MLA 2022 Guaranteed Session CFP: Manga’s Global Influence

(DEADLINE: 3/15/2021)

Call for Papers for a guaranteed roundtable panel sponsored by the Forum for Comics and Graphic Narratives at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention, January 6-9, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Though conversations about comics have frequently replicated the silos of the academy by discussing one national tradition at a time, scholars have begun paying attention to how, as print and digital objects, comics readily cross national borders. The tradition of manga in Japan is one of the oldest and largest comics traditions, encompassing a multitude of genres and audiences, and this status has led to manga influencing comics styles, traditions, and even publication practices in other countries around the world (cf. Manga’s Cultural Crossroads [2013], Boys Love Manga and Beyond [2015], Global Manga [2015], Manga in America [2016], Women’s Manga in Asia and Beyond [2019], Comics and the Origins of Manga [2021]). Engaging and extending MLA’s 2022 Presidential Theme, “Multilingual US” that calls for “multilingual approaches to national literatures” and “scholarly collaborations across languages and disciplines,” this roundtable panel aims to examine manga’s global influence.

Some questions panelists might address include (but are not limited to):

  • How have the styles of various genres of manga (e.g. shonen, shojo, josei, seinen) influenced cartoonists’ styles in other countries?
  • In what ways have comics industries in other countries been influenced by the publication and production structures of the manga industry?
  • How have different approaches to manga translation—both professional and amateur—played a role in community formation around distinct manga?
  • How has Japan historically used manga as a form of soft power, meaning cultural and economic influence, in other countries?
  • What kinds of transnational communities in person and online have formed around the cultures of manga?
  • What role have digital tools (e.g. Manga Studio) played in spreading manga styles in webcomics?
  • How can we trace histories of manga crossing national borders in different parts of the world? How have those crossings influenced Japanese manga?

Please send 250-word abstracts and short bios by March 15, 2021 to Leah Misemer ( and Margaret Galvan ( Responses to individual submissions will be sent out by the beginning of April. All prospective presenters must be current MLA members by no later than April 2021.