College Classes on Anime/Manga

One of the most common questions I face when introducing anime/manga studies as a field of both academic interest (i.e., publishing) and academic activity (teaching) is whether colleges/universities in the U.S. even offer classes on Japanese animation and Japanese comics. My answer is always an absolute yes – but, of course, this kind of answer must be supported. And, this list yields support to the answer – yes, plenty of colleges and universities around the U.S. do offer classes on anime/manga, and in fact, have been offering such classes for close to twenty years now. Of course, the classes themselves differ greatly in their focus and scope – often, these are determined by the specific departments or programs that actually offer them. Many are designed as basic surveys, while some are aimed specifically at language students.

Of course, this list is meant to be illustrative, not comprehensive, and is certainly incomplete. It is also limited specifically to classes that focus on anime/manga, rather that on, for example, Japanese visual culture, animation, or comics/sequential art more broadly. It also specifically excludes classes on drawing manga. Nonetheless, I hope it can, again, provide good support to the statement that yes, plenty of American colleges and universities have welcomed anime/manga as a valid topic for not just scholarship, but also teaching – and, perhaps, provide ideas that could be helpful to anyone who is looking to develop such a class in the future!

As with many of the resources that I maintain, this list will be updated on a continuous/rolling basis. If you know of a class on anime/manga that is currently being offered at a post-secondary institution in the U.S., or will be offered in the near future, and would like to see it listed here, please let me know!

[Last updated: April 24, 2017]

Bowdoin College

Japanese Animation – History, Culture, Society

Animation is a dominant cultural force in Japan, and perhaps its most important cultural export. This class will examine the ways in Japanese animation represents Japan’s history and society and the diverse ways in which it is consumed abroad. How does animation showcase Japanese views of childhood, sexuality, national identity, and gender roles? How does its mode of story-telling build upon traditional pictorial forms in Japan? Focusing on the aesthetic, thematic, social and historical characteristics of Japanese animation films, this course will provide a broad survey of the place of animation in 20 century Japan. Films will include Grave of Fireflies, Spirited Away, Ghost in the Shell, Akira, and Princess Kaguya.

Japanimation and Manga (Spring 2001)

“Japanese animation and manga comic books are targeted at every level of Japanese society, from school girls in sailor suits to salaried men in business suits. Yet only a small portion of this genre has made it to the United States, leading to a distorted image of Japan. Analyzes anime and manga within its historical and social context, providing insight into social change in Japan during the modern period. No knowledge of Japanese required.”

Brown University

Anime Studies
(Modern Culture and Media)

“The scholarly study of anime has rapidly matured over the past few years, and now represents a key site for debates over the social status of drawn characters, the role of animation within larger media ecologies, and the transnational reach of Japanese popular culture. Through close engagement with the central books in anime studies and the major works of anime history, this course examines how anime has forced the rethinking of gender, sexuality, labor, intellectual property, narrative form, and the convergence of on and off-screen space.”

California College of the Arts

Media History – Japan: Manga/Anime

“Animé is not relegated to the screen in Japan: it permeates many aspects of everyday modern life, from the Tokyo Animé Center in Akihabara, said to be “sacred ground” for Japan’s otaku culture; to public statues of characters from Pokemon, Evangelion and Gundam; to “Electric Town,” a place for electronics and gadgets of every variety. Although designed with Animation majors in mind, this program, which explores the diversity of Japanese animation art in all its myriad forms, is open to students from all disciplines. The class begins in Tokyo where we explore Japanese culture and animation production, including feature films, video games, TV production, computer animation, and independent filmmaking. We’ll experience firsthand Tokyo’s Comiket (Comic Market), the largest Japanese animé, manga, and game convention, held only twice a year. We then travel by bullet train to Hiroshima to attend the biennial Hiroshima international animation festival.”

California State University, Fullerton

Japanese Culture and Society: Anime

“Japanese culture and society, as well as multicultural analysis of global issues as reflected in Japanese animated films.”

California State University, Long Beach

Japanese Anime and Manga

“Students examine, analyze, and discuss selected topics in Japanese culture and modern society by analyzing Japanese animation (anime) and printed cartoons (manga). Familiarity with Japanese language is desirable but not required.”

