SGMS: Mechademia Conference

Dedicated to the expansion of Japanese scholarship and cultural critique globally, this internationally recognized three-day conference explores the transnational exchange of Japanese anime and manga, and its effect on global cultures. Each conference has combined the vibrancy of fan practices, fashion shows, and anime screenings with the dynamic presentations and discussions of academics, and a long list of extraordinary keynote speakers, usually Japanese scholars or creators — resulting in an enriching and unique experience.

Since its inception in 2001, the Mechademia Conference on Asian Popular Cultures (formerly SGMS) has become a center for discussion of the cultural study, creation, aesthetics, philosophies, sociology, fascination, through the wonders of the remarkably broad range of Japanese objects and practices. It was also the birthplace of the now internationally praised Mechademia book series published by the University of Minnesota Press.


Over the years, Mechademia conference has invited notable experts across a wide range of perspectives, such as Azuma Hiroki, Sato Dai, Takemoto Novala, Thomas Lamarre, Taniguchi Tomoko, Michael Arias, Sharalyn Orbaugh, Sean Michael Wilson, Eron Rauch, Paul Benjamin, Helen McCarthy, Susan Napier, Patrick Drazen, Christopher Bolton, Sharon Kinsella, Toku Masami, Antonia Levi, Brent Allison, Brian Ruh, Marc Hairston, Udon Studio, Trina Robbins, Peter Paik, Crispin Freeman, C.B. Cebulski, Jeremy Ross, Wendy Siuyi Wong, Tim Lehman, Phil Anderson, Ke Jiang, Lea Hernandez, Frenchy Lunning, Samantha Rei, and Verssen Werks.


Frenchy Lunning PhD, a Professor of Liberal Arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, also has more than a decade of event-planning and production practice with SGMS, fashion shows, and as a producer of music videos and short films through the production company Moving Walkway Productions, as well as being Editor-in-Chief of the Mechademia book series, and author of two books. 

Edmund Hoff PhD, brings his expertise in event-planning through his major role in the planning, management, and role of emcee in the famous World Cosplay Summit. His ability to manage huge numbers of international cosplayers into a smoothly running festival with many performances and contests is well-known and documented.

Ursula Murray Husted MFA/PhD, a Professor of Comics and Sequential Art at the University of Wisconsin:Stout  She has traversed the Arctic Circle by way of Svalbard on a traditionally rigged barkentine tall ship, travelled the entire length of the Ohio River on a small research vessel, and worked with Dr.Lunning to produce the Mechademia book series. 


Since its inception in 2001, the Mechademia conference has become a center for discussion of the cultural study, creation, aesthetics, theory, as well as the global fascination and wonder of the remarkably broad range of objects and practices that have developed around the global proliferation of Japanese manga and anime.

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