The Alt-Manga Symposium (April 7th, Thursday at Baruch College)

2016 Spring - Alt-Manga Symposium [Web]

The Japanese Program at Baruch College  and Baruch Japan Club will present the “Alt-Manga Symposium” on April 7th (Thursday) at Baruch College.

The “Alt-Manga Symposium” invites scholars, professionals, and artists in and around the city of New York to give lectures and conversations about Japanese comics known as manga. One of the primary objectives of the symposium is to show the rich and diverse world of Japanese comics with a focus on Japanese alternative and non-mainstream manga, and their development in both domestic and transnational contexts. The invited guest lecturers/artists are Akino Kondoh (NY-based manga/visual artist), Erica Friedman (the Founder of Yuricon, ALC Publishing), Professor George Tsouris (professor of Japanese literature and philosophy), and Professor Shige (CJ) Suzuki (organizer). The planned symposium is the successor of last year’s “Shōjo Manga Symposium” held at CUNY, Baruch College, and the “Shōjo Manga Exhibition” (Feb. 7 – Feb 27, 2015).

To reserve a seat for the symposium, please register on the website below.

Map and Access:
The Symposium is held at the classroom VC5-165 Building B (The William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus)





The events are sponsored by the Japan Foundation, New York.




The event is free of charge and open to public, but attendee discretion is advised since adult content will be presented to facilitate topics of discussion.

Date: April 7th (Thursday)
Time: 12:40 to 2:00 pm
Place: VC5-165 (see the map below)


  1. Professor Shige (CJ) Suzuki
    Professor CJ Suzuki (PhD, University of California Santa Cruz) is an assistant professor who specializes in comparative literature, film, and popular culture, teaching courses on Japanese literature, film, and culture, as well as the Japanese language. Dr. Suzuki has published several articles and book chapters on Japanese comics, including  “Tatsumi Yoshihiro’s Gekiga and the Global Sixties: Aspiring for an Alternative” inManga’sCulturalCrossroads, edited by Jaqueline Berndt and Bettina Kümmerling-Meibauer (2013), “Traversing Art and Manga: Ishiko Junzō’s Writings on Manga/Gekiga” on Comics Forum (2014), and “Autism and Manga: Comics for Women, Disability, and Tobe Keiko’sWith the Light” in International Perspectives on Shojo and Shojo Manga: The Influence of Girl Culture, edited by Masami Toku (2015).
  1. Ms. Akino Kondoh, Manga-ka/Artist
    Ms. Akino Kondoh graduated from Tama Art University, Tokyo, with a BA in Graphic Design in 2003. Her work spans various media—animation, manga, drawing, and painting—and has been exhibited internationally. She was awarded a residency at International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York, and has lived and worked in the city since 2008. Kondoh’s work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions at international venues including MoCA Shanghai; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Guangdong Museum of Art; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The National Art Center, Tokyo; Centre Pompidou, Paris; New York; Mizuma Art Gallery, Tokyo; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo.
    Kondoh’s website:
  1. Professor George Tsouris
    Professor Goerge Tsouris is a professor of Japanese literature and philosophy at City University of New York. He earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Columbia University in 2002. After living in Japan, his academic interests have focused on ethics and justice, especially as applied to post-war Japanese contexts in literature, manga, butoh and the arts. In addition to academics, Professor Tsouris has also composed and directed the opera Ektor (2010), and the dance piece Death of the Buddha (2011), while also directing several repertoire and contemporary operettas. He also creates animation for short films and video games.
  1. Erica Friedman, the Founder of Yuricon, ALC Publishing
    Ms. Erica Friedman holds a Masters Degree in Library Science and a B.A. in Comparative Literature, and is a full-time researcher for a Fortune 100 company. She has lectured at dozens of conventions and presented at film festivals, notably the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and the London Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. She has participated in an academic lecture series at MIT, University of Illinois, Harvard University, Kanagawa University and others. Erica has written about Yuri for Japanese literary journal EurekaAnimerica magazine, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Dark Horse, and contributed to ForbesSlate, Huffington Post, Hooded Utilitarian, Afterellen and The Mary Sue online. She writes news and event reports, interviews Yuri creators and reviews Yuri anime, manga and related media on her blog Okazu, since 2002.
    Friedman’s website:



1.“Gekiga and Japanese Counterculture: Garo and COM” by Shige (CJ) Suzuki)

This talk explores the socio-historical and cultural context of the development of gekiga by examining the shifting media ecology of Japanese comics industry, important comics artists and their works, and the impact of gekiga on other artistic and cultural practices. The focus will be on two major “alternative” magazines: Garo (1964 – 2002) and COM (1967-1972), both of which offered an outlet for innovative, unorthodox, and transgressive artists. Both comics magazines not only expanded comics expressions but also pushed the conceptual horizon of “manga,” attempting to legitimize the artistic value of comics while maintaining a sense of unruly proclivity by being “alternative.” This opening talk traces the emergence and development of gekiga as Japanese alternative comics in the context of postwar Japanese visual culture, mainly from mid-1950s to early 1970s, illustrating how both these comics magazines played a role in shaping the visual culture of Japanese counterculture.


  1. “A Conversation with Akino Kondoh” presented by George Touris

The discussion between George Tsouris and Akino Kondoh explores the manga, animation, and visual artworks of Ms. Kondoh. Special attention will be paid to how her works express feelings of isolation felt as a female in America and Japan. We will also examine how her works represent the feminine immigrant experience in New York City, and compare and contrast her experiences in America and Japan as an artist who works across different media. In this context, we will also discuss how Ms. Kondoh manages a successful art career in today’s world.


  1. “Alt-Manga, Queer Manga” by Erica Friedman

This talk establishes the social and political landscape and market forces that brought about a rise in manga by and for gender and sexual minorities, both in Japan and the west. Starting with the days before the Internet, as fan communities developed and digressed, through contemporary political shifts, this talk contextualizes the complex interplay of fan, creator and industry needs in regards to identification with and representation of sexual and gender minorities in manga.

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