AX 2017 Academic Program

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Planning on attending next month’s Anime Expo convention? (Los Angeles, California – July 1-4)? Have always been interested in “anime and manga studies” – or just in the idea of approaching anime and manga in the same way that scholars approach film and literature? For that matter, want to see just how scholars from many different fields talk about anime and manga, and would like to participate in this conversation?

Anime Expo 2017 will once again offer an Academic Program (also known as the AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium) – bringing together college/university professors, graduate students, undergraduates, and independent scholars from around the world for four days of lectures, presentations and discussions on a wide range of topics related to anime and manga. The Academic Track will be open to all AX attendees – no particular academic background is required, and all are welcome!

AX 2017 Academic Program
“Teaching Happiness” – Education With and About Anime and Manga

Anime Expo 2017
Los Angeles Convention Center
LACC 411 / AX Live Programming 4
July 1-4

Saturday, July 1:

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Introduction and Welcome
Mikhail Koulikov (Executive Producer, Anime and Manga Studies Projects)

Keynote Address
Consuming Japan: Popular Culture and the Globalizing of America

mckevitt
Andrew McKevitt
Assistant Professor, History
Louisiana Tech University

Anime fandom in the United States was born at a tense moment in the relationship between the United States and Japan. To many Americans it seemed that, decades after the end of World War II, Japan’s newfound global economic power would challenge the U.S.-dominated international system. Popular publications foretold the “Danger from Japan,” or the “Coming War with Japan.” But a national “Japan Panic” was not the only way Americans encountered Japan in the 1970s and 1980s. Throughout the country, in local places like automobile factories and anime fan clubs, Americans engaged with Japanese culture in new and transformative ways.

Andrew McKevitt teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in the history of U.S. foreign relations, the postwar United States, modern Russia, and modern Japan. He received a Ph.D. from Temple University, and previously served as the Hollybush Fellow in Cold War History at Rowan University and as a visiting assistant professor of history at Philadelphia University

Dr. McKevitt’s research focuses on U.S. cultural relations in the postwar era. His book on the history of U.S.-Japan relations in the 1970s and 1980s told through the lens of consumerism in the United States will be published in October. In 2011, he received the Stuart L. Bernath Scholarly Article Prize, awarded by the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations for the year’s best article in the field, for his paper “You Are Not Alone!” Anime and the Globalizing of America. Published in the journal Diplomatic History, it examines the local, national, and transnational cultural networks created by fans of Japanese animation in the 1970s and 1980s. Continue reading

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Call for Papers: AX 2017 Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

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As the Executive Producer for the annual AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, the Academic Program track at Anime Expo, the largest anime convention in the U.S., I am pleased to announce the CALL FOR PAPERS for this year’s Symposium. Please feel free to distribute this to your colleagues, students, friends/acquaintances, or anyone else who you think may be interested.

The Symposium will be held over all four days of AX 2017 (July 1 to July 4), and if you are interested in presenting your research on topics related to anime/manga to AX’s audience, please submit the title of your presentation, a short summary (300 words maximum) and your CV to mkoulikov@gmail.com. The deadline for submissions is May 5.

Since its start in 2011, the Symposium has been a leading site for academic discussion on how anime/manga are created and distributed, their history, the themes and issues they explore, their connections to other Japanese and global media, how fans around the world interact with them. Uniquely, as an integral part of Anime Expo’s programming, it serves to foster relationships and facilitate conversation between academics and the general public while also supporting and promoting the development of anime/manga studies as an academic field. Just some of the speakers who have participated in the Symposium over the years have included:

The Symposium is inter-disciplinary and welcomes approaches from different fields. Early-career academics, graduate students, undergraduates, and independent scholars/industry professionals are especially urged to submit proposals! Continue reading

AX 2016 Anime and Manga Studies Symposium Program

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After several months of intensive work, I am pleased to announce the final program for this year’s AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium. Running over all four days of Anime Expo, the largest anime convention in the U.S., the Symposium brings together a group of scholars who are interested in presenting their academic research on topics related to Japanese animation and Japanese comics directly to Anime Expo’s attendees. The symposium has several goals – to foster the development of a community of anime/manga studies, to give scholars an opportunity to share their work with an appreciative and understanding audience, and to introduce attendees to the practices of academic research. The Symposium does not have a particular theme – it is meant to welcome different kinds of approaches, drawing on a variety of sources and research methods. This year, it features over 20 speakers, including faculty members, graduate students, undergraduates, and independent scholars. The full program consists of a keynote address, three special guest lectures, a special roundtable discussion, and five sessions of individual presentations. The exact dates and times for all of the sessions will be confirmed in the coming days.