California State University, Monterey Bay

Manga, Anime & Modern Japan

“This class uses Japanese manga (cartoons) and Anime as modern mirrors that reflect the Japanese experience of rapid economic and social transformation over the past 150 years. Starting with the examination of ancient Japanese style of visual expression, in this course we will trace how popular visual texts such as Manga and Anime sketch out a parallel world that is linked both historically and culturally to the “imagined community” of the Japanese nation-state.”

California State University, Sacramento

A History of Manga
[syllabus]

“A survey of the history of manga (Japanese graphic novels) that will trace the historical antecedents of manga from ancient Japan to today. The course will focus on major artists, genres, and works of manga produced in Japan and translated into English.”

Carleton College

Modern Japanese Literature and Manga in Translation
(Fall 2016, Japanese)

This course is a study of major works of modern fiction in Japan and their recent adaptations in manga. We will pay particular attention to cultural, aesthetic, and ideological aspects of Japanese literature in the twentieth century and to the relationship between the text, the author, and the society. We will also read their adaptations in manga. Manga has become the most popular literary medium during the last century and we will consider the relationship between modern Japanese literature and manga. This class requires no prior knowledge of Japanese language, literature, manga, or culture.

The World of Anime in Translation

“This course examines the extraordinary achievement of anime (Japanese animation), from the modern classics by Hayao Miyazaki, Isao Takahata, and Mamoru Oshii, to more recent anime directors. The anime will be studied for their aesthetic, cultural, and auteur contexts. Particular attention will be paid to the relationship of the anime to traditional arts, culture and society. This course is conducted in English and all the course materials are in English translation or in English subtitles.”

World of Japanese Manga in Translation

This course will examine manga (Japanese comic books that first appeared in post-World War II Japan). Manga are avidly read in Japan as a main component of Japanese popular culture. They have a huge influence on other media such as films and anime. The genre has greatly expanded its readership outside of Japan during the last decade. We will read a variety of manga aimed at different gender and age groups, in English translation. The texts will be interpreted as a means of understanding the world-views of the Japanese, and how Japanese society has evolved in recent decades.

Carnegie Mellon University

Miyazaki: Anime Legend – His Life and Work

“Hayao Miyazaki is Japan’s and perhaps the world’s greatest animation director of all time. The entertaining plots, compelling characters, and breathtaking animation in his films have earned him international renown from critics as well as public recognition within Japan.

In this course, we will examine the aesthetic, thematic, and historical characteristics of each of his films. What social conflicts inspired his work? Who were the bases of his characters? Whom did he inspire? Besides his films, we will also briefly examine his other works, including shorts and TV series.

The course is open to all interested students, no previous knowledge of Miyazaki or anime is assumed.”

Centre College

Manga and Anime: Form and Practice

“This course surveys the history and genres of Japanese manga (graphic novels) and animation films. In addition to discussing common themes and narrative forms employed, we learn to distinguish and describe varying drawing styles and framing structures. The final project asks students to create their own manga or anime (a sample piece and explanation of the remaining narrative) with commentary on how that fits within the larger field.).”

Chapman University

Anime and War
(Fall 2016, University Honors Program)

“Japanese animation or anime has become much more popular in the United States over the last three decades, and today Japan State policy sees the medium as an important ‘cultural asset.’ However anime is not new, nor is it a medium exclusive to Japan. One might even argue that many technologies of visual animation pre-date its live-action cinematic cousin. As Paul Virilio and others have argued, the history of both animated and live -action film are intimately related to the parallel histories of 20th century warfare. This course will trace the development of mid- and late-20th century Japanese animated films in terms of their relationship to war. Analyzing Japanese films on historical, narrative, diegetic, and formal levels, we will consider relations among image production and viewing, in terms of economic, cultural, social, and political parameters. Readings will include classic theoretical texts on war and cinema, as well as more recent historical and sociological readings specific to Japanese and Pacific contexts. This course will focus upon the following four sub-units; 1) animation theory and modern Japanese visual history 2) the Pacific War and politics of memory 3) the Cold War, ideological alliances, and cultural-economic empires and lastly 4) animated projections and the War on Terror.”

City College of San Francisco

Manga and Anime

“An overview of the history and styles of Japanese comics (manga) and animation (animé), and the role they play in Japanese, American, and world cultures both as artistic forms of expression and as representations of social and political issues.”

