Friday, September 27, 2019, 5:00 p.m.Sunday, September 29, 2019, 5:00 p.m.
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Exploring the global innovations and creative and cultural implications of Japanese anime and manga.

The internationally recognized three-day conference Mechademia combines the vibrancy of fan practices, a fashion show, and anime screenings with presentations and discussions of academic papers, resulting in an enriching and unique experience.


Mechademia 2019: Queer(ing)

Keynote Speaker Kazumi Nagaike: “A Cross-Cultural Analysis of Men’s Desires to “Become” Fudanshi: On the Psychology, Physicality, and Communication Strategies of Male Fans of BL in East Asia”

Japanese manga, anime, and games culture is associated with excessive sexuality and gender-bending that have unsettled cultural norms in multiple, often queer, ways. The appeal of such queer(ing) and hypersexual attributes has at least partially driven the spread of these media and fan practices around Asia and beyond. In spite of the ongoing strong association with Japanese popular culture, however, Japan is but one of multiple centers of queer(ing) media and fan practices in contemporary Asia.

This year’s North American conference will focus on queer(ing) comics, animation, and games, and other related media as well as their fandoms in Asia. Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • Asian media and fandoms and intersectional queer studies
  • Fujoshi and fudanshi fan cultures
  • Boys love/yaoi, and slash media
  • Yuri/girls love, and femslash media
  • Representations of queer identities (transgender, intersex, bisexual, pansexual, gender-fluid/genderqueer/nonbinary/X-gender, asexual, lesbian, gay, etc.)
  • Queer(ing) pornographies (“hentai,” tentacles/“consentacles,” BDSM/fetish media, etc.)
  • Queer(ing) fan practices (crossplay, maid cafes, butler cafes, etc.)
  • Flows of queer(ing/ed) media and fandom practices around Asia

Call for Presenters

This conference invites scholars, fans, and creators to attend and/or present. 

Paper and/or panel proposals of not more than 250 words are due on or before May 15, 2019. Send conference proposals to mechademia [at] with the subject line “Mechademia Conference 2019.” Prospective presenters may also wish to submit their work to the related issue of Mechademia: Second Arc, due 1 June 2019.

Sponsored by Minneapolis College of Art and Design and Anime Detour

Full Fashion Panic

This annual fashion show, which usually coincides with Minnesota Fashion Week, is your chance to see the latest sartorial creations by notable fashion designers from around the country who are inspired by cosplay, manga, and anime.


About Mechademia

Since its inception in 2001, Mechademia 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, Mechademia participants have gained access to notable experts across a wide range of perspectives, including:

  • 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
  • Verssen Werks