U.S. Conference

Migration and Transition

Los Angeles, CA – June 28-29, 2022

Register through Teachable at: https://mechademia.teachable.com/

Keynote speaker: Christine Yano

Migration can be seen as a type of transition, marking a journey from one position to another via movement. This journey may be voluntary or forced, affecting people and communities as they respond to massive events such as wartime, disease, climatic changes, and economic and political upheavals. At the same time, there is also the motivation of hope, of future shifts towards positive aspirations; of the potential for radical change from the present circumstances.

With the movement of peoples also comes the movement of media, as cultural production, distribution, and consumption take on new forms in new locales. These affect and are affected by, many of the same forces as migrations of people. Indeed, as manga, anime, and games reach ever-greater global audiences, their own migratory patterns, past, present, and future are fertile grounds for explorations of the tensions and potentials of transition.

Working through the storylines and the visual and structural compositions of manga, anime, and games, the artists, writers, and animators visualize themes of transition in multiple ways. These media present powerful narrative structures of drama, comedy,  romance, action, and intrigue, within which meaning and passion abound, performatively divvied out in serial formations.  Enjoying greater popularity than ever before, these media continue to attend to the contemporary moment. With its many crises, it is this moment of transition that requires us to attend to the massive changes in global cultures as these shifts migrate across the world.

This examination of migration and transitions, broadly conceived, will provide the backdrop for the theme of the Mechademia Conference, Los Angeles 2022. This will also be the inauguration of the new location for the U.S. Mechademia Conference, taking place in coordination with Anime Expo, the largest anime convention in the United States. We encourage papers that explore themes dealing with the diversity of experiences of migration through anime, manga, games, and fan cultures. Topics may include but are not limited to the following areas:

  • transnational connections, migration and movement of people and media
  • narratives dealing with social upheaval and wartime experiences
  • immigrant communities, separation from family and the concept of ‘home’
  • agency and negotiating traumatic experience
  • natural disasters such as earthquake or tsunami
  • intergenerational trauma, ancestry and familial relations
  • intermedial connections across borders
  • operations of characterizing the self across different cultures
  • hybridity and cultural production with and through media
  • adaptation broadly: from one media to another, from one place to another
  • (re-)interpretation of gender performance across times and places
  • differing approaches to racial representation in various media and contexts

We hope to cover a wide range of narratives that are fitting for the new venue for Mechademia 2022. We welcome both in-person presentations at the conference as well as remote presentations via Zoom for those unable to make it to Los Angeles. 

Details to follow.

Teachers: We also have an “Emerging Scholars Panel” for your advanced undergraduate students to participate in during this event. They can also register at the same site.

Please send 250 word proposals to the following Google Form: https://forms.gle/ee8tbUDVUcJTr9bw5

Proposal deadline: 10 June 2022

Register through Teachable at: https://mechademia.teachable.com/