Columbia University

The Anime Effect: Media and Technoculture in Contemporary Japan

“Culture, technology, and media in contemporary Japan. Theoretical and ethnographic engagements with forms of mass mediation, including anime, manga, video, and cell-phone novels. Considers larger global economic and political contexts, including post-Fukushima transformations.”

DePaul University

Anime History

“This course is an Introduction to the history, development and cultural significance of Japanese animation. We will explore how historical and cultural concepts of Japan have translated to the screen, as well as the influence of economic forces and changing technology. Students will gain an insight into anime’s origins and cultural influences through an examination of the World War II, post-war, mid- and late-twentieth-century historical periods of Japan. This class will analyze particular examples of anime and anime artists in their historical context, emphasizing the use of primary sources.”

Elmhurst College

Japanese for Anime Enthusiasts

“This is a beginner’s level Japanese course with a focus on developing students’ listening, speaking, reading and writing skills in the target language. Students will be introduced to basic language structure and vocabulary, as well as to two of the three writing systems: hiragana and katakana. The grammatical components will be tied to theme based units, which will explore the cultural aspects of everyday living in Japan. Students will further research these topics and utilize the learned structures by analyzing and discussing their favorite anime as well as those anime that are considered classics in Japan. With the use of commercially produced software, students will apply the learned skills into creating their own anime/manga. The software comes with templates that students can use, so drawing skills are not a necessary prerequisite. Furthermore, this course does not have an art component but will explore the cultural and linguistic side of anime. Student will be graded on the use of appropriate linguistic structures and cultural reference in their works.”

Emory University

Non-Western National Cinemas – Japanese Anime
(Spring 2017, Film Studies)
[Research Guide]

Florida State University

Japanese Animation

“This course follows the history of Japanese animation from the early 20th century to the present time, with special focus on the contemporary period. The course investigates not only the richness of what is commonly referred to as anime, but also anime’s various origins in Japan and abroad.”

Georgetown University

Japanese Anime Film

“Generally, we will spend several sessions each on Anime Films which are regarded as outstanding by most critics, and which often consist of a constellation of series episodes, movies, OAV’s, etc. We will generally deal with pairings of films that can be compared or contrasted productively, along with a few other related films in some cases. We will also become familiar with leading Anime creators, such as Miyazaki Hayao, Oshii Mamoru, Kon Satoshi, Shinkai Makoto, and Kamiyama Kenji. We will focus on the “historical” importance, thematic relationships, artistic qualities, and technical aspects of these Anime Films. Single sessions will be devoted to new or recent Anime that are especially noteworthy, and which are of value for thematic, artistic, and technical comparisons with other major Anime in the schedule. We will also examine connections with Manga versions, and other literary and historical underlying sources for Japanese Anime Films. Students are expected to attend class sessions and work with the course Blackboard assignments and materials regularly. In addition to short reports and comparisons, students will write one long term paper at least 25 pages long, or alternatively, shorter mid-term and final papers, on different topics, of at least 12 pages each.”

George Mason University

Introduction to Anime and Manga Studies
[Syllabus]

“Every year, there are hundreds of fan conventions dedicated to Japanese popular culture held in North America, and there are dozens more in South America, Europe, and Asia. New anime and manga titles are constantly licensed and released in the United States and other overseas territories, and pirate sites provide additional translated and subtitled works to eager consumers in every corner of the globe. The worldwide popularity of Japanese entertainment media is undeniable, as is its influence on artistic communities and fannish subcultures. In this class we will watch, read, and study anime and manga in order to arrive at a deeper understanding and appreciation of the cultures and histories that have generated these art forms and how they continue to shape international mediascapes.

This course serves as an introduction to four main strands of scholarly inquiry into anime, manga, and their related media and fan practices. We will examine anime and manga from a historical perspective, a cinematic and literary perspective, the perspective of Cultural Studies, and the perspective of the emerging discipline of Fan Studies. Throughout the semester, we will return to the themes of transnational economies and gender, both of which are integral to the study of demographically determined intellectual properties. By the end of the course, students will be intellectually equipped to engage deeply not only with anime and manga but also with a wider range of global entertainment media.”

Georgia Institute of Technology

Japanese Culture and Society Through Anime

“The anime class surveys the history of anime in Japan, compares techniques between Japanese anime and Hollywood animation, and explores various themes expressed in Japanese anime from feminism to environmentalism, war to everyday life, word plays to linguistic diversities, and gloomy animator lives to the glory of Japanese anime on the global stage. It also features cultural conflicts, compromises, and cooperation seen in joint ventures of Japanese anime production companies and their Hollywood counterparts.”

