welcome to asiascape

research in cyberculture and animanga

About Asiascape

Established in October 2007, Asiascape is an attempt to build a new international research coalition in the rapidly emerging fields of cyberculture (New Media, Convergence Culture, Video Games and other related media, such as fan-culture) and animanga (Anime and Manga), especially as they relate to (or originate from) East Asia.
Asiascape is hosted by Leiden University, the Netherlands.

It is well known that a large proportion of this type of media emerges from the East Asian region (Japan, China and Korea), and Asiascape seeks to sponsor and organize research into the importance of these media as a series of transformative, cutting edge, transnational global commodities, and/or as a series of cultural products that reveal much about East Asia itself.

There is a scattered (and growing) group of international researchers working in this field and, in addition to conducting its own original research, Asiascape aims to provide a hub for the organization and direction of this rapidly emerging field.
Under the direction of Professor Chris Goto-Jones and with an international advisory board of leading scholars, Asiascape sponsors a series of ‘state of the field’ events (lectures, conferences, competitions, exhibitions) and disseminates research using new and old media, including via this website, through its occasional papers series and its associated news-blog, vistas. Asiascape is also the home of ‘Beyond Utopia,’ a five-year project funded by the NWO (the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) that is concerned with identifying the potentials of artistic media such as manga, anime, and video games for expression, criticism, and intervention in political thinking.

beyond utopia

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Asiascape is honored to have the ‘VICI’ project of Chris Goto-Jones, ‘Beyond Utopia: New Politics, the Politics of Knowledge, and the Science Fictional Field of Japan’ as part of its research portfolio. This five-year project (Jan 2010 – Dec 2014) is funded by the innovational research scheme of the NWO (the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). It is concerned with identifying the potentials of artistic media such as manga, anime, and video games for expression, criticism, and intervention in political thinking.

beyond utopia - manga exhibition and seminar

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On Saturday December 6, Asiascape presents 'Manga in/as Essay', a unique event that seeks to demonstrate the power and potential of manga as a medium for political and philosophical expression in contemporary societies.

virtual ninja project

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The Virtual Ninja Project is part of a wider research initiative focussed on an engagement with questions of political, ethical, and philosophical expression in manga, anime and videogames.

research fields - animanga

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The importance and scope of East Asian animanga is beyond question. To take the most famous example only (Japanese animation and character goods): global sales amount to nine trillion yen (about $80 billion). This figure represents a ten-fold growth since the mid-1990s. At the turn of the millennium, the Japanese government officially endorsed anime as one of modern Japan’s principal contributions to world culture.


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Asiascape’s research activities are directed by a project director and an international advisory board. It also provides an opportunity for other academic researchers in the field to become ‘research fellows’ of the centre, helping them to network with PhD students, PostDocs and other fellows from around the world and keeping them involved in the activities of the centre.

asiascape publications

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In recognition of the under-representation of cyberculture in many of the mainstream academic journals, the Asiascape publications deliberately utilise free, web-based distribution in order to assist in the dissemination of serious scholarship in the areas of cyberculture, animanga etc., with the goal of helping to establish a lively, rich, diverse and thriving field.

asiascape: digital asia (dias)

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vistas - the asiascape blog

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Asiascape Vistas is a forum for discussion about the many and various dimensions of cyberculture found in or originating from East Asia. Its focus is on the interplay between these media and questions of politics & philosophy.

research fields - cyberculture

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The term ‘cybercultures’ includes a wide variety of cultural, artistic and technological products, many of which find their origins in the East Asia region. Ranging from the massive scale of the Japanese video games industry (both in terms of hardware and software) to the innovative and exciting developments in virtual-worlds in Korea, East Asia is the international hothouse of cyber-production.


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research fields - alter/native imagi/nations

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The Alter/native Imagi/nations initiative intends to interrogate “Japan” in an age of global media flow. Japan here serves as a theme that gathers multifarious perspectives and thus offers a productive use of the term “nation”, aimed at the potentials of diversity rather than serving as a unifier or marker of sameness. Specifically, the initiative targets the potentials and limitations that “media as space” and “space as media” might have for political alternatives, the “imaginary” and “community” within this diverse playing field.
Asiascape is based at Leiden University and was founded with the help and generosity of:
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