Wednesday, May 29, 2013

CFP: Global Manga: The Cultural Production of Japanese Comics outside Japan (collection; Aug. 31)

As posted on amrc-l.

Call for Book Chapters:
Global Manga:
The Cultural Production of
Japanese Comics outside Japan

According to Wikipedia, "'manga' as a term used outside Japan refers specifically to comics originally published in Japan." Yet careful inspection of the Manga section of any chain bookstore in the English-speaking world quickly reveals that the books on the shelf are not exclusively comics originally published in Japan. Svetlana Chmakova's Nightschool sits alongside Masashi Kishimoto's Naruto, the Soulless adaptation alongside Soul Eater. And beyond the Manga section proper, there abound comics and graphic novels published within the last decade or so whose very existence is possible only in cultural and economic contexts rich with Japanese comics in translation, such as Scott Pilgrim, Megatokyo, and Yen Press's Twilight graphic novels.

There is no one universally agreed-on name for these works; appellations include OEL manga, world manga, Amerimanga, international manga, and—the term used here—global manga. Some would dismiss global manga as "fake manga," as pale imitations of their Japanese counterparts, as unworthy of attention from readers, let alone researchers. This book aims, however, to take seriously the political economy and cultural production of these Japanese comics outside Japan.

The phrase "Japanese comics outside Japan" does not merely suggest manga published in translation or manga materially exported from Japan. At its most radical, it suggests, rather, manga without Japan. There is a sometimes globalized, sometimes transnational, and sometimes hyperlocal world in which manga can be produced without any direct creative input at all from Japan. And if something called "manga" that is not in any strict sense Japanese can be published, there are a number of important questions to be asked: What do these fields of cultural production look like? Why and under what sorts of conditions do they arise and flourish? Who gets to decide what counts as "manga," and who benefits from that decision? What are global manga's implications for contemporary economies of cultural and creative labor? And finally—perhaps most important of all—what does it mean, therefore, for manga to be "authentically" Japanese?

This anthology takes the problematic of what it means to have manga without direct Japanese involvement as its focus. Chapters addressing the theme of global manga outlined in the previous paragraphs are solicited, with a view toward the publication of a multi-authored volume consisting of between 10-12 chapters. A commissioning editor from a well-known academic press has expressed preliminary interest in this project.

Possible topics include (but are not limited to):
  • OEL manga, GloBL manga, amerimanga, manhwa, and/or manhua creation/publishing
  • local manga production in Korea, France, China, Indonesia, Germany, or other national territories
  • single title case studies
  • amateur manga/doujinshi publishing outside Japan
  • theoretical analyses of "real" versus "fake" manga 
  • first-person historical overviews/reflective essays by industry insiders
  • the production of transmedia tie-in manga

Chapter proposals from authors with both academic and industry/practitioner backgrounds are welcome. Prospective contributors should submit 1) an extended abstract of 450-500 words, 2) an indicative bibliography, and 3) a short biographical sketch no later than August 31, 2013.
The deadline for full manuscripts of 5000-7000 words will be three months from notification of acceptance.

Please direct any inquiries and submissions to Casey Brienza, City University London (

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