Harvard University

Anime as Global Popular Culture

“This course examines Japanese animation (or anime) through its generic conventions, formal aesthetic, and narrative motifs. At the same time, the course approaches anime as a lens through which we study contemporary media culture and its local and global production, distribution, and reception. In this sense, anime will be treated as a node in an extensive transnational network involving commercial as well as non-commercial mediums such as graphic novels, live-action films, video games, character merchandises, and fanzines/fan-events.”

Kalamazoo College

Manga/Anime and Gender in Modern Japan

“Why are manga/anime so popular? Let’s find out. This course undertakes a critical analysis of manga (comics) and anime (animation). We will examine these media’s historical origins, narrative features, the world’s reception and much more. The samurai warrior, the bishônen (beautiful boy), and the sexy cyborg-gender in Japanese culture has vivid representations. This course explores constructions of masculinity and femininity, paying attention to the figures of the girl as the postwar descendant of the bishônen, the ostensibly undersocialized otaku and yaoi culture and transgender manga where imagination opens the door to alternate and critical realities.”

Macalester College

Girls’ Manga: Gender/Sexuality in Japan through Popular Culture
(Fall 2016, Asian Languages & Cultures/Japanese/Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies)

“This course is a brief survey of girls’ comics in Japan, also known as shōjo manga, largely produced for girls, by women. We will trace major historical trends in girls’ manga and culture, from around the 1910’s to the early 21st century. As the foundation for the class, we will read manga series to sample the wide range of style and content developed over the relatively brief history of manga, while developing a basic knowledge of major artists and the workings of the shōjo manga industry (magazines, reader-artist relationship). Along the way, we will also work on visual analysis skills and examine the relationship between style/technique, narratives, and identities. Short secondary readings will be assigned, largely specific to shōjo manga but also related to feminist theory, media studies, etc.

As a course on gender and sexuality, this course addresses the following: What is the significance of manga “for girls” in terms of content, readers, creators, etc.? How do these narratives and images take pleasure in / resist / reproduce / etc. various gender/sexual norms? Instead of judging texts as “good” or “bad,” our focus is to trace forms of desire found within shōjo manga—whether “guilty,” feminist, or more ambiguous—against the historical context of modern Japanese society. We will seek to challenge preconceptions about subjects & objects of desire and grasp forms of logic behind shocking or surprising depictions of sexualities. Please note that we will occasionally encounter graphic content involving depictions of sex and violence (e.g. sexual assault, rape), which will be discussed in class. (If you have any concerns, please speak with me ASAP, and we can consider whether the class is suitable for you or if you can complete an alternate assignment, etc.) In short, this class will push your ability to think, speak, and write (even draw) about gender and sexualities, as well as engage with popular cultural texts from a wider range of perspectives. A background in queer and feminist studies, Japan, and/or art is certainly welcome but not necessary.”

[Ed. note: Previously offered at Yale University. The syllabus for it is available online.]

New York University

Anime

“This course will introduce students to the artistic and cultural aspects of anime – Japanese animation. The release of the recent direct-to-video tie-in film The Animatrix is a testament to the fact that this culturally specific cinematic practice has transcended its national boundaries and become a truly global phenomenon. For Japanese film producers, anime is not just a critical component of a strategy to compete with Hollywood’s box office and home video dominance, it is quite frequently an intervention into cultural debates regarding the meaning and identity of the Japanese nation. The class will consider both the aesthetics of Japanese animation, its distinct visual stylistics and complex narrative constructions, as well as its recurring thematics, archetypes and generic expressions, and examine how these cinematic products engage the concerns of contemporary Japanese society. The primary focus will be the full-length features of anime auteurs including Miyazaki Hayao, Tezuka Osamu, Oshii Mamoru, Takahata Isao and Kawajiri Yoshiaki.”

Northern Arizona University

Apocalyptic Anime
(Spring 2017, First Year Seminar)

“Is the end of the world near? Are we all doomed? This in-depth discussion and presentation-based seminar will provide students with a guided opportunity to delve deep below the surface of dystopian and apocalyptic anime and manga in order to examine ethical, moral, and human values attached to certain works. Students will practice critical thinking and effective oral communication skills by…

– Engaging in dynamic, student-led class discussion
– Investigating the relationships between historical and modern contexts and creative human expressions
– Exploring hope of a better future for humanity through final group digital storytelling projects.”

