Academic Program

A special line-up of talks and lectures on Japanese comics and animation by leading scholars from colleges and universities around the world.


Connecting Scholars with Fans

Our Academic Program, the "AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium," is a special programming track of academic lectures and panels on topics related to anime, manga, and Japanese culture. Presented by scholars from around the world, the Anime and Manga Studies Symposium as first introduced in 2011 and has featured over fifty different speakers from more than thirty universities and colleges. With subjects varying from the development of the anime industry to common themes in anime writing, the Anime and Manga Symposium is a unique chance to delve deeper into the world of Japanese pop culture.

Check out the schedule (when available) to find out more about the academic program. Participating sessions are marked with a red book symbol or simply tagged as "Academic."

Past Programs


Theme: Anime Chronotopes: Nostalgia in Japanese Animation and Comics

Nostalgia/Intertextuality (Thursday, July 4, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM)
  • The OG of black revolutionary Japanese anime: Golgo 13 (Dexter Thomas)
  • Wakon (yo)sai – Tracing Japanese Technomodernity back to 1970s and 1980s Science Fiction Anime (Anthony Lee)
  • Western Culture’s Influence in Japanese Entertainment: Intertextuality and Metafiction in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure (Ericka N Rivera Figuero)
  • Feminist Recontextualization of Nostalgia in Lupin the Third: The Woman Called Mine Fujiko (Yasheng She)
Nostalgia/Society (Thursday, July 4, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM)
  • Survival Strategies for Future Fate: Loss and Nostalgia in Mawaru Penguindrum (Cynthia Zhang)
  • Remediating Histories: Millennium Actress and the Productive Capacity of Nostalgia (Susan Noh)
Intermediality & Anime (Saturday, July 6, 11:30 PM – 1:30 PM)
  • Nostalgic Reinvention of Anime Onstage: Takarazuka Kagekidan (Amoretta Cockerham)
  • Resisting Samurai Nostalgia: Aurality and Silence in Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuioku-hen by Stacey Jocoy
  • Integral Intersections: Suicide, Ikigai, and Nostalgia in Orange. Christopher Hepburn
  • Cardcaptor Sakura and the History of the Book – Exploring the history of manga domestication in the United States ( Victoria Rahbar )
Topics in Anime Studies (Sunday, July 7, 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM)
  • Longing for Home: Isekai Food Manga and Love for Food in Japanese Anime (Jasper Ferehawk)
  • The Metastory: The Failure of Filler Episodes within Anime (Bobbi Steele)
  • “This is a Game I Made”: Ludonarrative Dissonance in Incidental Isekai or the Genre that Refuses Refusal (Lillian Marie Martinez)
  • Ceaselessly into the Past: Anti-Nostalgia in Studio MAPPA’s Banana Fish (Breanna Robles)


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

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.

Studying Anime Fans Around the World
  • Why We Fight for Love and Justice: A Survey of Sailor Moon Crystal Fans
    –Casey McDonald (University of Florida)
  • “Ha Ha! Boring”: Nostalgia and Melancholia in Servamp and Anime Fan Communities
    –Derek S. McGrath (Stony Brook University)
Special Guest Lecture

Before Ghibli was Ghibli: How and Anime Studio is Born

Rayna Denison
Senior Lecturer, Art, Media and American Studies
University of East Anglia

Studio Ghibli may have become Japan’s most important and successful animation brand, but its early significance is far more debatable. To challenge current perceptions of Ghibli’s dominance of animation in Japan, I revisit the early history of Studio Ghibli, and examine the industrial and promotional discourses circulating at the time of Studio Ghibli’s formation. In doing so, I argue for a corrective analysis of Studio Ghibli’s brand significance. Even the most powerful of anime studio brands can have humble beginnings, and that we need to view anime brand construction as a piecemeal, historical process, rather than as an ahistorical constant.

Dr. Rayna Denison researches and teaches contemporary Japanese and Asian media. She is a specialist in popular Japanese film and animation, and is the author of Anime: A Critical Introduction and the co-editor of the Eisner Award-nominated Superheroes on World Screens. She is widely published on anime and Japanese cinema in academic journals such as Animation: An Interdisciplinary JournalCinema Journal, the International Journal of Cultural Studies and Japan Forum. He current projects include editing a collection of essays on Princess Mononoke (due to be published in January) and a special issue of the East Asian Journal of Popular Culture analyzing 30 years of Studio Ghibli (due out later this year), and researching anime tourism and Studio Ghibli’s industrial history.

