Kyoto Seika University International Manga Research Center's
First International Conference

"Comics Worlds and the World of Comics: Scholarship on a Global Scale"

The Kyoto Seika University International Manga Research Center, part of the Kyoto International Manga Museum, is organizing its first international Comics Studies conference.

In recent years, Comic Studies are seeing an upswing worldwide. Under the conditions of globalization and information society, the internationalization of comics as such, including a sort of comics revival in Europe and America as well as the transnational proliferation of manga, has come to be accompanied by an internationalization of the study of comics. Representative of this trend is the International Journal of Comic Art, founded in 1999 and edited by John Lent. Drawing upon previous research, the Kyoto conference intends to further international exchange. One of its aims is to broaden the perspective of Manga Studies within Japan. In this respect, exchange will be attempted not only with respect to the variety of regional comics cultures, but also to fields of research other than Manga Studies and, furthermore, theoretical endeavors. An equally important aim is to contribute to global comics scholarship, and thereby unfolding the potential of the Kyoto International Manga Museum opened in November 2006, as a facility accessible to Japanese and Non-Japanese researchers alike. The conference will begin this 'contribution' by focusing on whether it is possible to discuss comics beyond the scope of local comics cultures; in other words, whether a scholarly exchange about 'comics' in general can be established despite the fact that the specific works and languages the participants are familiar with differ. The Kyoto conference does not intend to highlight the cultural particularities of Japanese manga; rather, it foregrounds methodological issues which the study of manga may share with the study of other kinds of comics. It invites discussions about the definition of comics from aesthetic, stylistic and semiotic angles, while at the same time calling for the consideration of discourses related to modern society and culture. Regarding the latter, points of common interest could be the relations between nation-state and subcultures, male and female readerships, personal inclinations of fans and public references of traditional intellectuals, the everyday use of comics and its academic research, the role of comics in Europe/America and Asia etc.

Time Period Fri, Dec. 18 - Sun, Dec. 20, 2009
Venue Kyoto International Manga Museum, 1st floor, multipurpose hall (Karasuma-Oike, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto).
Entrance Fee

4 day common ticket, i.e. Conference Pass, 1,000 yen (covers the period from Thu, Dec. 17 to Sun, Dec. 20th, and includes both Museum entrance fee and special exhibition fee)
* Without pre-purchase of the Conference Pass the daily general entrance fee will apply (Adults: 500 yen, High and Junior High school students: 300 yen, Elementary school students: 100 yen), and the special exhibition will attract a separate fee.
* Payment can be made on the day at reception.
* There is a separate charge of 1,000 yen for the get-together on Sat, Dec. 19, 2009.


Pre-registration is required as outlined below. Otherwise, the daily museum general entrance fee will apply (Adults: 500 yen, High and Junior High school students: 300 yen, Elementary school students: 100 yen), and the special exhibition will attract a separate fee. In your application, please indicate. :
(1) If you wish to purchase a Conference Pass
(2) If you wish to take part in the get-together on Sat, Dec. 19.
(3) If you wish to purchase a Conference Pass and take part in the get-together

<Application Methods>
1. Use this application.
2. You may also apply via fax (075-254-7437) by sending the following information: Name, Organization, Contact details (phone number, email), Conference Pass purchase: yes/no, Get-together participation: yes/no.
* Pre-registration deadline: Mon, Dec. 14, 2009.

Conference Program

Fri., Dec. 18, 2009

New Generation Workshop * in Japanese only >> abstracts

(1) NODA Kensuke (Manga/BD Studies, Groensteen translator): How to Compare Japanese, French and American Comics Theory
(2) Nele NOPPE (Catholic University Leuven; Japanese Studies/Fan Art Studies): What would "global comics studies" study, anyway? Some Thoughts from the Perspective of Fan Art Research
(3) Patrick W. GALBRAITH (The University of Tokyo Graduate School of Interdisciplinary Information Studies, Doctoral Course in ITASIA [information, technology and society in Asia] program): Considering the Otaku Social Mode as a Requirement for Manga Studies
(4) SAIKA Tadahiro (Kobe University, postdoc position, sociology of culture industries, manga editing): How Manga Artists Depict the Creation of Manga: Pictorial Narratives about the Manga Industry as a Discourse on the Authenticity of the Act of Producing Manga
(5) INOMATA Noriko (BD Studies, representative of "Kurashiki Picture Books"): Bande Dessinee in French Media Addressed to Girls
(6) CJ SUZUKI (Japanese Studies, LeHigh University Pennsylvania, visiting professor): Manga/Comics Studies from the Perspective of SF Research: Genre, Transmedia, (Trans)Nationalism
chair: Jaqueline BERNDT (Kyoto Seika University, Manga Faculty, Professor)

>> Profiles

Keynote lecture >> abstracts


Thierry GROENSTEEN (independant scholar, former Director of the Angouleme Comics Museum, France): Challenges to International Comics Studies in the Context of Globalization
commentator: MORITA Naoko (Tohoku University, Associate Professor, Media Studies)
chair: YOSHIMURA Kazuma (Kyoto Seika University, Manga Faculty, Associate Professor)

>> Profiles

* below: presentations of 15 min. each + discussion; conference languages: English and Japanese (simultaneous interpreting for papers, consecutive interpreting for Q & A)