Oberlin College

Japanese Religion and Pop Culture: Manga and Anime

“This course examines the representation of religion in manga and anime and explores the role these new media have played in re-creating the religious and cultural landscape of modern Japan. In addition to analyzing the form and content of these new media, we will be looking at the production of manga and anime by religious organizations and analyzing the reception of these popular media by devout fans and religious practitioners.”

Portland State University

Masterworks of World Literature – Manga
(World Languages and Literatures, Spring 2017)
Can be used as one of the electives in the post-baccalaureate Comics Studies certificate program

Queens College

Modern Japanese in Translation
(East Asian Studies, Spring 2016)

“In this class, Anime (Japanese Animated motion pictures) will be studied as a form expressing post WWII Japanese social and psychological states. The class will focus on the works of Osamu Tezuka and Hayao Miyazaki, the two most influential animators of the 20th and 21st century, as well as other related Anime pieces and films.”

Rice University

Critical Analysis of Anime

“This course will consist of case studies highlighting unique elements within the anime industry. Discussion topics will touch on different thematic interpretations between the East and West and culturally relevant perspectives on social and philosophical topics. Students will also encounter discussions on translation, animation studios, and the anime creation process.”

Rochester Institute of Technology

Anime

This introductory survey course examines the history, aesthetics and style of Japanese animation or “anime.” The course provides a vocabulary for the analysis of anime as well as the critical and analytical skills for interpreting anime as an art form. This course will develop students’ skills in viewing, analyzing, interpreting and evaluating the art of anime. Students will learn to analyze important series and films, and connect anime with contemporary and historical trends in Japan. Emphasis will be placed on the analysis of works by major directors and studios including: Tezuka, Sugii, Miyazaki, Oshii, Kon, Takahata, Shinkai, Watanabe, Studio Ghibli, Studio 4C and Madhouse. Background knowledge of animation, film or anime is helpful but no specific knowledge is required or expected.

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Anime: Introduction to Japanese Animation

“Anime as an object of cultural, historical, and media analysis. Development of Japanese animation from post-1945 to the present, with special focus on examples from the 1980s onward. Utilizes a variety of approaches to anime, including media theory, reception theory, issues of globalization, and cross-cultural adaptation.”

Stanford University

Dramatic Manga

“In depth reading and analysis of so-called “dramatic” or “realistic” manga (gekiga), concentrating on one of the major contributors to that genre (Saito Takao, Tatsumi Yoshihiro, Taniguchi Jiro, Sugiura Hinako, Mase Motoro, and others). Readings in Japanese and English translation.”

Manga as Literature

“Analysis of representative manga as narratives that combine verbal and visual elements, with attention to historical and cultural background. Representative manga by Tezuka Osamu, Tatsumi Yoshihiro, Koike Kazuo, Taniguchi Jiro, Natsume Ono, Kono Fumiyo, and others. All readings in English.”

Religion in Anime and Manga
(Winter 2017, Religion Studies)

“Religious themes and topoi are ubiquitous in Japanese anime and manga. In this course, we will examine how religions are represented in these new media and study the role of religions in contemporary Japan. By doing this, students will also learn fundamental concepts of Buddhism and Shinto.”

Stevenson University

Anime in Text and Film

St. Olaf College

History of Anime
(Asian Studies, Fall 2014)

The Philosophy of Anime
(Asian Studies)

“This course considers works of Japanese anime from the post-World War II period to the present. The course begins with an introduction to the language and theory of Anime Studies. In subsequent weeks, students watch and analyze a variety of anime genres. This course employs a comparative approach to the study of anime; each anime is paired with excerpts from germane works of philosophy or literature. All anime viewed for this course include English subtitling. Counts toward Asian studies major and Japan studies, film studies, and media studies concentrations.”

Stony Brook University

Topics in Humanities: Manga and Anime

“Manga and Anime are now both extremely popular in the US as well as in most other countries. Where did they begin? And, what are they? This course will provide an overview, where watching anime and reading manga will be the core of the course. This course will supplement this overview with a study of the history, contemporary state, and complexity of manga and anime through reflection, class discussion and short readings.”

