Friday, September 28, 2018, 5:00 p.m.Sunday, September 30, 2018, 5:00 p.m.
Add to Calendar

Exploring the global innovations and creative and cultural implications of Japanese anime and manga.

Register Now

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 2018: Transnational Fandoms

Much has been written about popular forms of East Asian art and media that continue to be widely distributed globally, but this conference will focus particularly on the consumption, creative reproduction, and redistribution of these forms of popular culture globally.

Arising out of the proliferation of mass media in the twentieth century, particularly after the spread of the television in the 1950s and 1960s, media fandoms arose in Japan and the United States contemporaneously. As the work of scholars such as Marc Steinberg has made clear, the origins of what is known in Japan as the media mix and in the United States as “convergence” or “transmedia” (after the work of communications scholar Henry Jenkins) lay in the rise of Astro Boy and its associated merchandising in the 1960s. From the cross-cultural science fiction fandom scene of Worldcon, brought home to Japan in the 1970s, to the European obsession of Takemiya Keiko, Hagio Moto, and the Izumi Salon in the same decade, fandom in the broadest sense has always been transnational. In the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, and with increasing simultaneity enabled by the rise of fandom cultures online since, transnational fandom cultures focused on East Asian media have proliferated globally. At the same time, the media mix has increasingly conquered Hollywood, as seen via the rise of serial storytelling in U.S. television and the global success of the “Marvel Cinematic Universe” at the box office.

Transnational fandom cultures have played an active role in these developments, and professional creators continue to evolve in their attempts to court and to corral fandom approval and fan production. Friction between these groups, and the slippages among them evident in the doujin goods networks of Japan, the web stores of fan artists worldwide, and the growing approbation for established creators working on tie-in media, are some of the most interesting sites of study for transnational fandoms in the twenty-first century.


Call for Presenters

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

Paper and panel proposals of no more than 250 words are due by April 30, 2018. Accepted presenters may also consider submitting their papers to the related volume of Mechademia: Second Arc. Send conference proposals to with the subject line “Mechademia Conference 2018.”

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