Stockholm university

Jaqueline BerndtProfessor

About me

Professor in ‘Japanese Language and Culture’
PhD (Dr. phil.) in Aesthetics/Kunstwissenschaft, Humboldt University Berlin, 1991

Preferred medium of contact: email, not phone.

2019-_Chairperson and main contact for book series "Stockholm Studies in Media Arts Japan” (SMAJ, Stockholm University Press, Open Access)
2021-_managing co-editor for book series “Comics Studies: Aesthetics, Histories, Practices” (deGruyter, Berlin)
2018- _Board member, Center for Global Asia (Faculty of Social Sciences, SU)
2018–2023_Council member, European Association of Japanese Studies (EAJS)

Employment History

Professor in Manga/Comics Theory (tenured), Graduate School of Manga, Kyoto Seika University, Japan (2009-2017)

​Associate Professor in Art and Media Studies (tenured), Faculty of Education and Human Sciences, Yokohama National University, Japan (2001-2009)

Associate Professor in Art Sociology (tenured), Department of Social Sciences, Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan (1995-2001)


I am teaching in English (and Japanese--although not at SU).

JKA111/JA17_Introduction to Japanese Studies (not freestanding; 1st period, 5 hp)
JKA918_Manga Studies (freestanding ‘evening’ course via Zoom; 2nd period, 7.5 hp)
JK0600_Issues and Approaches in East Asian Studies (MA program; 1st period, 7.5 hp)


JKA935_Queer Asia (freestanding, via Zoom; 2nd period, 7.5 hp)_see last year’s sessions here

JKA223/delkurs “Japanese culture” (not freestanding; 1st period, 5 hp)
JKA663_Kandidatkurs, incl. Academic Writing II (not freestanding)


To Foreign Students Seeking PhD Supervision:
Unfortunately, I am not allowed to accept PhD students outside of the specifically Swedish framework of contracted positions (here, PhD student is an employment, and openings are rare; a program with entrance exams doesn’t exist).
But if you are enrolled in another university’s PhD program, you are welcome to receive my supervision as an academic intern or guest for one or two semesters (provided that you are able to cover your living expenses).



What? — Visual arts/aesthetic culture in Asia (19th – 21st centuries: graphic arts, filmic media), manga/comics, anime and animation

How? — Media Studies (new formalism and materialism applied to manga and anime); Art Theory/Aesthetics; Museum/Exhibition Studies

Current Projects:

edited vol. Cambridge Companion to Manga and Anime (under contract), forthcoming in 2024.

International Collaboration:

Playing Japan: Game Studies, Anime Research, and Language Education (SU-funded collaboration with The University of Tokyo, Prof. Hiroshi Yoshida), 2020–2022

Archive Centre for Anime Studies, Niigata University, Japan (with Prof. Minori Ishida, Prof. Kim Joon Yang et al.)


Research projects


A selection from Stockholm University publication database

  • Manga: an affective form of comics

    2023. Jaqueline Berndt. The Cambridge Companion to Comics, 82-101


    Taking the narrow notion of manga outside of Japan as its starting point, this chapter refrains from introducing the diversity of comics in Japan in favor of a transculturally open approach. From a form-conscious perspective, it conceptualizes manga as a highly affective type of comics that share characteristics with non-Japanese comics far beyond the “manga” label. Following a brief historical survey of what “manga” has meant in English since the 1980s, the device of affective eyes takes center stage. Graphic narratives by Osamu Tezuka, Keiji Nakazawa, Keiko Takemiya, and Jirō Taniguchi serve as examples for how extreme close-ups of eyes have operated across periods and genres, namely, not only as representations of interiority or ethnicity, but also as material signposts and guides of visual perception: eyes draw attention, get readers involved prior to critical interpretation, establish intimacy with characters, provide a node for a page’s visual fragments, help to obscure the divide between inside and outside, subject and object, self and other. Moving gingerly into an ocular history of manga as an affective form of comics, the chapter seeks to turn away from essentialist, as well as culturalist, definitions of what manga is in favor of how it operates.

