Emancipation in Postmodernity: Political Thought in Japanese Science Fiction Animation


Mari Nakamura

PhD defended at: 

Leiden University


Animation has long been overlooked as source for political thought. The aim of this thesis is to rectify this, and it will do so in two ways. First, it makes a theoretical and empirical case for animation as an intellectual source of political thought that should be used along with philosophical canon. Second, it sheds light on the political significance and expressive potentials of nonconventional sources for political theorists. The thesis explores the philosophical idea of emancipation, and expands the traditional corpus by drawing on Japanese science fiction animation (SF anime), a source that does not normally enter these philosophical debates. It argues that SF anime is a useful site for political theorists to interrogate pressing philosophical ideas, and it can engage with ongoing philosophical discussions through illustrations and thought experiments.