Stevie Suan (スティービー・スアン) is an Associate Professor at Hosei University in the Faculty of Global and Interdisciplinary Studies. He holds a doctorate in Manga Studies from the Graduate School of Manga Studies at Kyoto Seika University, received his M.A. in Asian Studies from the University of Hawai‛i at Mānoa, and his B.A. in Cinema and Cultural Studies from Stony Brook University. Born in Sri Lanka, but raised primarily in New York City, he has spent considerable time living in Japan, as well as extended stays in Taiwan and Indonesia, where he has studied and researched a variety of topics relating to the arts and media, ranging from traditional theatrical performance to contemporary animation.

Conceptualizing the dynamics of performance modes has been one of the principal interests guiding his research across different fields. Having engaged with various mediums, he has had a sustained interest in Asian performing arts, having done research on gender and aesthetics in medieval Noh performance theory.

Moving towards theories of performativity, he has since focused his research on contemporary media, specifically anime and manga. His main area of expertise is in anime aesthetics through which he explores various modes of existence. In his recent work, he aims to develop anime research at the intersection of Media Studies, Performance Studies, and Area Studies (Asian Studies, Japan Studies). This is the topic of his book, Anime’s Identity: Performativity and Form beyond Japan (University of Minnesota Press, winner of the Japan Society for Animation Studies Award), which utilizes performance/performativity theory and media theory to explore transnational cultural production and modes of enacting selfhood under neoliberal globalization. He also extends this interdisciplinary theoretical approach to examine how anime can provide a distinct perspective on the ongoing crisis of environmental devastation.

Stevie Suan serves on the Steering Committee for the Mechademia Asia Conference, held every 2 years at the Kyoto International Manga Museum, and is an associate editor for the Mechademia: Second Arc journal, as well as on the editorial board of the journal for the Japan Society of Animation Studies (日本アニメーション学会).

Succinctly, his research interests include:

Anime Studies, Performance Studies (modes of performance, performativity, Asian performing arts), Asian Studies (Trans-Asian cultural production), Japan Studies (contemporary media: anime, manga, nation-branding; theater: Noh, Kabuki, Bunraku, modern; pre-modern-modern literature), Media Studies (animation), Globalization Studies (transnationality), and Ecological Thought.

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