Professor in ‘Japanese Language and Culture’
PhD (Dr. phil.) in Aesthetics/Kunstwissenschaft, Humboldt University Berlin, 1991
2018–2023_Council member, European Association of Japanese Studies (EAJS)
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, Stockholm Studies in Culture and Aesthetics (SUP)
2018- _Board member, Center for Global Asia (Faculty of Social Sciences, SU)
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)
JKA111/DK26 Introduction to Japanese Studies (no free-standing course)
JKA918_Manga Studies (evening course, via Zoom)
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
edited vol. Cambridge Companion to Manga and Anime (under contract), forthcoming in 2023.
Invitations to Playful Reading: towards a New Paradigm for the Study of Graphic Fiction from Early Modern to Contemporary Japan (Cambridge-Stockholm Collaborative Research Grants Scheme, with Dr Laura Moretti, Senior Lecturer in Pre-modern Japanese Studies, Cambridge University), 2020–2023
Playing Japan: Game Studies, Anime Research, and Language Education (SU-funded collaboration with The University of Tokyo, Prof. Hiroshi Yoshida), 2020–2022
Transdisciplinary Comics Studies: Postdigital Manga, Testimonial Comics, and the Mangaesque (Pl Dr José Andrés Santiago Iglesias, Vigo University, Spain; Call 2019 «R&D&i Projects» [Knowledge Generation Programme, Type A], Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities (Government of Spain, 2020–2022)
Archive Centre for Anime Studies, Niigata University, Japan (with Prof. Minori Ishida, Prof. Kim Joon Yang et al.)
A selection from Stockholm University publication database
Introduction to “Anime Studies”
2021. Jaqueline Berndt. Anime Studies, 1-18Chapter
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.
2021. Jaqueline Berndt. Beyond MAUS, 169-192Chapter
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.
More Mangaesque than the Manga
2021. Jaqueline Berndt. Transcommunication 8 (2), 171-178Article
Kimetsu no yaiba has attracted attention with regard to transmediality, but it also raises awareness of media specificity. To exemplify the specific mediality of anime (as a distinct type of entertaining fiction resting on animated moving images), I take an intermedial approach and focus on the abundant use of mangaesque devices in the TV anime, or more precisely, ‘chibi instances’ heightened by mangaesque pictograms and other “visual morphemes” (Cohn). These instances interrupt the anime’s visual-stylistic as well as narrative continuity (and reception thereof), which has made them a matter of occasional discontent in popular criticism. Significantly, the manga source work does not feature as many and as spectacular mangaesque elements as the anime adaptation. While this may relate to media-mix marketing on the one hand, and the TV anime’s strongly nostalgic, if not conservative, orientation on the other hand, I foreground ‘cartooning’ as conceptualized in comics studies and animation history.
Leaning on recent discussions of Scott McCloud’s early notion of ‘cartoon’ as a graphic mode prevalent in comics (cf. Packard 2017, Wilde 2020, Molotiu 2020), I relate ‘cartooning’ in the Kimetsu no yaiba TV anime to the already mentioned ‘comicana’ (emanata, momentum lines, sweat beads, etc.), and to chibi-fication. Anime, as distinct from ‘animation made in Japan,’ is marked, among other things, by chibi, manifesting not only in exaggerated (‘super deformed’) midget characters that afford merchandise figures, but, more importantly, a midget version of one and the same character. Chibi-fication makes affective states visible, promotes characters’ fluid identity, and playfully jeopardizes diegetic coherence by way of abruptly changing registers. Found in the more openly structured TV series format rather than ‘authorial’ animated movies, and whereever anime prioritizes ‘figurative’ over ‘embodied acting’ (cf. Suan), chibi-fication presents itself as an instantiation of what Thomas Lamarre (2020) has conceptualized as “switching” — if approaching it from the perspective of aesthetic materiality, and considering 3rd and 1st narrative perspectives, seriousness and comicality, cuteness and grotesqueness, visible ‘picture object’ and invisible referential meaning (cf. Wilde 2020), and also generically masculine and feminine modes.
Deviating from “Art”
2020. Jaqueline Berndt. Comic Art in Museums, 180-193Chapter
Von der privaten Sammlung zur nationalen Datenbank
2021. Jaqueline Berndt. Comics & Archive, 97-112Chapter
2020. Jaqueline Berndt. Spaces Between, 175-186Chapter
Manga (as printed graphic narratives) has become an aging media with regards to reader demographics, technology, and business model; accordingly, series with elderly protagonists are seeing a boom in recent years. From the per- spective of intersectionality, the question arises how the potential age diver- sity relates to gender, especially in terms of manga’s traditional system of gendered genres. The comparison of two representative series—Kaori Tsuru- tani’s Metamorphosis Veranda (since 2017) and Yuki Ozawa’s Sanju Mariko (since 2016)—reveals how publication site (webcomic, print magazine) and a related foregrounding of genre-specific style effect demographic range. One stylistic device is the gutter, or mahaku [liminal time-space], which serves genre-specific nostalgia as well as affectively engaging page compositions in addition to closure.
Conjoined by Hand
2020. Jaqueline Berndt. Mechademia: Second Arc 12 (2), 83-101Article
Introduction: Shōjo Mediations
2019. Jaqueline Berndt. Shōjo Across Media, 1-21Chapter
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.
Anime in Academia
2018. Jaqueline Berndt. Arts 7 (4)Article
The transcultural consumption of Japan-derived popular media has prompted a significant amount of academic research and teaching. Instead of addressing globalization or localization as such, this article investigates the interplay of anime research and the institution of Japanese studies and recurrent methodological issues therein, in particular, related to representation and mediation, intellectual critique and affective engagement, subculture and national culture.The inclination towards objects and representation in socio-cultural as well as cinema-oriented Japanese-studies accounts of anime is first introduced and, after considering discursive implications of the name animein Japan and abroad, contrasted with media-studies approaches that put an emphasis on relations, modalities, and forms. In order to illustrate the vital role of forms, including genre, similarities between TV anime and Nordic Noir TV drama series are sketched out. Eventually, the article demonstrates that the study of anime is accomodated best by going beyond traditional polarizations between text and context, media specificity and media ecology, area and discipline.