Anime and Manga Studies in Japan
  • Anime’s Pop Surrealism: Why, and Why it Matters
    –Herb Fondevilla (Aoyama Gakuin University)
  • Mangaki: Creating an Open-Source Manga Discovery and Recommendation Platform
    –Jill-Jênn Vie (RIKEN)
  • Reinventing the Cityscape: Anime Pilgrimage and the Transformation of Collective Memory
    Project Animatexture: A Research Group for the Study of Anime, History and Society (Ritsumeikan University)
    –Yoshiya Makita, Yuri Kojima, Hiroki Tamai, Nao Suzuki, and Hideki Morita
Special Guest Presentation

Musical and Historical Journeys Through Contested Japanese Masculinity: Rurouni Kenshin
Stacey Jocoy and Christopher Hepburn (Texas Tech University)

This presentation confronts the opposing musical narratives of the Rurouni Kenshin anime and live-action films using musical semiotics combined with comparative iconographic-aural analysis to unpack this heroic discourse of the Meiji samurai, arguing that the overt musical differences reflect a shifting conceptualization of Japanese gender politics across the 1990s and 2010s.
Rising Stars of Anime and Manga Studies

  • Drawing Lines Between Boys and Girls: Blurred Signs and Conventions in Shonen and Shojo Manga
    –Mia Lewis (Stanford University)
  • Researching the History of Manga: 1970’s – We Want to Revolutionize…
    –Andrea Horbinski (University of California, Berkeley)

Building Communities of Fans and Scholars

  • Cosplayer-Creators and the Textual Experience of Cosplay
    –Caitlin Postal (University of Washington)
  • Expanding Manga Studies: Publication Trends, Demographics, Markets
    –Andrew John Smith (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

The Goals and Challenges of Anime Fans’ Transformative Practices

  • A Room of Their Own: Creating and Consuming Anime/Manga Fanfiction as Reparative Reading
    –Breanna Brooks (California State University, Los Angeles)
  • Perceptions of Race in Cosplay
    –Madison Schmader (California Lutheran University)
Special Guest Panel Discussion

Teaching Happiness – Using Anime and Manga as Educational Tools

Chair: Brent Allison (University of North Georgia)
Stevi Grimm
Derek S. McGrath (Stony Brook University)
Critical Approaches to Depictions of Gender in Japanese Visual Culture

  • Women Come Apart: Fractured Female Identity in the Shounen Harem
    –Oscar King IV (Loyola Marymount University)
  • Fanservice in Anime: A Continuum from Complicity to Critique
    –James Pyke (University of Michigan)


Keynote Address

Anime for Aspiring Filmmakers: Lessons from the USC School of Cinematic Arts
-Prof. Ellen Seiter (University of Southern California)

Why should American film students pay attention to anime? In the AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium Keynote Address, Prof. Ellen Seiter, the University of Southern California 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.

