Extended Deadline: Mechademia: Second Arc, Vol. 15.1 "Modes of Existence"

Frenchy Lunning's picture
Call for Papers
August 15, 2021
Subject Fields: 
Cultural History / Studies, Asian History / Studies, Popular Culture Studies, Philosophy, Japanese History / Studies



This volume of Mechademia: Second Arc, Vol.15.1, seeks original essays on Souriau’s and Latour’s approaches on fictional modes of existence to bear on the multitudes of fandom’s love affairs with fictional characters found in anime, manga, video games, performative genres, cosplay, etc. While the focus of this issue remains on Japanese culture, topics addressing global fan practices connected with founding forms of Asian works are also welcome. 

Souriau and Latour explore the relations between multiple modes of existence, including their psychological, spiritual, physical, and fictive inflections. Japanese fiction is certainly swarming with metamorphic entities. Visible and invisible beings, cyborgs, and chimeras unsettle traditional manners of being, question the stability of spatio-temporal relations, and stir up passions. But which aspects of the work of fiction can compel a fan to fall in love with it? Can this attraction be summoned by the quality of the drawings of manga, the charism of a video game avatar, the particular voice of the author, or the vividness of anime characters?

Fruitful transfers between modes of existence inform fan practices. Cosplay enables fans to embody popular characters and share their creation with others. Fans gather in the public space to restage key moments from an anime. Dynamic exchanges happen between players and their videogame avatars and Pokémon hunting invites crossings between reality and fiction.

Souriau and Latour’s overviews of the implications of the modes of existence touch upon everyone’s responsibility toward building a better future. They evoke the creative contribution of individuals who participate in the achievement of projects larger than themselves. Similar aspirations compel some fans to perpetuate the legacy of their favorite manga characters by writing about them on online forums or by remediating works they admire.

Topics for essays drawing on Souriau/Latour’s approach include but are not limited to:

  • Affect and embodied responses toward the multiplicity of beings or modes of existence of characters in anime
  • The coexistence of the modes of existence as experienced by various fan practices
  • Avatarial impersonations or massive-multiplayer videogames at the intersection between modes of existence
  • The world in the making and fan creativity bearing on the modes of existence
  • Otaku or fans’ experience with intersecting modes of existence as depicted in works of fiction
  • The manners of being of various beings in anime and manga and their power to transform fans’ lives
  • Cosplay and the collaborations and conflicts informed by communities of humans and nonhumans
  • Living our togetherness and fans’ responsibilities in the era of the Anthropocene
Contact Info: 

Email submissions to: submissions@mechademia.com

Submissions: 5,000-7,000 words including citations in Chicago Style, 17th ed. in Bibliographic Endnote form with no notes or CFs; in Word only, no PDFs. Figures are limited to 8 images and/or tables, of at least 300 dpi, and in either TIFF or JPG formats, submitted in a separate file and not embedded in the text, with captions submitted in a separate Word document. Obtaining permission is the responsibility of the author.

The Mechademia Style Guide can be found at www.mechademia.net