Skip to content




Roundtable: Why Do We Study Anime and Manga?

Time & Location

September 30, 8pm EDT


The Japan Foundation, New York is launching a monthly online series delving into Japanese pop culture from academic and professional perspectives!

With the help of professors and creators all over the world, we will discuss various topics from anime, manga, video games, fashion, J-pop, and more. We hope that this series will be one of the platforms for you to learn more about what you love!

Join our first session with four of the leading experts who were instrumental in popularizing Anime and Manga Studies in U.S. academia. Come be a part of the panel discussion with Christopher Bolton, Wendy Goldberg, N.C. Christopher Couch, and Frenchy Lunning, as they discuss the deep and fascinating world of studying anime and manga. We will hear how their love of anime and manga led them down the path to advanced study.

The discussion will be followed by a live Q&A. If you have any questions about anime, manga, or a related field of study prior to the event, please feel free to post it on the Eventbrite page when you register. Live commentary will also be enabled on the YouTube stream, so you can participate in the live Q&A session.

This is a free event. Registrants will receive the link to the stream via email. The date and time of the event are Eastern Time. Please check your local time zone.


Prof. Christopher Bolton

Christopher Bolton, PhD, teaches comparative and Japanese literature at Williams College. His research focuses on modern and contemporary Japanese literature and visual culture, particularly prose fiction and animation. His books include Interpreting Anime (2018) and Sublime Voices: Science and Fiction in the Work of Abe Kōbō (2009). He has also co-edited many volumes of criticism focused on anime and Japanese popular culture: Robot Ghosts and Wired Dreams: Japanese Science Fiction from Origins to Anime (2007) and the first ten volumes of the Mechademia series, for work on Japanese anime, manga, and the fan arts (2006-2015).

> Official Website

Prof. Wendy Goldberg

Wendy Goldberg is a core instructor in the Department of Rhetoric at the University of Mississippi (UM). The six years prior to joining UM, she taught composition and speech at The United States Coast Guard Academy (New London, CT). She has also taught composition and literature courses at the University of Connecticut (Storrs, CT) and Three Rivers Community College (Norwich, CT) as well as summer courses at the Johns Hopkins’ Center for Talented Youth. She has presented and published papers on comics and anime and is currently the submissions editor for Mechademia, an annual forum for critical work on Japanese manga, anime, and related arts.

> Official Website

Prof. N.C. Christopher Couch

N. C. Christopher Couch holds a PhD in art history from Columbia University. He is the author of numerous books and articles on Latin American art and on graphic novels and comic art, including The Will Eisner Companion: The Pioneering Spirit of the Father of the Graphic Novel (with Stephen Weiner), Will Eisner: A Retrospective (with Peter Myer), Faces of Eternity: Masks of the Pre-Columbian Americas, and The Festival Cycle of the Aztec Codex Borbonicus.

> Official Website

Prof. Frenchy Lunning

Frenchy Lunning, PhD, has written two books—Subcultural Fashion: Fetish Style (Bloomsbury, 2013) and Cosplay: The Masque of Fandom (University of Minnesota Press, 2017)—and is working on a third, Revolutionary Girl: Shōjo. She has also written various essays in anthologies and journals. The director of the academic conferences SGMS: Mechademia Conference on Asian Popular Cultures in both the US and in Asia, she was also the editor-in-chief of Mechademia, a completed ten volume book series published by the University of Minnesota Press, and is now co-editor-in-chief of the new Mechademia: Second Arc journal, the first issue in spring of 2019.

> Official Website

  • Featured
  • Pop Culture Events
  • Projects Organized by JFNY