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.
Reflections of a Changing Japan in Modern Japanese Visual Culture
  • Salaryman at the Black Factory: Absurdist Loserdom and Labor Politics in Osomatsu-san
    -Danielle Choi (University of Southern California) and Calvin Choi
    This presentation investigates the archetype of the “loser” in Osomatsu-san, the 2015 anime reboot of the well-known Osomatsu-kun (1966-67, 88-89) franchise. Tensions inherent in the image of the salaryman—simultaneously a signifier of socio-economic stability, yet also of soulless drudgery—paradoxically position it as a personally unfulfilling career, and also a desirable marker of traditional (masculine) success that is no longer attainable for a young workforce in Japan’s late capitalist global economy. Osomatsu-san’s structure and content preclude any possibility of financial or personal success for its characters, offering a revealing critique of contemporary labor politics in a post-industrial Japan.
  • Fantastic Damage – Architecture, Anime, Destruction, and Tokyo
    -Evan Jones
    Of all of the Earth’s major cities, perhaps none have undergone more cataclysmic changes in a shorter time period than Tokyo. Earthquakes, modernization, firebombings, and urban renewal have changed the three dimensional Tokyo just as much – if not more – than giant robots, angels, or magical girls have changed a myriad number of two dimensional versions. By analyzing the city as both a historical entity and as a narrative setting, Evan Jones will explore Tokyo as a cityscape of limitless flexibility, one which creators and visionaries bend and manipulate at will to satisfy various wants and needs. This presentation will use a number of visuals to highlight various animated interpretations of Tokyo with an emphasis on important representational shifts.
  • Good Eating and Social Meetings: The Semiotics of Food in Goro Miyazaki’s From Up on Poppy Hill
    -Verna Zafra (University of Guam)
    Depictions of making and consuming food have been prominent throughout the history of Japanese animation and Japanese comics.. This presentation will overview development, role, and significance that food plays in anime/manga, and the place of Japanese media in the emerging academic field of “food studies”. In Goro Miyazaki’s From Up on Poppy Hill, food can be interpreted as a sign that carries various meanings, which in turn underscore and facilitate specific themes, such as family, camaraderie in the community, and role fulfillment.
Examining and Questioning Japan’s Place in the World
  • On This Side of the Gate: Politics and Geopolitics in Contemporary Anime
    -Paul S. Price
    Gate presents a right-wing view of Japan by combining an irruption of a fantasy world into Japan with the real world of the Japanese Self Defense Force (JSDF) and Japanese politics and geopolitics. Gate is a tale of the vindication of three underdogs: Japan, the JSDF, and otakus/otaku culture. Japan maybe a small country surrounded by more powerful nations. The JSDF maybe under funded and under suspicion at home and viewed as a joke by other nations. Otaku culture may not be viewed as exemplary or even entirely adult. In Gate, however, all three are more than conquerors.
  • The Real Limit on the Cult of Speed: Attack on Titan’s Ambivalent (Anti-)Fascism
    -Verna Zafra (University of Guam)
    Attack on Titan’s engagement with the narrative and visual conventions of Japanese ultra-nationalist manga and anime combines an enthusiastic engagement with these elements, on their own terms and with the full strength of their appeal, with the violent interruption of these elements, their foundational myths being torn apart in an impossible blur of teeth. Situating this analysis alongside an overview of the ideological characteristics of Japanese ultra-nationalism and its history in manga/anime from the 1960s and onwards, this key to reading AoT presents insights into the character of these phenomenon in Japan’s animation and comics tradition and its political imaginary.
  • Ghosts of February 26: The Officers Plot and the Keitai Revolution in Eden of the East and Gatchaman Crowds
    -Jordan Marshak
    On February 26, 1936 a group in the Imperial Japanese Military calling themselves the Young Officers attempted an uprising in Tokyo and a series of assassinations, calling on the the people and the Emperor to lead a “Showa restoration” to end economic inequality through the abolition of capitalism and corrupt party politics. Taking inspiration from the shishi of the Meiji restoration, its low status samurai leaders, they belong to a rich tradition of Japanese radicals who have attempted, armed with unfailing moral clarity, to use symbolic violence to bring about social transformation. This talk discusses two recent TV anime (Eden of the East and Gatchaman Crowds) that engage with this tradition and the memory of the Young Officers as a potential model for addressing the many social crises of post-bubble Japan and wrestle with its continuing legacy and importance while ultimately endorsing different methods of radical action.
50 Years of Anime in America, 50 Years of American Anime Fans
  • What You Watch Is What You Are?: Early Anime and Manga Fandom in the United States
    -Andrea Horbinski (University of California, Berkeley)
    How did anime and manga first enter U.S. fandom, and why were people watching “Japanimation”? Using materials from the Fred Patten collection, this paper explores early anime and manga fandom in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. The problems that early fans faced were similar to those faced by Japanese audiences encountering English-language movies in the 1910s and 1920s, and the fans who watched anime in these years did so for similar reasons: anime offered them content they wanted mixed with appealing foreign-ness. The practices these fans pioneered eventually gave rise to the U.S. anime and manga industry.
  • Anime in the US in the 1990’s and 2000’s: Unauthorized Distribution as a Catalyst for Evolution
    -Allison Hawkins
    Whether it was a copied VHS tape or a fansubbed video, chances are that you or someone you know has viewed anime through unauthorized means of distribution. With a consumer base formed partially by fans acting as creators and distributors, how has the anime market continued to grow? How do these fan distributors coexist with corporate distributors in an expanding market? This talk explores the way in which unauthorized distribution played a role in creating the current market of anime fandom and what that history means for the market today.
  • Persuasion or Pleasure: Cosplayers’ Use of Social Media as a Rhetorical Tool
    -Caitlin Postal (California State University, Northridge)
    This talk focuses on the fan practice of cosplay through a rhetorical analysis of cosplayers’ use of social media when building their online persona. Through personal interviews conducted with cosplayers and a textual analysis of their social media posts, we can see how Cicero’s three offices of rhetoric (instruction, pleasure, persuasion) work in the minds and pages of well-known cosplayers. From there, let’s consider how social media affects the performative nature of cosplay.
Special Session: Using Anime and Manga in Education