The Ohio State University

Analyzing the Appeal of Manga

“In recent years artifacts of Japanese popular culture have spread worldwide, creating a global youth culture that is attracting research interest. This seminar focuses on manga that have been translated into English.

The objective of this course is to introduce students to manga as research resources that can be analyzed from many perspectives. Manga selected for the course are by some of the most famous Japanese cartoonists and represent a range of genres and styles. Students will enhance their information literacy skills and develop presentation techniques while exploring the fascinating world of manga.”

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Anime and Japanese Popular Culture

“Examines anime (Japanese animation) and manga (graphic novels), two of the most important cultural products to appear in the post-war period, as a way of understanding the changing character of contemporary Japanese culture and society. As anime is a rich and diverse medium, students approach it from a variety of perspectives: as art, as social commentary, and as Japanese and global popular culture.”

The University of Texas, Dallas

Literature of Fantasy: Anime/Manga – Serious Fun
[Syllabus]

“In this course we will present a selection of Japanese anime (animation), manga (graphic novels/comics), poetry and light novels, focusing on the ways they represent and adapt a wide variety of fantasy themes and conventions. For many centuries, human cultures have used visual and verbal fantasy narratives as modes of philosophical speculation and exploration, as well as popular forms of entertainment. Anime and manga represent new manifestations of this ancient quest and present interesting challenges to us as readers (interpreters) and consumers of culture as well as creative contributors to it.”

*** NEW ***
The University of the South

The Fantastical World of Anime
(Asian Studies)

This course explores the many worlds portrayed in Japanese animation and draws from research in anime studies to trace animation history from its origin in the woodblock prints of the 1700s to the post-modern era. As Japan’s largest cultural export, the art of animated films and animation has spread to all corners of the world. The course examines animated films and animation as a genre rooted in Japanese culture while considering as well the anime subculture that has gained popularity in America and elsewhere.

The University of Utah

Japanese Anime

“This class introduces anime, Japanese animation, including its history, genres, and cultural and social contexts. Through critical analyses, reflections, and interpretations of anime, this class provides its participants an understanding of postmodern visual culture, examining issues of globalization, visual simulation, nature and technologies, spectators’ subjectivity, and representation of gender and sexuality.”

Utah is, to the best of my knowledge, the only university in the U.S. that currently offers a full Animation Studies program (B.A., Film & Media Arts, Animation Emphasis), with this class as a possible elective.

Tufts University

Japanese Film Director: Hayao Miyazaki (Seminar: Special Topics)

“This course explores in depth the works of Hayao Miyazaki, considered by many to be the greatest living animator in the world today. Starting with his first hit television series Future Boy Conan we will go chronologically through his major films ending with his most recent available work, Ponyo. Along the way we will examine such recurring themes and issues as the role of trauma, apocalypse and the child’s point of view, as well as his animation techniques, use of imagery and music. We will also look at several Western films (Wall-e, Where the Wild Things Are and Avatar) for comparative purposes.”

[This course is taught by Prof. Susan Napier, author of Panic sites: The Japanese imagination of disaster from Godzilla to Akira (Journal of Japanese Studies, 19:2, Summer 1993), the first paper on Japanese animation published in an English language academic journal, and Anime from Akira to Mononoke: Experiencing Contemporary Japanese Animation, (2001) the first book on anime published by a major Western academic publisher.]

Union College

Explore Japanese Manga and Anime

This course examines the rich world of Japanese manga (comic books) and anime (animation), one of the most significant cultural products in Japan and a dominant global media export. The topics include the issues of the relationship between humans and nature; gender relations; humans and technology; “Japaneseness” of anime; and globalization of manga. This course will be taught in English and no prior Japanese language knowledge is required.

University at Buffalo (State University of New York)

The Fantastical World of Japanese Anime
(Fall 2016, Asian Studies)

“In the past three decades Japanese popular culture has surpassed the technology industry to become Japans largest export. In particular, anime (Japanese animation), the most profitable form of Japanese popular culture, has become increasingly visible all over the world. Although anime fandom in the U.S. is anchored by several works of mass appeal, it remains a subculture whose increasingly influential devotees occupy a cultural fringe. This course introduces students to this unique subculture and introduces an academic approach to viewing the anime art form. In addition to the focus on specific genres of anime, this course will pay special attention to four influential anime directors; Oshii Mamoru, Satoshi Kon, Hosoda Mamoru and Miyazaki Hayao. This course is designed to be interactive, while it builds a rigorous understanding of the anime medium through its history, its artists, and its institutions. Not only will the course focus on critical analysis of films, it will use anime as a medium by which to study Japanese culture at large, with some attention given to production. Taught in English.”

