Anime as Global Form
This course will survey the rich history and innovations of Japanese anime from its importance in early serialized television in Japan to its current popularity and demand across global streaming platforms. We will analyze multiple influential anime series (Astro Boy, Space Battleship Yamato, Akira, Pretty Cure, Chibi Maruko-chan, Naruto, and Pokemon) through theories of postmodern Japanese technology, gender, censorship, nationhood, fandom, translation, nuclearity, and kawaii culture. We will also look at the early days of accessing anime outside of Japan and the rise of cultures around fan-subbing, proto-streaming services, and piracy as well as their effect on contemporary copyright and streaming practices. This course will also pay attention to how anime intersects with global identity politics and representation, which indicates the particular strength of anime’s cultural export of Japanese-ness to the rest of the world. Finally, we will understand how an analysis of labor divisions in anime production reveals another aspect of anime’s globality. This course is a discussion-based course, with some lectures, partial streamings of assigned anime, and guest speakers. As we will watch these shows with subtitles, no previous knowledge of Japanese is necessary to enroll in this course. Assignments will include weekly Canvas discussion posts, a presentation on an assigned reading, a midterm reflection paper, and a final research paper (8-10 pages).