In this session, three practicing educators provide responses to the question of how manga, anime, and other Japanese popular culture texts can be incorporated in a formal classroom setting. Old and new challenges to educators color this question – proscribed academic standards that limit teacher autonomy, barriers to students who struggle with traditional forms of literacy, and persistent conceptions of gender that reinforce certain types of readings of these texts. The session will review strategies to overcome these problems as well as engage the audience to consider how using Japanese popular culture texts can redefine gender, literacy, and ultimately what it means to “read”.

Moderator: Prof. Brent Allison (University of North Georgia)

  • Creating Confident Readers Through Unconventional Texts
    -Stevi Grimm (Jefferson Union High School District, Daly City, CA)
  • Digital Literacy: Expanding Students’ Literary Toolkits with Manga
    -Alexandra Dean (Eastern Illinois University)
  • Incorporating Anime and Manga into Gender Studies Courses
    -Derek S. McGrath (Stony Brook University)
    Special Guest Lecture


Girls und Robots – Re-Evaluating “Genre” Demarcations in Anime
-Prof. Renato Rivera Rusca (Meiji University)

The evolution of the “Robot Anime” and “Magical Girl” genres since the 1960s has led to an expansion of target audience beyond their initial toy-sale-oriented origins and today the demarcation lines are blurred between the two. Looking at anime series today, we often find aspects of one in the other. Using the examples of the SF fandom controversy surrounding the original Gundam series, the development of the Macross franchise, and the coming-of-age of shojo manga with Hagio Moto and Takemiya Keiko, we will attempt to describe the various cultural and social factors surrounding how the requisites for anime genres have been maintained throughout the last five decades, while narrative complexity, visual grammar and media literacy have developed the core of the surrounding anime fandom culture.

Special Guest Lecture

Anime and Manga in Hollywood – and What Happens Next

Prof. Northrop Davis (University of South Carolina)

In a fascinating look at the interrelated history of Japanese manga/anime and Hollywood since the Meiji period through to World War II and up to the present day – and even to into the future, Prof. Northrop Davis will bring his extensive experience in the business and artistic intersection between manga/anime and Hollywood to talk about the latest projects in Hollywood live-action adaptations of anime/manga. Which ones have a good chance of working? What others might not work so well. The media industries in the United States and Japan are now accelerating into new forms of hybridization that will drive much of future storytelling entertainment. Drawing on original interviews with top creators in these fields and other research that he used when writing Manga and Anime Go to Hollywood, just published earlier this year by Bloomsbury Academic, Prof. Davis will show how to use this knowledge creatively to shape the future of global narrative storytelling, including through the educational system.

Applying Auteur, Critical, and Feminist Theory to Anime
    • Adaptation and Evolution in Japanese Visual Culture
      -Amanda Kennell (University of Southern California)
      Contemporary media production methods have been theorized in two similar ways, as transmedia storytelling and as the media mix, by Henry Jenkins and Otsuka Eiji, respectively. This talk introduces adaptation as a way to reconsider how stories come to be (re)told and suggests how art can evolve through adaptation using Yamamoto Sayo’s Lupin the 3rd: A Woman Called Mine Fujiko (2012) as a case study.
    • Anime Archives: Digital Curation and Scholarly Perspectives
      -Johnathan Lau
      This presentation explores “alternative” archival spaces (“surfaces”) of Japanese animation and the historical intersections between scholars and fans, shifting ethics, means of viewing and distribution. It proposes that careful consideration of these trends benefits not only fan studies, but studies of the works themselves in an evolving technological context. Here certain parallels are highlighted between comments on streaming video and file-sharing websites, and the tradition of colophons on Sino-Japanese handscrolls. The talk then proceeds to discuss the unstable nature of these “anime archives,” extending this instability to the notion of the digital archive. A case study of the file-sharing website is explored alongside theories of a utopian “archival commons.”
      Special Guest Lecture
    • Anime Archives: Digital Curation and Scholarly Perspectives
      -Mia Lewis (Stanford University)
      The global trade and the advent of the Internet have turned local cultural products into easily accessible entertainment worldwide, including comics, cartoons, dramas, films, video games, etc. These products undergo a wide array of different processes of translation and localization on their way to foreign audiences — from subtitles, to dubs, to edits, to full remakes, and everywhere in between – demonstrating how profit driven corporations and fan culture intersect in translation practices. Based on a 2015 course taught at Stanford University, this talk looks at how Japanese and Korean popular culture can be used to teach translation, to link theory to practice, and to challenge students to critically examine their own consumption habits.