Sat., Dec. 19, 2009

Session 1: Shojo manga, women's comics--on gender and genre >> abstracts


(1) Trina ROBBINS (comics artist, collector and curator): From Patsy Walker to Princess Ai: Universality in Girls' Comics and Shojo Manga
(2) MIZOGUCHI Akiko (Tama Art University, lecturer, Visual Cultural Studies): Theorizing Comics/Manga Genre as a Productive Forum: Yaoi and Beyond
(3) Wendy Siuyi WONG (York University, Toronto, Canada, Department of Design, Associate Professor): Drawing the ideal modern woman: Ms. LEE Wai Chun and her "Ms. 13-Dot"
(4) ITO Kimio (Kyoto University, Department of Sociology, Professor, Cultural Studies): When "Man" Reads Shojo Manga
chair: OGI Fusami (Chikushi Jogakuen University, Associate Professor, Women's Manga/Comics Research)

>> Profiles

Session 2: Border-crossing Comics Studies under the conditions of globalization >> abstracts


(5) Pascal LEFEVRE (Sint Lukas Brussels University College of Art and Design & Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, comics historian): We are Family! Researching Comics on a Global Scale
(6) NATSUME Fusanosuke (Gakushuin University Tokyo, Professor, manga columnist and historian): On Elements of a Common Language for Communicating about Manga, BD and Comics
(7) ODAGIRI Hiroshi (American comics researcher): Japan's MangaDdiscourse, a Conservation Area like the Galapagos Islands
(8)Christina PLAKA (German Mangaka): Talk with German Mangaka

>> Profiles



venue in the Manga Museum

Sun., Dec. 20, 2009

Session 3: Comics and Society >> abstracts


(9) Cheng Tju LIM (Riverside Secondary School Singapore, country editor International Journal of Comics Art, Cultural Studies, history of comics in Asia): Cartoons and History in Singapore and Malaysia: Mirrors of our Lives, Productions of their Times
(10) Thomas BECKER (Free University Berlin, Institute for Art History/Collaborative Research Center on Aesthetic Experience and the Dissolution of Artistic Limits): Fieldwork in Aesthetics: On Comics' Social Legitimacy
(11) YAMANAKA Chie (Jin'ai University, Faculty of Humanities, Communication Studies/Cultural Studies, Sociology; manga in Asia): How to Grasp the Manga Experience: An Exploration of Comics Readers in Taiwan
chair: SAIKA Tadahiro (Kobe University)

>> Profiles

Special workshop "Public memory, private consumption: On Barefoot Gen" >> abstracts


(12) Kees RIBBENS (historian at the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation, Amsterdam): Comics beyond the Battlefield: Transnational Representation of World War II in Sequential Art
(13) Thomas LAMARRE (McGill University, Montreal, Canada, Professor; Japanese Studies, Manga and Animation Studies): The Child Bomb: How Comics "Atomicize" Childhood
(14) KAWAGUCHI Takayuki (Hiroshima University, Faculty of Education, Associate Professor; Modern Japanese Literature/A-bomb Literature): Barefoot Gen and 'A-bomb Literature': Re-recollecting the Nuclear Experience
(15) KAJIYA Kenji (Hiroshima City University, Faculty of Art, Associate Professor; modern art history, Cultural Studies): Painters in Barefoot Gen: Considering the Performative Power of the Image
chair: FUKUMA Yoshiaki ((Ritsumeikan University Kyoto, College of Social Sciences, Associate Professor; media studies)

>> Profiles

Concluding discussion

chair: Jaqueline Berndt (Kyoto Seika University)

*Please be aware that event schedules and matter may be subject to change.

Related Events

Exhibition "She Draws Comics: 100 Years of America's Women Cartoonists"

Exhibition period: Fri, Dec. 18, 2009 - Sun, Feb. 28, 2010.
Kyoto International Manga Museum, 2nd floor, Gallery 1&2.
Entrance fee: Free (however the general entrance fee to the museum still applies)

Co-sponsor: Women's Manga Research Project
Assistance: Funded by the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research
Cooperation: Japan Society for Studies in Cartoon and Comics international exchange committee/Foreign manga exchange department.

An exhibition which introduces artworks by women who made great contributions to comics culture as well as women's culture and were active from the end of the 19th Century through to the 20th Century. This exhibition is curated by comic artist and comic history researcher Trina Robbins, and was first held in Germany in 2001.

"She Draws Comics" exhibition opening talk.
"The 1970s as a turning point in Japanese women's manga and American women's comics"

Participants: TAKEMIYA Keiko (manga artist, Dean of the faculty of manga at Kyoto Seika University)
Trina ROBBINS (comic artist, women's comics researcher)
OGI Fusami (Associate professor in the department of literature of Chikushi Jogakuen University, women's comics researcher) (Chair)
Date and Time: Thu, Dec. 17, 2009, 3:30 to 5:50pm
Venue: Kyoto International Manga Museum, 1st floor, multipurpose hall.
Participation fee: Free (however the general entrance fee to the museum still applies)
Pre-registration is not required, admittance in order of arrival. Capacity of 200 people.

Co-sponsor: Women's Manga Research Project
Assistance: Funded by the JSPS Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research
Cooperation: Japan Society for Studies in Cartoon and Comics international exchange committee/Foreign manga exchange department.

The exhibition curator Trina Robbins will discuss the topic above with TAKEMIYA Keiko, artist of such revolutionary 70s women's manga as Kaze to ki no uta (Poem of Wind and Trees) and Dean of the Kyoto Seika University Manga Department.

-IMRC- 国際マンガ研究センター
Clip to Evernote


Karasuma-Oike, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-0846 Japan

TEL: +81-75-254-7414 FAX: +81-75-254-7424