Welcome to SPACE, our adult continuing education program which offers interactive monthly courses for personal enrichment! Learn more here.

Nancy "Anni" Foasberg

SPACE Preceptor

Nancy “Anni” Foasberg is a scholarly communication librarian at Queens College, CUNY, where she previously served as a humanities librarian with subject responsibility for English and a few other departments. [see full bio...]

Current and Upcoming Modules

All Modules

A Cultural History of Anime

In this module we will look at the historical development of anime, with special attention to its uses in re-imagining post-war Japanese culture and society. From Momotaro’s Divine Sea Warriors to mushroom-cloud explosions and kawaii aesthetic, come explore how anime shapes Japanese (and others’) perceptions of Japanese history and culture.

Eating Our Way Through Anime

What can a carefully arranged bento box show us about a protagonist’s emotions? How does a steaming bowl of ramen help tell a story? Anime is known for its detailed, mouthwatering portrayals of food. But what exactly makes these artistic culinary delights so special, and why do we keep coming back for more?

In this module, we will consider many aspects of food in anime and its relationship with fandom, culture, and history, and how food signals certain things about characters, settings, and relationships.

Come help us eat our way through anime!

Exploring Natsume’s Book of Friends: Part 1

Natsume’s Book of Friends is a contemplative and heartfelt anime/manga series about a boy who inherited a book from his grandmother, allowing him to control youkai. Instead, he chooses to free them. This series sits at the intersection of fantasy and slice of life, and it touches on many aspects of Japanese folklore and culture, at the same time telling a story about connection and compassion. In this module, we will watch and discuss the first two seasons of the anime, paying particular attention to themes including: the iyashikei (healing) genre of anime, the portrayal of youkai in popular culture, and the use of concepts and imagery from Japanese literature and folklore in the series.

This module is primarily discussion based, with some contextual information provided by the preceptor. There will be a Google Doc for class discussion and your preceptor will use slides, but sparingly.

Exploring Natsume’s Book of Friends: Part 2

The third and fourth seasons of Natsume’s Book of Friends continue the story of a boy who can see youkai, and who usually frees them or helps them rather than control or exorcize them. These two seasons continue to explore the themes of loneliness, connection, and the conflict between humans and others, but also introduces the Matoba clan, a group of exorcists. As with the first module, we will look at the role of youkai and the way that both characters and the audience are healed.

Exploring Natsume’s Book of Friends: Part 3

The fifth and sixth seasons of Natsume’s Book of Friends continue the story of a boy who can see youkai, and who usually frees them or helps them rather than control or exorcize them. These two seasons continue to explore the themes of loneliness, connection, and the conflict between humans and others, but also provide further insight into the secondary characters that surround Natsume. As with the first two modules, we will look at the role of youkai and the way that both characters and the audience are healed.

Exploring Natsume’s Book of Friends Series

Natsume’s Book of Friends is a contemplative and heartfelt anime/manga series about a boy who inherited a book from his grandmother, allowing him to control youkai. Instead, he chooses to free them. This series sits at the intersection of fantasy and slice of life, and it touches on many aspects of Japanese folklore and culture, at the same time telling a story about connection and compassion.

This series is primarily discussion based, with some contextual information provided by the preceptor. There will be a Google Doc for class discussion and your preceptor will use slides, but sparingly.

Exploring Violet Evergarden

Come join us for a stunning coming-of-age fantasy anime that follows the story of Violet Evergarden, a former soldier who finds forgiveness, healing, and self-worth through the unassuming power of writing letters. In this module, we will discuss how Violet Evergarden functions as a postwar recovery and travel story, as well as the anime’s use of Victorian and post-World War I aesthetics to tell Violet’s unusual yet unforgettable tale.

Kaguya-sama: Love is War! (Part 1)

Join us for the first of two modules on Kaguya-sama: Love is War! In this clever anime romantic comedy, the first person to confess their love loses. In the module, we’ll discuss how Kaguya-sama builds on (and spoofs) anime tropes, as well as its themes of love, vulnerability, maturity, and class status.

This first module will cover episodes 1-21 of the anime. Attending the next module in this series is not required, but it’s definitely encouraged!

Kaguya-sama: Love is War! (Part 2)

Join us for the second of two modules on Kaguya-sama: Love is War! In this clever anime romantic comedy, the first person to confess their love loses. In the module, we’ll discuss how Kaguya-sama builds on (and spoofs) anime tropes, as well as its themes of love, vulnerability, maturity, and class status.

This second module will cover episodes 22-41 of the anime (that is, episode 22-37, and the four episodes that make up the movie). Attending the first module in this series is not required, but it’s definitely encouraged!

Kaguya-sama: Love is War Series

Join us for two modules on Kaguya-sama: Love is War! In this clever anime romantic comedy, the first person to confess their love loses. In the module, we’ll discuss how Kaguya-sama builds on (and spoofs) anime tropes, as well as its themes of love, vulnerability, maturity, and class status.

Japanese-Language Proficiency Test (JLPT): N5 Test Prep

This module is offered for those Japanese language students who wish to take the Japanese Language Proficiency Test, level N5. We will not be learning new language skills in this module. Instead we will be reviewing and repetitively practicing the precise set of skills tested on the JLPT N5 test, as well as covering various test-taking strategies. We'll cover all the sections in the exam and, apart from working in class, we'll have some homework assignments to further develop test-related skills. Upon passing the test, participants will receive an official certification of language skill level from the Japanese government.

The Anime of Everyday Life: Hobbies, Romance, Sports, Slice-of-Life, Iyashikei, Educational Anime, and More

Anime as a medium can create worlds of all kinds, including those that feel familiar, quiet, or even mundane. In this module, we will consider what I am calling the anime of everyday life — anime that tells smaller, more personal stories about life. What makes these sorts of shows and movies so appealing, and what can they do for their audiences? In this module, we will consider several major genres usually grouped under “slice-of-life anime,” but we will also look at the intersection between everyday life and the fantastic. Each class will include a discussion of the history and elements of the anime of everyday life, with examples. Participants are encouraged to bring their own examples, as well!
If you have any questions about the SPACE program, please reach out to [email protected].