AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

full name / name of organization: 
Anime Expo / Society for the Promotion of Japanese Animation /
contact email: 

Call for Papers / Call for Speakers
2013 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium

July 4 – July 7
Anime Expo 2013
Los Angeles Convention Center (Los Angeles, CA)

Submission Deadline: May 1, 2013

Japanese animation (anime) and comics (manga) represent one of the major contributions that Japan has made to global visual and popular culture. Indeed, for many people, their first – and sometimes only – contact with Japanese culture at all is through Japanese visual culture.

When, 30 years ago, Frederik Schodt published his Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics, he almost single-handedly created the field of English-language anime and manga studies – a field that has been evolving and growing ever since.

As scholars around the world have recognized, anime and manga are open to a wide range of interpretations, drawing on many different disciplines. One goal of the Anime and Manga Studies Symposium is to invite speakers from diverse backgrounds, fields and areas to exchange ideas and approaches, explore new directions, and contribute to building a community of anime and manga studies.

Uniquely, the Anime and Manga Symposium is an integral part of the schedule of Anime Expo, the largest gathering of fans of Japanese popular culture in the U.S. This will allow speakers to share their research and scholarship with a public, non-academic audience, to interact directly with fans of anime and manga from around the world, and to become participants in a celebration and appreciation of Japanese popular culture. In turn, the Symposium also serves to introduce convention attendees to the ideas and practices of formal scholarship.

Submissions on a wide range of topics dealing with anime and manga will be considered. Possible areas to explore may include – but are not limited to:

- Critical surveys of individual creators, directors and animators, especially in larger contexts such as anime/manga as a whole, animation, comics, Japanese literature/film, science fiction, war literature, etc.

- Conversations with, critiques of, and expansions on previous English-language scholarship on anime and manga (e.g. Frederik Schodt, Susan Napier, Thomas Lamarre)

- The creative and industrial history of anime and manga throughout the 20th century and into the 21st - in Japan, the U.S., Europe, and other countries.

- Anime and manga's representations of history, politics, and current events

- The use of remix culture in Japanese animation and comics: Appropriation of settings, genres, motifs,
and tropes

- Anime and manga's relationship to the world: Adaptation and interpretation of Eastern, Western and other literatures and visual media in Japanese popular culture

- Inspired by Anime: Uses of anime/manga styles and tropes outside Japan

- Copyright, obscenity, and other legal issues involving anime and manga

- Anime and manga as tools of globalization and agents of promoting Japanese culture

- The history and evolution of anime/manga fandom outside Japan: Fan practices and experiences - clubs, conventions, cosplay, fansites, fansubbing, anime music videos

- Best practices for teaching Japanese popular culture and using anime/manga in high school and college classes

- The anime/manga industry in Japan, the U.S., and around the world

- The impact of new technologies (wireless communication, augmented reality, mobile computing) on storytelling in anime/manga and production/consumption of anime and manga.

- Anime/manga and the Media Mix: Merchandise, music, video games, visual novels graphics, and other related products

The Symposium particularly welcomes presentations on newer/emerging works and creators.

Speakers are also welcome to submit proposals for roundtable discussions on these and related topics.

Potential roundtables can include:

- Differences in theoretical approaches to anime and manga
- Anime/manga fan practices and activities in different countries, cultures and regions
- New directions, new opportunities, and new challenges in thinking, writing, and teaching about anime/manga

The AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium will be open to all AX attendees. Speakers are urged to consider subjects that will be of interest to general non-specialist audiences and do not require significant backgrounds in Asian Studies, media theory, literature, etc.

For consideration, please submit the title of your paper or panel, an abstract (300 words maximum) and a CV to


All submissions will be peer-reviewed.

All invited participants will be offered free admission to Anime Expo.