to the Baltimore Convention Center on Friday, August 12 (running until Sunday, Aug. 14). As always, its full schedule will not be unveiled for several more weeks, but the Otakon programming department has already contacted all potential speakers who submitted panel proposals, and informed them of the status of their applications.

I am pleased to announce that at Otakon 2016, I will be presenting 3 separate panels: one that I have hosted many times before, although it will be updated, one that I have only tried once in the past, and one more that will be a premiere.

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SGMS/Mechademia Tokyo Conference on Asian Popular Cultures Program

MechademiaThe organizers of the 桜SGMS: Mechademia Conference on Asian Popular Cultures, which will run at Aoyama Gakuin University (Tokyo, Japan) over this weekend (March 18-20) have now announced the full program for this event. The theme for this international conference “Conflicts of Interest in Anime, Manga, and Gaming”, and the program will consist of a total of twelve themed panel sessions, with over 40 individual presentations. It will also feature plenary addresses by Takayuki Tatsumi, who teaches at the Department of English, Keio University, and has been described as “one of Japan’s leading cultural critics”, author and science fiction critic Mari Kotani, and Vince Shortino, Executive Vice President of Japan Channels at Crunchyroll, Inc., the leading global platform for internet streaming of anime and other Asian video content, a “Cosplay: In Costume and Performance” workshop, and a “micro-museum” curated by the photographer, writer, and installation artist Eron Rauch.

Mechademia’s keynote address will be presented by Prof. Hiroshi Deguchi (Department of Computational Intelligence and Systems Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology), one of the founders of Comiket and a co-editor of the forthcoming essay collection The Rise of Japanese Visual Narratives: Cultural, Institutional, and Industrial Aspects of Reproducible Contents (Springer). Other speakers who will be participating in Mechademia include both a number of established who have written and lectured on anime/manga extensively, among them Deborah Shamoon, Marco Pellitteri, Akiko Sugawa-Shimada, Renato Rivera Rusca, Stevie Suan, Wendy Goldberg, Heike Hoffer and Andrea Horbinski, and scholars who are just entering the field. Just some of the specific talks on the program include:

  • Mobile Suit Gundam War Narratives
  • Romantic Love and the ‘Housewife Trap’: A Gendered Reading of The Cat Returns
  • The Heretical Lineage: Images of Rural Blasphemy in Lovecraft and Lovecraftian Manga
  • The Postmodern Magical Girl: The Evolution and Contemporary Representation of the Mahô Shôjo Genre
  • Musical World-Making in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
  • Performing Differently: Convention, Medium, and Globality from Manga (Studies) to Anime (Studies)

桜SGMS: Mechademia Conference on Asian Popular Cultures – full program

Friday, March 18:

Session I: 12:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Opening Introductions
Edmund W. Hoff, Frenchy Lunning

Panel 1 – Impact of the Global Expansion of Cosplay
Convener: Edmund W. Hoff

In the post war period, anime and manga of Japan has seen popular expansion around the world. Initially enjoyed through bookstores and on television, they have come to be consumed in various forms. This panel will explore the extent to which cosplay has had an impact in coordination with this global spread. Edmund Hoff will look at the soft power and hard power relations of two nations with long histories of costuming, the United States and Japan. In a world where cosplay has come to be enjoyed in many countries, Lillian Ruan will examine the global popularity of cosplay in relation to the relatively robust marketing machines of other contents from Japan. Tiffany Lim will discuss the implications of online social media on cosplay communities and with the Filipino cosplay community as a focal point she will consider presentation, esteem, and image of the self. With locations in India as a case study for the popular expansion of Japanese pop culture, Sharmishtha Rawat will explore the forms in which this culture has taken root and the various forms of interaction with greater society. Discussion will span a wide geographic range and share a common association in cosplay and its varied implications.

