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March 11 , 2010

Mechademia 7

Lines of Sight


Lines of Sight—the seventh volume in the Mechademia series, an annual forum devoted to Japanese anime and manga—explores the various ways in which anime, manga, digital media, fan culture, and Japanese art—from scroll paintings to superflat—challenge, undermine, or disregard the concept of Cartesian (or one-point) perspective, the dominant mode of visual culture in the West since the seventeenth century. More than just a visual mode or geometric system, Cartesianism has shaped nearly every aspect of modern rational thought, from mathematics and science to philosophy and history.

Framed by Thomas Lamarre’s introduction, “Radical Perspectivalism,” the essays here approach Japanese popular culture as a visual mode that employs non-Cartesian formations, which by extension make possible new configurations of perception and knowledge. Whether by shattering the illusion of visual or narrative seamlessness through the use of multiple layers or irregular layouts, blurring the divide between viewer and creator, providing diverse perspectives within a single work of art, or rejecting dualism, causality, and other hallmarks of Cartesianism, anime and manga offer in their radicalization of perspective the potential for aesthetic and even political transformation.

Contributors: David Beynon, Deakin U; Fujimoto Yukari, Meiji U; Yuriko Furuhata, McGill U; Craig Jackson, Ohio Wesleyan U; Reginald Jackson, U of Chicago; Thomas Lamarre, McGill U; Jinying Li; Waiyee Loh; Livia Monnet, U of Montreal; Sharalyn Orbaugh, U of British Columbia; Stefan Riekeles; Atsuko Sakaki, U of Toronto; Miryam Sas, U of California, Berkeley; Timon Screech, U of London; Emily Somers; Marc Steinberg, Concordia U.

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