AX 2016 Academic Program

Friday, July 1

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Keynote Address

Anime for Aspiring Filmmakers: Lessons from the USC School of Cinematic Arts

Ellen SeiterWhy should American film students pay attention to anime? In the AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium Keynote Address, Prof. Ellen Seiter, holder of the University of Southern California’s Stephen K. Nenno Endowed Chair in Television Studies, shares her thoughts on the distinctive visual, dramatic and narrative language of Japanese animation in film and television, and on what aspiring filmmakers can learn from anime directors such as the late Satoshi Kon, especially in the contemporary environment of digital production and distribution.

Prof. Ellen Seiter (University of Southern California)

Dr. Seiter received her BA in Anthropology from UCLA, and her MFA and PHD degrees in film from Northwestern University. Dr. Seiter specializes in audience research – anime being the most fascinating case study of all, children and youth media, semiotics, intellectual property law and media economics. Books she has authored include The Internet Playground: Children’s Access, Entertainment and Mis-Education (Peter Lang, 2005), Television and New Media Audiences (Oxford, 1999), and Sold Separately: Children and Parents in Consumer Culture (Rutgers, 1993). Her most recent work, The Creative Artist’s Legal Guide: Copyright, Trademark and Contracts in Film and Digital Media Production, which she co-authored with her attorney brother Bill Seiter was published in 2012 by Yale University Press.  She is currently writing a book on Teen TV series for Routledge.

7:45 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
Session 1: Words, Scripts, Implications: Creating Meaning in Anime and Manga

  • Sounding Out the Pictures: Manga Sound Effects, Meanings, and Translation
    Andrew John Smith (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

This talk looks to discuss the unique world of comic sound effects, specifically those found in manga. Although many readers may not think about them directly, sound effects affect their ability to read, enjoy, and understand graphic texts—meaning that an inability to understand them can stop understanding, and changing them can potentially cause a disastrous misreading. Sound effects can carry just as much meaning, weight, and import as the dialogue and art they accompany, and this discussion looks to introduce that concept and expand the scope of what can be studied when it comes to graphic works.

  • Can the Pop-Idol Speak?: The Role of Voice in Satoshi Kon’s Films
    John Ballarino (Bridgewater State University)

Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue is a film about identity: the conflict of the film is driven by the divide that exist between how people perceive the main character, Mima, as a commercial commodity and a woman, and in turn how Mima perceives herself. I analyze how this is portrayed symbolically throughout the film through the motif of Mima’s voice, developing being owned and sold by others to being entirely her own. This provides a useful approach to better understand the outside influences influencing her identity and development as a character, revealing a strong criticism of the expectations of women in a patriarchal society.

  • Drawing Lines between Boys and Girls: What do we Mean by “Shōnen” and “Shōjo”?
    Mia Lewis (Stanford University)

While manga combines image and text, it divides boys and girls. In bookstores in Japan manga is divided primarily by the gender of the target audience, often separated onto different floors in larger bookstores. This reflects the gendered division that begins in manga zasshi [comics magazines] and continues through the media mix chain. This talk will briefly overview how this distinction has been discussed in previous scholarship, and shifted over the years. This talk will also introduce preliminary results from my ongoing research on the divisions between these genres. One of these research projects examines how the reader’s sections in shōjo manga proscribe the ideal work to readers and aspiring artists to a far greater extent than their shōnen equivalents. The other examines formalist distinctions between contemporary shōnen and shōjo manga in order to explore what it means when we open a comic, glance at it, and declare it to be one or the other.

Continue reading

Call for Papers: AX 2016 Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

axlogo_2016_date_blackAs many of you know, one of the major projects that I am involved with annually is developing, organizing/producing, and managing the AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, also known as the Academic Program track of Anime Expo, the largest anime convention in the U.S. Every year, the Symposium brings together a select group of academics, graduate students, undergraduates, and independent scholars who present their research on a wide range of topics related to anime/manga directly to AX’s attendees.

The Call for Papers for this year’s Symposium is now open. It will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from July 1 to July 4. If you would like to be considered for participation as a speaker, please review the CFP, and submit your proposal (300 words maximum) to me at mkoulikov@gmail.com. The proposal submission deadline is April 15. And, you are welcome (and encouraged) to pass it along to anyone who you think may be interested in speaking on the program or attending!