University of California, Berkeley

National Cinemas: Anime
(Spring 2017, Film & Media)

“How does anime create meaning? How has it become a key mode of expression in many cultures today? How does it reveal changes in culture and create new forms for processing powerful feelings? How does the anime industry work, and what does it show about global change? How does watching anime transform our understanding of our life experiences?

This course is a lecture and discussion course focusing on delving into a deeper into Japanese animation, or anime, as a medium from its earliest forms to contemporary works. We will think through issues of digital culture, seriality, East Asian transnational circulations, and the relation between anime, manga (comics), gaming and cinema; limited and full animation; cultural disaster and the post-war; bodies and sexuality, and queer/yaoi (BL) and otaku culture, as well as anime’s place within contemporary media theory. We will view works by Miyazaki Hayao, Kon Satoshi, Anno Hideaki, Oshii Mamoru, and many others.”

University of California, Davis

Ecology, Technology and Anime
(Fall 2016, First-Year Seminar)

“In this course we watch selected anime films and shows to examine contemporary anthropocene (human-altered planet) ecology, and science and technology. In a world of global climate change, genetic engineering, cyborgs, robots, and other sentient non-humans, Japanese and Japanese inspired anime and manga offer an intriguing, creepy, and enjoyable way to explore the serious issues of anthropocene ecology, and sciences and technology studies. In this course students will watch selected anime films and shows, and read some accompanying theoretical and poetic texts. The class will explore issues and themes like global warming, extinction, biomedicalization, anthropomorphism, becoming animal, and other human nonhuman relations – both technological and biological, augmentation and alteration.”

University of California, Santa Barbara

Understanding Manga
(Spring 2017, History of Art & Architecture)

“This class will do close readings of manga (cartoons/comics/graphic novels by Japanese), considering examples from the 19th century to the present. We will analyze the visual design, narrative progression, and the word and image relationship. Historically, we will think about the shifting definition of manga through time and consider how politics, changing media, and globalization played a role in determining the form. Student discussion, presentations, and a paper required.

Previous knowledge of manga is welcomed (or more broadly Japan and Japanese).”

University of Central Florida

Manga, Anime, & Gender: Cross Cultural Texts & Communication

“This seminar will examine contemporary Japanese magna (graphic novels) and amine (animated TV and film), combining intercultural literacy and communication and critical literary and textual analysis. The course will take as its primary focus the message construction of gendered norms (and the critique of those norms) in various genres of contemporary magna and anime, considering not just what these constructions mean within their Japanese context but also what happens when they are translated for American audiences. All tests will be in English translation or subtitled.”

University of Florida

Reading Manga
[Syllabus]

“This course aims to enhance students’ reading skills in Japanese as well as skills in the rest of the four main areas of language learning (speaking, listening, and writing) through manga. Students review and learn Japanese structures and expressions, and they have the opportunity to experience colloquialisms, contractions, interjections, and other elements of speech. Since this class has students with different proficiency levels, it incorporates individual reading activities, utilizing Extensive Reading (a.k.a. Graded Reading). For this, students choose their own materials and focus on acquiring skills to enjoy the content of manga without translation. As a part of class, students learn and discuss the world of Japanese comics and visual novels in
English so they can enjoy manga further from many perspectives.”

University of Hawai’i at Manoa

Japanese Cultural Studies (Manga and Anime)

“EALL 375 is a survey of Japanese manga (comics) and anime (animation) from their beginnings in the middle of the 20th century to the present. Although manga and anime are enjoyed by an international audience, this course will explore them as a Japanese medium and critically examine how they interact with ideology and history in Japan.”

