CFP: CINEMA 16: The Anime Philosophy

Submission deadline: May 30, 2024

Topic areas


Cinema: Journal of philosophy and the Moving Image (Scopus and Web of Science indexed) is pleased to announce a new Call for Papers for its 16th issue on ‘The Anime Philosophy’.

In recent decades, Japanese television animation, Anime, a highly conceptualized, popular, and thought-provoking style of moving images, is receiving more attention from Western academic debate. Yet, in what ways could Anime contribute to the advancement of film philosophy as such? Anime raises broad and highly pertinent questions related to identity, trauma, post-war Japan, pop culture, media infrastructure, technological transformation of culture and landscape, and to human/nature relationship, emerging also as an opportunity to think about the connections, the intersections, between Western and non-Western thought.

Important references in the field include Thomas Lamarre’s works The Anime Machine (2009) and The Anime Ecology (2018), Joff Bradley and Catherine Cheng’s edited volume Thinking with Animation (2021), as well as the journal Mechademia: Second Arc. Scholars writing with anime – among them Toshyia Ueno, Susan Napier, Maria Grajdian, and Christophe Thouny – are analyzing a diversity of topics that are crucial to both the studies and the practices involving cinema in its broadest sense. These scholars address topics that concern superflatness, signaletic animism, myths, perspectivism, technology as witchcraft, libidinal investments, non-Cartesian and non-Newtonian modes of perception, transmedia ecology, and world events such as World War II, Fukushima, and the Olympics. By investigating these themes, they make pertinent contributions on Anime and philosophy of film as well, bringing new concepts to this domain of the philosophical inquiry. These insights can let us find further and deeper learning possibilities, forms of examination, interpretations, and understandings when delving into moving images.

Anime is thinking – and we are interested in elaborating on the ways it plays, on what it makes, and on how it assembles materials. For instance, what discussions are put together when seeing and listening to the animated devilman bodies of Yuasa Masaaki, to otaku culture, to Sakamoto Ryuichi’s composition for the Sega Dreamcast opening screen or his participation in conceiving the game L.O.L. - Lack of Love, to the rebuilds of Anno Hideaki, and to the layers organizing the story of Iwakura Lain? How Anime directors, studios, distributors, audiences, characters, and narratives interact and work with audiovisual experiences? CINEMA 16 is calling for The Anime Philosophy to come and to speak in its terms, tools, and examples. We aim at addressing questions of the moving image that are potentialized by the processes and meditations of Anime, taking Japanese television animation as a central operator to produce knowledge, concepts, and desires.

The areas explored in the special issue could include (but will not be limited to):

  • Anime and japanese cinema
  • Anime and technology
  • Anime and videogames
  • Anime and other arts (cinema, experimental film, video art, architecture, sculpture, painting, literature, music, etc.)
  • Anime and other animations
  • Anime and postmedia
  • Anime and ontology
  • Anime and poststructuralism
  • Anime and the unconscious
  • Anime and artificial subjectivities
  • Anime and the nonhuman
  • Anime and trauma
  • Anime and identity
  • Anime and pop culture
  • Anime and animism
  • Anime and death

Submissions will be accepted in English, Portuguese, and French and can be sent to the editors at: [email protected]. Prospective authors should submit a short CV along with an abstract.

Abstracts (max. 500 words) are due on 30 May 2024. A selection of authors will be invited to submit full-length articles by 15 September 2024, according to the journal’s guidelines. Acceptance of the abstract does not guarantee publication, since all articles will be subject to double blind peer-review. For further information or questions about this special issue, please contact the editors, or visit the website.

Cinema also invites submissions to its other sections: Interviews, Conference Reports, and Book Reviews.

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