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Call for Papers
AX 2016 Anime and Manga Studies Symposium
Anime Expo 2016
July 1-4 | Los Angeles, CA

www.anime-expo.org
www.anime-expo.org/academic-program

The Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation, the parent organization of Anime Expo (AX), the largest anime convention in the U.S., is inviting proposals for plenary addresses, presentations, and panel discussions for the 2016 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium. The Symposium will be held from July 1 to July, 2016 at the Los Angeles Convention Center (Los Angeles, California) as the Academic Program track of this year’s Anime Expo.

Japanese animation (anime) and comics (manga) are unique forms of visual culture that attract and inspire audiences around the world. The AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium serves as the premier site for presenting and sharing research on a wide range of topics related to the creation, production, distribution, and worldwide reception of anime/manga, their history, relationships with other media, and the experiences and practices of anime and manga fans.

The Symposium’s goal is to bring together a diverse, international group of scholars, and facilitate the development of anime/manga studies as a defined academic field. As an integral part of Anime Expo, and open to all attendees, it also introduces general audiences to the methods, practices and tools of academic research into popular culture and fosters a dialogue between academics and fans. Participants in the Symposium will be able to join a celebration and appreciation of Japanese popular culture and interact directly with the convention’s attendees. Inherently interdisciplinary, it is open to approaches from different fields, and welcomes a wide range of speakers. Early-career scholars, graduate students, undergraduates, and independent researchers/industry professionals are especially encouraged to submit proposals!

Continue reading

AX 2015 Anime and Manga Studies Symposium – Final Schedule

The full schedule for this year’s AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, the Academic Program track at Anime Expo, the largest anime/manga convention in North America, has now been finalized. This year’s Symposium consists of four plenary addresses, a special roundtable discussion, and 12 individual presentations on various topics related to anime/manga, with a total of 18 speakers from colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Austria, Belgium/France, and Japan. The sessions will be spread out over all four days of Anime Expo 2015, and will all be held in the Theater (Room 411) of the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The 2015 Anime and Manga Studies Symposium program is also available as a separate page.
Download – Word
Download – PDF

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AX 2015 Academic Program / AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

Anime Expo 2015
Los Angeles Convention Center (Room 411 / AX Live Programming 4)
Los Angeles, California
July 2-5

Thursday, July 2

5:15 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Introduction: Anime and Manga Studies at AX and in 2015
Mikhail Koulikov

5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m.
Panel Session
Critical Approaches to Japanese Animation and Comics

  • The Beautiful End of the World: Eschatologies of the Bishojo

Many of the most iconic characters in anime/manga are young women directly associated with apocalyptic and posthuman themes. Cultural critics have highlighted the parallels between these bishojo and motifs related to freedom, flight, hope, and healing, so it is interesting that often, they are also closely connected to themes of human extinction. I argue that, through the regenerative capacity of such characters, whose emerging sexuality is not yet tainted by masculine bodies and masculinist ideologies such as nationalism, militarism, and scientific rationalism, anime/manga present the “end of the world” as positive event that promises ecological balance and emotional serenity.

Kathryn Hemmann (George Mason University)

  • Stories in Shades of Black and White: Use of Color in CLAMP’s Manga

Many Western comics depend on color, shading, and delicate variations in inking techniques to tell their stories, Japanese manga must create a visually compelling narrative with only black and white. Yet, many manga use significantly fewer inking techniques than standard Western comics. I compare techniques described by famed inker Klaus Janson for Western comics with those in three works by CLAMP in markedly different styles and targeted at different audiences By creating their aesthetic based on the tone and message of a specific work, CLAMP creates synergy between the narrative and visuals, integrating the disparate elements of the page, and transmitting a sense of depth in a manner entirely distinct from Western comics.

Mia Lewis (Stanford University) Continue reading

AX 2015 Anime and Manga Studies Symposium – Speakers and Talk Titles

I am pleased to announce the final program for the 2015 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, the Anime Expo 2015 Academic Program. AX 2015 will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center (Los Angeles, California), from July 2 to July 5, and the Symposium will be spread out over all four days.

The Symposium will feature a keynote address by a leading scholar and teacher, three special guest lectures/presentations, 13 individual talks on a wide range of topics related to Japanese animation and comics, organized into several topical panels, and a roundtable discussion on major issues in teaching about Japanese popular culture and using anime and manga in the classroom. Its main goal remains to highlight new critical approaches to Japanese popular visual culture, but the Symposium also serves a major educational function. It introduces AX’s attendees to the ideas and practices of the academic study of anime and manga, while giving speakers a unique opportunity to present their work to a general audience.