University of Massachusetts Amherst

Manga/Anime

“After antagonizing much of the rest of the world in World War II, and then waging a struggle for economic supremacy in the 1980’s, Japan now finds itself in the curious position of being a phenomenally successful exporter of pop-culture. The face of this wave of cultural exports has been manga (cartoons, comic books, and graphic novels) and anime (animation).This course has three fundamental aims. First, to give students tools to understand manga and anime on their own terms. Second, to investigate the role manga and anime play in Japan. Third, to examine the ways that manga and anime flow from one place to another and see what assumptions control or constrain that flow. To that end, we will examine manga and anime in their various forms such as newspaper comics, serialized graphic novels, made-for-television animation, OVA (original video animation), and feature length cinematic animation.”

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Manga as a Japanese Art and Culture

“This course explores contemporary Japanese language and culture through the pop cultural media of manga and anime. Topics include manga history, production, and various genres of Japanese comic books, manga.”

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Anime and Popular Culture
(Japanese, Spring 2017)

“The goal of this course is to provide an overview of anime as a category of film. The course will cover anime’s unique characteristics, its genres and classifications, key movies/shows and movements, and a brief overview of its history. No prior knowledge of anime or film or the Japanese language is required.”
[Syllabus]

University of Oregon

Transnational Japanese Animation History and Theory
[Syllabus]

University of Pittsburgh

Global Anime
(Fall 2015)

“This course will provide a systematic introduction to the forms, history, and culture of Japanese animation (anime). While surveying the historical developments, artistic styles, major themes and subgenres of anime under both the national context of Japan and a wider trajectory of globalization, this course will particularly focus on analyzing the forms and idioms of anime in the context of changing technological conditions and their cultural ramifications. The students will be expected to relate the aesthetic and cultural characteristics of anime with their own daily experience of web surfing, video gaming, and social networking, and to expand their artistic interest in anime to wider theoretical questions that are especially relevant in the inform ation age, such as posthumanism, techno-orientalism, media convergence, and participatory cultures. The methods of instruction will include assigned readings; in-class viewings of films; lectures and discussions; a take home midterm exam; oral presentation; and final paper.”

University of Rochester

Anime: Japanese Animation

University of Southern California

Japanese Anime

“Explores the visual, dramatic and social conventions of Japanese animation in film and television. Examines anime fan communities, manga and their impact.”

Ursinus College

Anime
(Fall 2016, East Asian Studies/Film Studies)

“It’s not just for otaku anymore. In this course on Japanese anime, one of Japan’s greatest contributions to global culture, we will study the history of anime, its social and historical context, its approach to story-telling, and its themes, ranging from mecha and cyborg genres to history, romance, and Miyazaki Hayao. We’ll watch both long-form and short-form anime, and explore its connections with manga. And yes, we’ll even take a look at fan culture. The course is taught in English, and all videos have Englishsubtitles. The course fulfills the “G” (Global Study) or “H” (Humanities) core requirement and the national cinema requirement for the Film Studies minor. All students must register for Screenings(FS250S), which are held on Monday evenings.”

Vanderbilt University

Self and Cyborg in Japanese Animation
(Asian Studies)

“Can one be human in a nonhuman body? At what point do technological enhancements to the body diminish one’s humanity? To what extent can an artificial intelligence develop a sense of self? What is the relationship between body, mind, self, and identity? How do visual and electronic media construct and deconstruct self-identity? Who are you? These are but a few questions that this course tackles through the medium of Japanese animation (anime). Anime treated includes the works of Oshii Mamoru, Kon Satoshi, and Nakamura Ryutaro.”

Washington University St. Louis

Freshman Seminar – Japanese Animation

“In the contemporary media landscape, film, television, games, publishing, and merchandizing are increasingly connected and help distribute cultural products across the globe. Japanese animation is one of the earliest and most successful examples of this powerful strategy. This course examines the global franchising industry of Japanese anime to explore basic questions about media and popular culture: How do we define a medium? How do consumer practices shape media and popular culture? What is the impact of globalization on media, and global media on national culture? Our investigations of Japan “cool” and its avid consumer cultures will cover: animation aesthetics and technology; media convergence; anime fan cultures; science-fiction and remaking the body, history, and identity through global media. No prerequisites.”

Wellesley College

Japanese Animation

“What makes Japan tick? New visitors to Japan are always struck by the persistence of traditional aesthetics, arts, and values in a highly industrialized society entranced by novelty. Through animation films (English subtitles) and readings on animation, we will explore this phenomenon from the inside. Focus is on the works of Tezuka Osamu, Hayao Miyazaki, and others. No Japanese language required.”