SGMS: Mechademia Conference on Asian Popular Cultures


Mechademia Conference on Asian Popular Cultures

September 27-29, 2013
Minneapolis College of Art and Design

This internationally recognized three-day conference explores the global innovations and creative and cultural implications of Japanese anime and manga. The session combines the vibrancy of fan practices, the fashion show and anime screenings with the presentations and discussions of academic papers, resulting in an enriched and unique experience.

Since its inception in 2001, SGMS has become a center for discussion of the cultural study, creation, aesthetics, sociology, fascination and wonder of the remarkably broad range of objects and practices that have developed around the global proliferation of Japanese manga and anime. It was also the birthplace of the now internationally praised Mechademia book series published by the University of Minnesota Press.

Over the years, SGMS participants have gained access to notable experts across a wide range of perspectives, such as Paul Benjamin, Helen McCarthy, Susan Napier, Patrick Drazen, Christopher Bolton, Sharon Kinsella, Masami Toku, Antonia Levi, Brent Allison, Brian Ruh, Marc Hairston, Udon, Trina Robbins, Peter Paik, Crispin Freeman, C.B. Cebulski, Jeremy Ross, Wendy Siuyi Wong, Tim Lehman, Phil Anderson, Ke Jiang, Erik Lervold, Lea Hernandez, Frenchy Lunning, Samantha Rei and Verssen Werks.

Special Guest

This year we are extremely proud to have Hiroki Azuma, the most well known international cultural critic in Japan as our special guest for the 2013 conference. As a writer, philosopher and CEO of Genron, Azuma received his Ph.D from the University of Tokyo. He was an Executive Research Fellow and Professor at the Center for Global Communications (GLOCOM), Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo, Professor at Waseda University, and Professor at Tokyo Institute of Technology. His focus is philosophy, info-socionomics, and studies in representational art and culture. He is one of the most influential young literary critics in Japan.

His publications include Sonzaironteki, Yubinteki (Ontological, Postal) in 1998 for which he received the Suntory Literary Prize in 2000. He also wrote Dobutsuka-suru Postmodern (translated as Otaku: Japan's Database Animals published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2001), Quantum Families, 2009 for which he received the Mishima Yukio Prize in 2010, and Ippan Ishi 2.0, 2011 (English translation in progress.)

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