The Institute for Japanese Studies presents:
"Approaches to Manga Studies and Comics Studies"
National University of Singapore
Abstract: Manga and comics are perhaps the most creatively rich, diverse, and compelling media in Japan and the US in the past 75 years. Many of the most popular films, television, and animated series began as manga or comics. Yet comics studies lags behind film studies in terms of legitimacy, engagement, and institutional recognition. Why is this? This talk will discuss the current issues and opportunities in comics studies in the US and manga studies in Japan. Given the hybrid nature of comics, combining text and image, one important area for expansion is in formal visual analysis, that is, how form makes meaning and how visual narratives are constructed. This talk will consider two examples of formal analysis in terms of narration and panel division. Looking at techniques of first and third person narration allows for innovative comparisons between shōjo manga, and American alternative and superhero comics. This kind of formal analysis can help break down rigid division of genre and nationality, and brings marginalized genres into the mainstream of comics studies. Looking at the form of yonkoma (comic strips) also sheds light on an aspect of manga that is often overlooked. Finally, we will also look briefly at how recent developments in digital comics/webtoons are driving new development of narrative techniques. Download the PDF flyer here.
Deborah Shamoon is Associate Professor in the Department of Japanese Studies at the National University of Singapore. She received her PhD in modern Japanese literature and film at the University of California, Berkeley, and previously taught at the University of Notre Dame. She has published widely on Japanese manga, anime, and film. Her book Passionate Friendship: The Aesthetics of Girls’ Culture in Japan (2012), is a cultural history of shōjo manga and girls’ magazines. Other publications include “The Yōkai in the Database: Supernatural Creatures and Folklore in Manga and Anime” in Marvels & Tales 27.2: 2013; “The Beautiful Men of the Inner Chamber: Gender-Bending and Other Shōjo Manga Tropes in Ooku” in Introducing Japanese Popular Culture, 2023; “Films on Paper: Cinematic Narrative in Gekiga” in Mangatopia: Essays on Manga and Anime in the Modern World, 2011.
Free and Open to the Public
If you require an accommodation, such as live captioning, to participate in this event, please contact EASC at email@example.com. Requests made at least two weeks in advance of the event will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.
This event is supported by a U.S. Department of Education Title VI grant to The Ohio State University East Asian Studies Center.