Mechademia—an intellectual community built around a conference and a journal (University of Minnesota Press)—has stood at the forefront of youth-focused Asian popular culture scholarship since its inception in the early 2000s. With its emphasis upon manga, anime, video games, and other forms of East Asian popular culture and their fan bases, Mechademia has regularly brought together scholars, fans, and practitioners in seeking common dialogue, fresh approaches, and innovative insights.
This Digital Dialogues session seeks to probe the interconnections between Mechademia and Asian Studies. We begin with a brief history of Mechademia led by its founding organizers discussing the impetus for creating the conference and journal. The discussion subsequently broadens to address the following questions:
- What is the place of popular culture studies in the larger field of Asian Studies? What can popular culture studies contribute to Asian Studies (and vice versa)?
- How do fan cultures contribute to our understandings and interactions in Asian Studies?
- What roles do race, gender, class, nation, and other structuring properties play in the study of fan cultures, with a particular eye to Asian Studies?
- How might querying popular culture studies help queer Asian Studies?