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‘Alternative Manga’ Symposium

Alt-Manga SymposiumOn April 7, Baruch College (City University of New York) will host Alt-Manga: Alternative Manga Symposium. The full program is still in development, but it will include presentations by Shige Suzuki (Baruch College), George Tsouris (LaGuardia Community College), in conversation with manga artist Akino Kondoh, and blogger/manga industry professional Erica Friedman. The Symposium is receiving support from the Japan Foundation New York, and is open to the all interested attendees, but registration is required.

“The ‘Alt-Manga Symposium’ invites scholars, professionals, and artists in and around the city of New York to give lectures and conversations about Japanese comics (manga). One of the primary objectives of the symposium is to show the rich and diverse world of Japanese comics with a focus on Japanese alternative and non-mainstream manga, and their development in both domestic and transnational contexts.”

This is the second such event at Baruch, building on the success of last year’s Globalized Manga Culture and Fandom Shoujo Manga Symposium and the World of Shojo Manga: Mirrors of Girls’ Desires art exhibition.

Alt-Manga: Alternative Manga Symposium
Thursday, April 7 | 12:40 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.
Baruch College Vertical Campus
55 Lexington Avenue, 5th Floor, Room 165
Free – REGISTRATION FORM

Communicating with Cool Japan (Int’l Communication Association Pre-Conference)

conf2016A few months ago, I was glad to participate in distributing the Call for Papers for Communicating with Cool Japan: New International Perspectives on Japanese Popular Culture, a one-day mini-conference that would run in Tokyo, at Waseda University, on June 8, just ahead of (and in connection with) the 66th annual conference of the International Communication Association. The preliminary schedule for this event, has now been announced.

As the schedule currently stands, it will consist of a keynote address presented by Prof. Koichi Iwabuchi (Monash University), and a total of 9 sessions, running simultaneously (2/3 at a time), each organized around a common theme.

The themes that the sessions will address are:

  • What We Live For: Women, Expression, and Empowerment in Japanese Fan Cultures
  • Methodologies of Cultural Power
  • Image/Text
  • Audience Studies, Otaku, and Fan Cultures
  • Institutionalization and Nostalgia
  • Discontented Japanization
  • The Living Popular
  • Digital Productions: Distribution, Piracy, and Globalization
  • Localization, Adaptation, and Hybridization

These sessions will feature a total of 39 individual presentations, and speakers from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Hungary, Japan, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Given the mini-conference’s broad focus on “any area of Japanese popular culture”, not all of them address anime/manga, but, many do:

Session 1.2: Methodologies of Cultural Power
10:20 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Why hasn’t Japan banned child-porn comics?”: An Investigation into the Socio-legal Attitudes towards Yaoi Manga

Simon Turner (Chulalongkorn University)

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Meiji University “Cool Japan” Summer Program (July 20 – August 5)

Cool Japan 2016Individual classes on anime/manga offered by colleges of all types around the U.S. are nothing new. But, what kinds of options are there for students who are interested in learning about topics related to Japanese visual culture – in Japan? One such option is the Cool Japan Summer Program, which has been offered annually since 2010 by Tokyo’s Meiji University. The application period for this year’s program is now open, and applications are being accepted until February 29.

“Meiji University’s Cool Japan Summer Program is a series of lectures and field trips on a wide variety of subjects relating to Japan’s contemporary images – from manga, anime and music, to fashion, craftsmanship and cuisine. We invite you to discuss many issues of “Japan” with some of the leading researchers and professionals of each field. Let us look into the essence of Japanese pop culture while exploring is current social context and future potential. We will investigate diverse aspects of Japanese society and uncover their underlying traditional elements.”

The program itself will run from Wednesday, July 20, to Friday, August 5, with a total of over 50 hours of content. Particular highlights will include a tour of the J.C. Staff animation studio (Azumanga Daioh, Ikki Tousen, Nodame Cantable, Ano Natsu de Matteru/Waiting in the Summer, among others), and a three-day trip outside Tokyo. It will be limited to 30 participants, who must be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at the time. Participating speakers will include faculty members from several Japanese universities, journalists, translators, and industry professionals. Although Meiji University will not award students any credit for participation, their own individual “home” institutions may. No knowledge of Japanese is required to participate.