Keynote Address:

Mukokuseki: Teaching Anime in a Borderless World
David M. Desser (Professor Emeritus, Cinema Studies, University of Illinois)

Special Presentation

Manga and Anime Go to Hollywood
Northrop Davis (University of South Carolina)

Special Guest Lectures

New Directions in the Japanese Animation Industry
– Renato Rivera Rusca (Meiji University)
The Structure of the Japanese Animation Business
– Mariko Koizumi (Kyoto Seika University)

Roundtable Discussion:

Anime and Manga in the Classroom: Teaching Students, and Teaching Teachers
Chair: Brent Allison (University of North Georgia), Kathryn Hemmann (George Mason University), Alex Leavitt (University of Southern California), and Andrew John Smith (Indiana University of Pennsylvania).

Panel Sessions:
Critical Approaches to Japanese Animation and Comics
  • The Beautiful End of the World: Eschatologies of the Bishojo
    Kathryn Hemmann (George Mason University)
  • Remixing Theories of Narrative Consumption for Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night
    Sarah Ansley Colclough (University of Texas at Austin)
  • Stories in Shades of Black and White: Use of Color in CLAMP’s Manga
    – Mia Lewis (Stanford University)>
Remixes and Responses in Japanese Popular Culture
  • Straight Outta Compton, and Into Tokyo: Hip-Hop, Street Culture, and Japanese Manga
    – Andrew John Smith (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
  • Characters as Music Makers in Neon Genesis Evangelion
    – Heike Hoffer (The Ohio State University)
  • On the Impossibility of Revolution”: Responses to Modern Japanese Literature and the Student Movement in Neon Genesis Evangelion
    – Michael Copestake
Japanese Popular Culture’s Reflections of Japan’s Urban Landscape
  • Mapping and Mimesis in the Electric City: Steins;Gate and the Spatial Practices of Anime and Video Games
    – Forrest Greenwood (Indiana University Bloomington)
  • Flaneurs and Urbanization: Japan’s Cities and their Residents in Manga
    – Maxime Boyer-Degoul (Universite Libre de Bruxelles)
  • Katsuhiro Otomu’s Exploding Cities: The Intersection of Class and City in Domu, Akira, and Metropolis
    – Sebastian Klausner (University of Vienna)
Anime’s Approaches to Religion and Spirituality
  • The Power of Religion in Anime: Hayao Miyazaki’s Methods of Persuasion in My Neighbor Totoro
    – Yuxin Jiang (University of Pittsburgh)
  • Super Saiyan Savior: Dragon Ball Z and the Bible
    – Christopher Davis (Sam Houston State University)
  • Humanity and Nature: The Parable of Pokemon
    – Patrick Wauters (University of Arkansas at Little Rock)
The Creative Process in Japanese Popular Culture
  • “That’s My Name, Isn’t It?”: Work, Friendship, and the Discovery of Identity in Spirited Away and Porco Rosso
    – Jenn Koiter
  • Producing Hatsune Miku: Concerts, Commercialization, and the Politics of Peer Production
    Alex Leavitt (University of Southern California)


Keynote Address:

Anime’s Media Mix
Marc Steinberg (Assistant Professor, Film Studies, Concordia University)

Special Guest Lecture: 

The Rebirth of the Saga and the Fabrication of History: Gundam, the Aum Cult, and Attack on Titan
Eiji Otsuka

