How does anime make meaning? What’s the relation between manga (comics) and anime? How can we “read” an anime closely, and how do the forces of distribution make a difference, globally and locally? What are the powers of a plastic line? What would it mean to follow a meme, or a piece of software/technology for generating color, or a voice actor, or a character across media outside of the bounds of a single work? In this course, we will explore the history of animation throughout the 20th century, with primary focus on Japanese works (from Tezuka Osamu to Miyazaki Hayao to Kon Satoshi and beyond), and gain the tools to think critically about this influential medium. We will end by opening up cutting edge research topics in the studies of animation, mobilizing students’ broad range of backgrounds and knowledge for collaborative projects to add to the field.