    Read more about Manga
  • Geschichte der Animation: Anime in Japan

    2022. Jaqueline Berndt. Handbuch Animation Studies, 1-15


    Ausgehend vom japanischen und englischsprachigen Forschungsstand interessieren Genealogie und diskursive Positionierung von Anime als einer Form mit Japan assoziierter Zeichentrickfilme und -serien, die sich in den späten 1970er Jahren als eigenständiges ästhetisch-kommunikatives Medium institutionalisierte. Statt Kulturindustrie, Fankultur und Franchising stehen medienspezifische Kennzeichnungen wie limitierte Folienanimation, Manga-Nähe, serielle Erzählung und fernsehtypisches Umschalten im Zentrum sowie Differenzierungen zwischen Anime, (Art) Animation und Mangafilm.

    Read more about Geschichte der Animation
  • Introduction to “Anime Studies”

    2021. Jaqueline Berndt. Anime Studies, 1-18


    Taking its departure from the global recognizability of anime and a perceived lack of form-conscious research, this chapter highlights the importance to focus specifically on ‘anime’ as distinct from ‘animation’ at a time when anime’s medial identity as established since the 1960s is dissolving due to digitalization and globalization. This is done against the backdrop of a discourse-analytical survey on contemporary notions of ‘animation’ and ‘anime,’ the latter referring to a highly conventionalized, affective, interrelational, industrial, truly post-modernist media form that calls for interdisciplinary investigation. The Introduction argues for the aesthetic and critical potential of Anime Studies as a distinct, while open, field of research that accommodates anime as media (not genre) and its specificity. In contrast to traditional conceptions of medium specificity which have privileged allegedly autonomous texts, or works, anime’s media specificity is acknowledged in a broad way, including textual features, modes of engagement, and intermediality. This is demonstrated on the example of Neon Genesis Evangelion, stretching from the initial TV anime series to the later franchise.

    Read more about Introduction to “Anime Studies”
  • Collapsing Boundaries

    2021. Jaqueline Berndt. Beyond MAUS, 169-192


    Taking the investigation of comics and the Holocaust beyond MAUS implies a twofold difference in the case of Japan, where Spiegelman’s work has been available in translation since the early 1990s. First, Japan appears to be a historically detached site with regards to the Holocaust and its memory, and precisely this distance has facilitated the linkage of the Jewish genocide to discourses of national self-victimization. Second, a manga equivalent to MAUS, the epitome of the individually authored, “socially aspirational” graphic novel, is difficult to find. In the main, manga is (gendered) genre fiction and as such abundant in tropes, giving preference to performative fabrications over realist representation, and, in recent years, to connective over collective memory. Depending on situation and context (and effective beyond Japan and manga), tropes hold the potential to involve readers who regard themselves as socio-politically uninvolved. This is demonstrated on the example of the fictionalized parts of the “Anne Frank” issue in the weekly-manga series Great Persons, rendered in overcute moe style by artist TNSK (2015); and Machiko Kyo’s 2-volume Anne-Frank fantasy “ANoNE” (serialized in the women’s manga magazine Elegance Eve, 2011–2013). The focus is on entertaining commercial fiction, leaving aside non-fiction comics productions of the educational kind.

    Read more about Collapsing Boundaries
  • Introduction: Shōjo Mediations

    2019. Jaqueline Berndt. Shōjo Across Media, 1-21


    In order to provide a framework for the whole volume, this introductory chapter promotes a shift of methodological focus from shōjo (girl) as a category of social representation to shōjo mediations, considering not only media for and by actual girls, but also shōjo as character type, code, and taste category. Firstly, shōjo research inside and outside of Japan is recapitulated with due regard to changes in both mediascape and critical orientation. Secondly, it is demonstrated that the word shōjo assumes its specific meaning in relation to other, historically changing Japanese names for “girl” and the employed media. Finally, the volume’s individual chapters are introduced with particular regard to the conception of shōjo they apply, relating to Japanese and gender studies, genre theory, transcultural research on popular media, and performativity respectively.

    Read more about Introduction: Shōjo Mediations

Show all publications by Jaqueline Berndt at Stockholm University