Japanese Visual Culture’s Female Characters and Female Audiences
  • Girls Gone Wild: Anxious Times and the Weaponized Shoujo Body
    – Elizabeth Birmingham (North Dakota State University)
  • Kanoko Sakuramoji’s Refashioned Tengu: Using the Japanese Supernatural to Explore Female Coming of Age in Black Bird
    – Tara-Monique Etherington (University of Exeter)
Humanity and the Future in Japanese Animation
  • Here and There and Then: Space Dandy, Science Fiction, and Recursion in Japanese Animation
    – Andrew John Smith (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
  • Good, or Don’t Be: Post-Humanism in Neon Genesis Evangelion and Code Geass
    – Sarah Colclough
Fan Art and Fan Comics in Japan
  • Queering the Media Mix: Comics and the Female Gaze
    – Kathryn Hemmann (George Mason University)
  • Why am I the Uke?!: Performing and Changing Identity Through Language Styles in Japanese Dojinshi Fan Works
    – Ryan Redmond (University of Arizona)
  • Who has the Copyright of Fan Art? A Case Study of Controversy Between Manga Fandom and the Japanese Contemporary Art World
    – Kohki Watabe (University of Southern California)
Special Presentation:

Hollywood Turns to Anime: What Was and What’s to Come
Northrop Davis (University of South Carolina)

Japanese Society and Japan’s History in Anime and Manga
  • Record of Dying Days: The Alternate History of Ooku
    – Andrea Horbinski (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Cultural Amnesia: Constructed Images of Illicit Drug Use in Anime and Manga
    – Lance Mulcahey (University of California, Los Angeles)
Fan Communities and Fan Activities Around the World
Media and Transmedia Mixes in Japanese Popular Culture
  • Alice in Evasion: Creating Wonderland Without its Main Character
    – Amanda Kennell (University of Southern California)
  • “Pot Smasher”: The Legend of Zelda – A Transmedia Modern Epic
    – Chris Foster (Sam Houston State University)
  • Creating a Cosmology for  the Media Mix: The Case of Pokemon
    – Patrick Wauters (Southeast Arkansas College)
Panel Discussion:
  • Trials, Tribulations, and Triumphs of Anime and Manga in the Classroom


Keynote Address

Translating Anime and Manga: Let Us Count the Ways
-Christopher Kuipers (Professor, English, Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

The Cutting Edge of Anime/Manga Studies

  • “I Believe that I am Human. That is Proof Enough”: Battle Angel Alita: Last Order and Transhumanism
    – Andrew John Smith (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
  • Short Skirts and Superpowers: The Female Gaze in Contemporary Japanese Anime and Manga
    – Kathryn Hemmann (University of Notre Dame)

Anime’s Girls and Women

  • Shifting Images of Witch Girls in Japanese TV Anime Since 1966: From Sally to Alice and Chocolat
    – Akiko Sugawa-Shimada (Kansai Gaidai University)
  • The Hysterical Subject of Shojo: The Dark, Twisted Heroines in Revolutionary Girl Utena andPuella Magi Madoka Magica
    Lien Fan Shen (University of Utah)

Special Guest LectureMasako Hamada (Villanova University)

  • Teaching Japanese Culture to College Students Through the Lens of Anime and Manga

Special Presentation: Northrop Davis (University of South Carolina)

Words, Pictures, and Language in Japanese Comics

  • Painting Worlds with Words: CLAMP Lost in Translation
    – Mia Lewis (Stanford University)
  • German and Spanish for Japanese Speakers: A Case Study of Linguistics Practices in the Manga Series Bleach
    – Ryan Redmond (University of Arizona)

Special Guest Lecture: Akiko Sugawa-Shimada (Kansai Gaidai University)

  • The History of Anime and Manga Studies in Japan

Borrowing and Changing: What and How Anime Takes from the West

  • Fullmetal Alchemist‘ Manga: A ‘Western’ Story Informed by Japanese Sensibilities
    – Allyson Floyd
  • Transforming and Taming the Gothic Vampire Image in Japanese Animation and Comics
    – Hazel Naylor (Chapman University)
    – Audrey Will (Chapman University)

What Anime Fans Do, and Why, and How?

