Saturday, March 01, 2008

CFP: The Cult of Difficulty: Critical Approaches to the Comics of Chris Ware (collection; March 10)

Having published one of the first academic essays on Chris Ware's work myself, I'm very much looking forward to this volume!
Call for submissions for
The Cult of Difficulty:
Critical Approaches to the Comics of Chris Ware

edited by Dave Ball, Dickinson College, and Martha Kuhlman, Bryant University

The Cult of Difficulty is a proposed collection of essays on the work of Chicago-based contemporary graphic novelist/comic book artist/cartoonist Chris Ware [see's information on Ware]. Author of Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth (2000, winner of the 2001 Guardian First Book Award), Quimby the Mouse (2003), and The Acme Novelty Library (2005), Ware has quickly emerged as one of the central figures in contemporary comics. We are currently seeking abstracts for 20- to 25-page articles that analyze Ware’'s work, with particular interest in multi- and interdisciplinary approaches to his oeuvre. A university press has already expressed interest in this collection, and we are hoping to build upon the MLA panel on Ware'’s comics this past December. Essays that address the following questions are especially encouraged, but other topics are also welcome:
  • How do Ware'’s texts raise questions about representations of race, gender, class, and disability?
  • How has Ware'’s work as an editor, anthologist, and collector shaped the landscape of contemporary comics and informed his own corpus?
  • In what ways are questions of narrative and temporality engaged and complicated in Ware's texts? What insights do narratological and semiotic approaches offer to a reading of Ware’'s comics?
  • How does Ware's work intersect with advertising culture, web sites, media, and packaging?
  • What is Ware's relationship to the literary canon (both in terms of graphic and conventional literature) and how does he re-imagine our relationship to the idea of literariness?
Please send 500-1000 word abstracts (or completed articles), c.v., and contact information in Word format to warecollection [at] by March 10th. Papers from a diversity of disciplinary orientations and methodological approaches are especially encouraged.
Image: A self-portrait by Mr. Ware.

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