For the first time ever, UNM is offering an eight-week course titled “The Fantastical World of Japanese Anime.”

The course will be meeting Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. to explore the rich and colorful world of anime and its connection to Western civilization.

“We know anime is really interesting to a lot of students in the UNM community, and we had the good fortune of locating a dynamic instructor, Nona Carter, who has expertise in this area,” said UNM’s Foreign Languages & Literatures Department Chair Dr. Pamela Cheek. “So we were able to put together this second-half course, thinking it would be a fabulous way for students to learn about the intersections of Japanese and American culture around anime.”

Carter has a PHD in Japanese and Asian studies and is a specialist in modern Japanese culture, Cheek said.

Anime, as we know it today, was invented around 1917, giving the medium a vast history as it develops into the current day.

“It has an interesting evolution,” Cheek said. “Not only has it affected American animation, but American animation has affected the evolution of anime.”

Recently, the United States has seen a rise in anime fandom, she said.

“So some of the course will be engaged with exploring the intercultural relations around anime,” Cheek said.

Some big names in anime will be shown in the new course, including Hayao Miyazaki, a popular Japanese film director, writer and animator known for many works including “Spirited Away” and “Howl’s Moving Castle.” These films, in addition to some of Miyazaki’s lesser known work, will be viewed during the course.

“Students will have the opportunity to reflect not only on the emotional character of this expressive form of art and filmmaking, but also to think about that in relation to the cartooning and animation that they may be familiar with in Disney films, for instance,” Cheek said. “They will also have the opportunity to think about what it’s like to encounter the visual art that comes out of Japan and what their relationship to it via American culture with an American background is.”

The course is a great foray into thinking about Japanese culture, she said.

“It’s a nice way to think about the study of Japanese and the language and also the study of contemporary Japan,” Cheek said. “For those interested in film as a form of art, it’s also a great way to become familiar with different film forms. And most importantly, it’s a second-half course, so it gives students an opportunity to have an intensive immersion in the experience.”

Students interested in taking the course can register for the the course JAPN/ENGL/COMP 339 with the CRN 61506/61507/61508.

Nichole Harwood is a news and culture beat reporter at the Daily Lobo. She primarily covers alumni and art features. She can be contacted at, or on Twitter @Nolidoli1.