  • Networked Fandom: An Exploration of Online Information Practices for Anime Fans
    – Alexander Leavitt (University of Southern California)
  • The Rise of the Cosplay Economy: Fan Creativity for Fun and Profit
    – Lawrence Brenner


Keynote Address

Jeffrey Dym (Professor, History, California State University, Sacramento)

  • Adventures in teaching ‘The History of Manga’

The Cutting Edge of Anime/Manga Studies

  • “I want to be a Hero of Justice!”: Gen Urobuchi and the Failed Hero
    – Andrew John Smith (Indiana University of Pennsylvania)
  • “All Cities are Destined to Doom”: Apocalyptic Destruction of Tokyo as Representation of Resilience
    – Shiro Yoshioka (Newcastle University)
  • The State as a Serial killer: Death in the Name of Prosperity and the Necropolitics of Citizenship in Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit
    Bo Luengsuraswat

Special Guest Presentation: Northrop Davis (University of South Carolina)

  • – Education in art and creative writing using styles and technologies from Japanese sequential art

Building Bridges through Individual Texts

  • Remixing History: The Semiotics of race and Nationality in Samurai Champloo
    Laurel Foote-Hudson ((University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
  • Alienated from Her Emotions: Conveying Interaction between Character Psychology and the Science Fictional in 7 Billion Needles
    Carl Li (Leiden University)

What do Anime Fans Do, Why and How?

  • Even a Monkey can Cnderstand Fan Activism: Political Speech, Artistic Expression, and a Public for the Japanese doujin Community
    – Alexander Leavitt (University of Southern California)
    – Andrea Horbinski (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Artifacts of Sound: Sound Effects and Their Impact on Fan and Genre Community
    – Evan Jones

Supporting and Expanding Anime and Manga Studies

  • “Save me!”: Practices of Manga Collection Preservation
    – Hannah Li (University of California, Los Angeles)
  • Young Adult Literature in the Manga World: Inspecting the Adaptations
    – Ashley Poston


Keynote Address: Ian Condry (Associate Professor, Comparative Media Studies, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)


At that point, Prof. Condry was already working on the book that he would publish in 2013 as The Soul of Anime: Collaborative Creativity and Japan’s Media Success Story, and he reflected on some of his experiences at AX in the book.

Panel Discussion: Theoretical Perspectives on Japanese Visual Culture

  • Samantha Close (University of Southern California)
  • Amanda Landa (University of Texas at Austin)
  • Gino Zarrinfar (University of Hawaii at Manoa)

WATCH: Part 1 –, Part 2 –

Open Session

  • This Place is a Nightmare: Globalization as Horror in Katsuhiro Otomo’s Domu
    Andrea Gilroy (University of Oregon)
  • Manga Revolution or Logical Evolution? Field Theory on the Rise and Demise of Tokyopop’s U.S. Publishing Programme
    – Casey Brienza (University of Cambridge)

Open Session

  • Between Yasashii and Bushido: The Balancing Power of Warrior Mothers in Anime
    – Sherrie Bakelar (University of Nevada, Las Vegas)
    – Sandra Aragona (Claremont Graduate University)
  • Modernity and Pre-War Japanese Animation
    – Annie Manion (University of Southern California)

Open Session

  • History, Memory, and Aesthetics in Animation: Isao Takahata’s Grave of the Fireflies
    Paul Cheng (University of California, Riverside)
  • “Cool Japan”: Soft Power in the 21st Century
    – Kukhee Choo (Tulane University)
  • The Guyver and Societies of Control
    – Gino Zarrinfar (University of Hawaii Manoa)

Open Session

  • Real Ninjas make AMV’s! Anime through the Eyes of Vidders
    – Samantha Close (University of California, Irvine)

The author presented a revised version of this paper as a part of the University of California, Irvine Visual Studies Student/Faculty Colloquium, and published a further revision, entitled ‘Popular culture through the eyes, ears, and fingertips of fans: Vidders, anime music video editors, and their sources’ as a chapter in Sampling Media (Oxford University Press, 2014)

  • – A bridge between teaching and creating manga
    – Northrop Davis (University of South Carolina)
  • “Past fungibility”: Examining the speculative value of history in the doujin works of Takeshi Nogami
    – Forrest Greenwood (University of Southern California)
  • “Open-source culture” and the cult of Hatsune Miku
    – Alexander Leavitt (University of Southern California)

Panel Discussion: Teaching, Writing, and Thinking about Anime/Manga: New Directions, New Opportunities

Closing Remarks: Lawrence Eng (Founder, Anime and Manga Research Circle)

  • Writing about Otaku: Lessons from Fandom, Academia, and Beyond
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