Further addition information about the Cool Japan Summer Program, including a brochure and promotional video, is available on the program website.

[Ed.: For the last two years, Tokyo University has offered a similar summer program. Both years, the program’s schedule was focused around a common theme (2014 – “Media Mix“; 2015 – “Mediated Worlds“), and participants in the programs were not charged for their participation, and received reimbursement for their travel expenses and a stipend for accommodations and personal expenses. However, the 2015 program was specifically designed for graduate students. A 2016 program has not been announced as of yet.)

Introduction to Anime & Manga Studies @ Waku Waku +NYC

Waku-Waku-LogoWaku Waku +NYC, the new “Japanese pop culture festival”, will be held this weekend (August 29-30) in New York City, in various locations in Brooklyn. More than just an anime convention, it will include screenings, talks, performances, a fashion show, interactive events, and concerts spread out several locations in Brooklyn.

I am delighted to be able to contribute to this festival by presenting the session “Introduction to anime and manga studies”. This will run on Sunday, August 30, at 11:30 a.m., at the Wythe Hotel (80 Wythe Avenue).

Introduction to Anime and Manga Studies

Mikhail Koulikov
Prof. Kathryn Hemmann
Prof. Shige (CJ) Suzuki

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‘Manga at a Crossroads’ Symposium

On March 6 and April 4, The Ohio State University’s East Asian Studies Center will present Manga at a Crossroads, a two-day symposium on manga as a major form of Japanese popular culture, with influence and impact world-wide. The symposium’s first session will focus on the origins, history and development of manga; the second will examine its global reach. Both sessions will feature talks by leading scholars of Japanese popular culture from around the U.S., Canada, and Great Britain, and are designed to run in connection with the exhibit World of Shojo Manga!: Mirrors of Girls’ Desires, which will be hosted by OSU’s Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum from March 28 to July 15. Continue reading

‘Globalized Manga Culture and Fandom’ Mini-Symposium

Globalized Manga CultureThis month, Baruch College (New York) will host the art exhibition “World of Shojo Manga: Mirrors of Girls’ Desires”. In conjunction with the exhibition, the college will also present a one-day “mini-symposium” on certain aspects of Japanese comics and their worldwide reception.

Globalized Manga Culture and Fandom

Thursday, February 19, 12:40 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.

Baruch College Vertical Campus

55 Lexington Avenue, 5th Floor, Room 165

Speakers:

  • Masami Toku (Professor, Art and Art History, California State University, Chico)

The focus of Prof. Toku’s research is on the effect of popular visual culture, including manga, on children’s art artistic development, and the potential for the use of manga in art education. She is also one of the organizers of the touring exhibition series Shojo Manga! Girls’ Power! (2005-2006) which was presented at various locations around the U.S. and Canada, including the University of New Mexico, Columbia College Chicago, Pratt Institute, the Japanese Canadian National Museum (Burnaby, British Columbia, and the Japan Exhibition and Culture Center at the Embassy of Japan (Washington, DC).

  • Kathryn Hemmann (Assistant Professor, Modern and Classical Languages, George Mason University)

Prof. Hemmann teaches Japanese culture and Japanese literature, and has presented on topics related to Japanese comics extensively, including at the AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, where she has spoken on the concept of the “female gaze” in contemporary Japanese anime and manga. She is also the author of the blog Contemporary Japanese Literature, and is currently working on a book-length project to be entitled “Writing Women Readers: The Female Gaze in Contemporary Japanese Narrative Media”.

Vertical, Inc., based in New York City, is a leading publisher of English translations of contemporary Japanese literature, including non-fiction (The Toyota Leaders: An Executive Guide, Nintendo Magic: Winning the Videogame Wars), novels (Parasite Eve, The Summer of the Ubume), and manga (Chi’s Sweet Home, Paradise Kiss, Sakuran, Twin Spica).

This event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.