Keynote Address: The Importance of Anime at Film School: Tales from USC

Ellen SeiterEllen Seiter
Professor of Critical Studies
Stephen K. Nenno Chair of Television Studies
University of Southern California

Prof. Seiter teaches courses on television and new media history, theory and criticism, as well as the new new Japanese Anime class, in the in the Critical Studies Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Books she has written include The Creative Artist’s Legal Guide:Copyright, Trademark and Contracts in Film and Digital Media Production (2012), The Internet Playground: Children’s Access, Entertainment and Mis-Education (2005), Television and New Media Audiences (1999), Sold Separately: Children and Parents in Consumer Culture (1993) and Remote Control; Television, Audiences and Cultural Power (1989). Continue reading

Call for Papers: AX 2015 Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

ANIMEExpo Logo 500pxwideI am pleased to announce the Call for Papers for the AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, an integral part of this year’s Anime Expo convention.

Call for Papers / Call for Speakers

2015 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

July 2 – July 5
Anime Expo 2015
Los Angeles Convention Center (Los Angeles, CA

Submission Deadline: April 15, 2015

The AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium is the premier international forum for academic discussion about Japanese visual culture and the worldwide popularity and impact of anime and manga. It welcomes a wide range of interpretations and approaches, draws on different disciplines and methodologies, and can involve academics, industry professionals, independent scholars, and fans/enthusiasts. The goal of the Symposium is to bring together speakers from diverse backgrounds, fields and areas to exchange ideas, explore new directions, and contribute to building a community of anime and manga studies.

The Symposium is an integral part of the program at Anime Expo, the largest anime convention in North America, which last year attracted over 80,000 attendees. Participating in it will give speakers an opportunity to present their research and scholarship directly to a public, non-academic audience, to interact with fans of anime and manga from around the world, and to join in this celebration and appreciation of Japanese popular culture. In turn, the Symposium also serves to introduce convention attendees to the ideas and practices of academic study of anime, manga, and other aspects of Japanese visual culture.

Speakers interested in participating in the 2015 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium are invited to submit a proposal title, an abstract no more than 300 words, and a CV to mkoulikov@gmail.com. Continue reading

Anime and Manga Studies Symposium – Previous Years

My work in promoting, facilitating and supporting anime and manga studies involves several different kinds of activities. I am one of the founders of the Anime and Manga Research Circle, an informal community of academics, students, industry professionals and fans interested in studying Japanese animation and comics, and a moderator of the AMRC mailing list. I have reviewed books on anime for the Anime News Network – and articles submitted for publication in the scholarly journal Transformative Works and Cultures. I have presented talks on anime and manga studies at conventions around the U.S. – Otakon, Anime Central, A-Kon, Anime Boston, Katsucon and others. But at least for now, what I think of as my main contribution to this area is as the organizer/producer of the annual Anime and Manga Studies Symposium, the track of academic presentations and panels that are a part of the programming at Anime Expo, the largest anime convention in the U.S.

The Call for Papers for this year’s Symposium is open through the end of the month – I have already seen several excellent submissions, and look forward to seeing more. And, since one of the goals I had in mind for this blog is to have it serve as a hub or central point for activities in the field of anime and manga studies, I am also happy to present the full schedules for the previous years:

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Anime and Manga Symposium Archives – 2013

By its third year, the Anime and Manga Studies Symposium was firmly established as a part of Anime Expo’s programming. A highlight of the 2013 schedule were the guest lectures on the history of anime and manga studies in Japan presented by Dr. Akiko Sugawa-Shimada (Kansai Gaidai University, Osaka, Japan), and on the challenges of using Japanese animation and comics to introduce American college students to Japanese culture (Masako Hamada, Villanova University). In addition to these full-length lectures, the Symposium again featured a set of shorter presentations and talks on much more focused topics, such as the use of foreign languages in manga, depictions of girls and women across several decades of Japanese animation, and the sometimes uneasy relationship between anime fans’ practices and commercial activities.

AX 2013 Anime and Manga Studies Symposium – Schedule

Thursday, July 4

Keynote Address: Christopher Kuipers (Professor, English, Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

  • Translating Anime and Manga: Let Us Count the Ways

Continue reading

Anime and Manga Symposium Archives – 2012

After the success of the first Anime and Manga Studies Symposium at the 2011 Anime Expo, it was clear that the idea of academic presentations included in the program of a major American anime convention was something that fans were ready to welcome. So, in the spring of 2012, I began planning to repeat the Symposium at AX 2012, and when the convention opened its doors, was able to welcome a new group of scholars, representing institutions from around the U.S., as well as two European schools, to the Symposium.

AX 2012 Anime and Manga Studies Symposium – Schedule

Friday, June 29

Keynote Address: Jeffrey Dym (Professor, History, California State University, Sacramento)

Adventures in teaching ‘The History of Manga’

Continue reading