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Meet Dr Otaku

Dr Otaku, aka, Dr Ananya Saha talks about manga, anime, comic studies and other allied visual arts. Her doctoral thesis is titled "The Gaikokujin and its Kin: A Study of the Representation of the 'Outsider' in Modern Manga". She is an assistant professor by day, and a geek par excellence by night. She researches, publishes, lectures, and mentors students in myriad areas pertaining to comic studies. 



Professional Summary


(2020) PhD, Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. The research explores the myriad permutations of the ‘outsider’ in the popular cultural discourse of Japanese ‘manga’ aka graphic narratives, vis-à-vis global reception.                         


Select Publications

(Forthcoming), Article on "aquagraphics" in the journal titled CLOSURE, volume on OCEAN COMICS, from University of Kiel. 

(Forthcoming), Chapter in a Book on Manga and Isekai, under consideration by Bloomsbury. 

(Forthcoming), Chapter in a Book titled Women’s Imaginary Cooking and Appetites, under consideration by Brill Publishers.

(Forthcoming), Chapter in a Book titled Black Witches and Queer Ghosts: Disrupting Norms in Supernatural Teen Serials, under consideration by Lexington Books.

(2021) Co-edited a book titled Japanese Horror: New Critical Approaches to History, Narratives and Aesthetics, published by Lexington Books.

(2019) Saha, A. “Manga and the Impressionable Child: Reinventing Religiosity in Doujinshi”. In N. Sethi and A. Saha, editors, Trajectories of Popular Expression: Forms, Histories, Contexts. Aakar Books, New Delhi, India. ISBN 978-93-5002-575-8. 

(2018) Saha, A. “Manga as ‘Mukokuseki’? ‘Prosumer’ Hybridism in Original Non-Japanese Manga.” Orientaliska Studier, 156. Presented at the “Manga, Comics and Japan: Area Studies as Media Studies” conference at Stockholm University. ISSN 0345-8997.

(2018) Saha, A. “Negotiating the Impulses of Cyber/Eco-Queer in the Japanese Sci-Fi Anime: The Scope of Technology vis à- vis Gendered Identity”. Indraprasth, Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University Journal. ISSN 2278-7208.

(2018) Saha, A. “Why so Straight? Exploring the ‘Chronotope’ of Slash/Fandom in Harry Potter Doujinshi Manga”. Gnosis, 5(3). ISSN 2394- 0131.

(2017) Saha, A. “Visualizing the Gaikokujin Alien: Graphic Hybridity in Popular Cultural Manga Narratives”. Appropriations, Bankura Christian College, 12. ISSN 0975-1521.   

Select Fellowships 

(May 2018 – June 2018) DAAD Visiting Researcher, Tübingen University. Worked on ‘Literary Cultures of the Global South’. Delivered lectures to an international body of students on ’Transculturalism in the Global South’.

(Nov 2016- Nov 2017) Centre for English Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University. UGC SAP DSA (I) fellow for the department of English, organized and managed resources for a national conference titled “Trajectories of the Popular”, supervised the shifting of the SAP library resources to a student- friendly space, along with updating catalogues and managing accounts for incoming titles.


(2020) Coursera, certification course titled "Our Earth’s Future", from American Museum of Natural History.

Select Conferences

(2022) Saha, A. “Glimpses of the Gaikokujin: Engaging with the ‘Outsider’ in Modern Manga”. In Migration and Transition. Mechademia, Los Angeles.

(2022) Saha, A. “Bullies with Backstories: Addressing Ijime in Japanese Mangas from the Last Three Decades”. In Picturing the Perpetrator in Comics and Graphic Narratives. University of Bucharest.

(2016) Saha, A. “Playing the Field, Performing Paradox: Looking at the Rites of Passage of Identity in Japanese Football through the Lens of Manga and Anime”. In The Beautiful Game: The Poetics and Aesthetics of Soccer in a Transnational Perspective, Basel University, Switzerland. Swiss Association for North American Studies. 

(2013) Saha, A. “Dimensions of the Fantastical in Miyazaki: Reading Chihiro’s Quest in Spirited Away”. In Other Worlds in Literature: Fantasy and Science Fiction. University Grants Commission, Special Assistance Programme, Centre for English Studies.


(2022) Invited as a guest speaker at the Texas AM University (Doha Campus) Multi- Vercity Summer Programme. 

(2023) Invited panelist at NSHM Knowledge Campus, Kolkata on "Emerging Trends in Literature and Language". 

(2023) Invited as a guest speaker at the “Kolkata Comic Carnival 2”.

(2022) Invited as a guest speaker at the “Kolkata Comic Carnival”.

(2019) Peer Reviewer. Feminist Encounters: A Journal of Critical Studies in Culture and Politics and Language, Literature, and Interdisciplinary Studies (ISSN 2457-0044) (eISSN: 2542-4920), for a paper on "Sanitary Comic Panels". 

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