During his time at the iSchool, recent MS/LIS graduate Billy Tringali established and launched the Journal of Anime and Manga Studies (JAMS), an open-access publication dedicated to providing an ethical, peer-reviewed space for academics, students, and independent researchers to share their research in the field of anime, manga, cosplay, and fandom studies. A fan himself, Tringali has been drawn to popular culture scholarship since he was an undergraduate studying English and anthropology at Bridgewater State University in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
"When I got into the University of Illinois, I was interested in looking at anime critically but found that so many anime studies papers are spread across dozens of academic journals—literature journals, technology journals, tourism journals, even library journals," Tringali said. "From an information science perspective, I realized that the level of information literacy one needed to have to locate and truly dig into all these amazing pieces would be too high for someone interested in starting research on anime, manga, cosplay, or their fandoms."
JAMS is interdisciplinary publication that accepts articles from a variety of disciplines. According to Tringali, the journal is interested in the scholarly analysis of anime through any number of theoretical lenses but also interested in the qualitative and quantitative research surrounding anime. Scholarly book reviews of texts concerning anime, manga, cosplay, and related fandom culture are also considered for publication.
Associate Professor Maria Bonn mentored Tringali on scholarly communication and publishing, serving as his advisor for the JAMS project.
"I'm grateful to Dr. Bonn for being so generous with her time and support," he said. "The iSchool is lucky to have someone so knowledgeable. JAMS never would have existed without her!"
Tringali, who worked as a graduate assistant in the Scholarly Commons within the University Library, is currently on the job hunt and describes his ideal career as one that would place him in a "high engagement position."
"I get great satisfaction from collaborating and forging connections with people from all across the communities the library serves," he said. "I believe libraries need to meet people where they are in their information literacy needs and reach out to underserved populations to address the specific issues that might be blocking library access. I'm also fascinated by scholarly communication, copyright, and information seeking behavior, so having a position that would allow me to utilize these interests and skills to further information literacy goals of the library would be amazing!"