Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Call for Papers: 'Surrealism, Science Fiction, and Comic Books' (n.d.; 1/22/11)

Call for Papers:
'Surrealism, Science Fiction,
and Comic Books'

The Courtauld Institute of Art, London
22 January 2011

In his 1976 essay ‘Science Fiction and Allied Literature,’ David Ketterer wrote ‘it is rather surprising that the considerable affinity which exists between Surrealism and SF has not attracted more attention.’ This observation was repeated in 1997 by Roger Bozzetto and Arthur B. Evans, who lamented that the relations between Surrealism and science fiction ‘continue to be largely unexplored in SF scholarship,’ and that ‘there currently exists no in-depth study of SF and Surrealism.’ The points of contact and areas of overlap, along with the influences, differences, and antagonisms that lie between Surrealism, science fiction, and the related literature of the comic book will be explored in this conference to be held 22 January 2011 at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London.

Such observations take on extra force when we consider Surrealism’s historical context, along with its literary and pictorial culture. Emerging in France between the two world wars, it was well positioned to receive the writings of Jules Verne and H. G. Wells that initiated and defined the genre boundaries of early science fiction, along with the popularisation of the fourth dimension and the advent of the Theory of Relativity that such literature drew upon, whilst the writings of Alfred Jarry, Franz Kafka, and Raymond Roussel gave them a related comic, absurd, or fantastic perspective on the machine and technology. Indeed, Roussel’s boundless admiration for Verne was equalled by the similar veneration felt for Roussel by Marcel Duchamp and Roberto Matta, expressed in their art between 1912 and the 1940s. Furthermore, one of the most important figures in early French SF (and now almost forgotten), Jacques Spitz, was close to the Surrealists in the 1930s, and his books of the interwar years show a marked Surrealist tendency. In the 1940s, Matta’s work was affected more specifically by the worlds described in science fiction and also by comic books, which were a significant discovery for André Breton and the Surrealists in New York. Important to René Magritte’s art in the 1940s, comic books were also a key popular form for postwar Surrealism in Europe and America.

Because barely any scholarship exists on how far the art and writings of Surrealists in the forties and since were affected by SF and comic books, it is expected that postwar art and writings will form a significant strand of this conference (for instance, the writings of Malcolm de Chazal were described by their English translator as ‘science fictions’), as will the investigation of how the project to expand reality proposed by Surrealism in its imagery and poetry was extended by important SF writers such as Stanislaw Lem and J.G. Ballard, as well as for related novelists like Jorge Luis Borges, Alan Burns, and Thomas Pynchon.

Potential areas of exploration are:
  • Surrealism, SF, and the imagery of spiritualism
  • The comic book as a subversive accomplice of Surrealism
  • Surrealism, physics, and fiction
  • The spaces of Surrealist painting and the SF imagination
  • Legacies of Surrealism in contemporary comic books
  • The fourth dimension in Surrealism, modernism, and SF
  • Surrealist and SF geographies
  • The Gothic imagination in Surrealism, SF, and comics
  • Futurity in Surrealism and SF
  • SF and Surrealism in the postmodern novel
Paper proposals of about 250 words should be sent to gavin.parkinson@courtauld.ac.uk

Labels: , , , , , ,

Monday, February 01, 2010

CFP Reminder: Fractured Images / Broken Words (conference: February 15; June 12)

Note: The organizers of the following conference are still looking for participants!

Fractured Images / Broken Words
A Multi-Disciplinary PostGraduate Symposium

Department of English and Creative Writing
Lancaster University, UK

June 12, 2010

Keynote Speakers:
Professor Terry Eagleton, Lancaster University


Andy Diggle, comic-book writer and former editor of 2000 AD

Featuring art installations by Christine Dawson

Click here for our original post about this conference.

Labels: , , , ,

Thursday, January 14, 2010

CFP: Time & Space - IBDS Conference (November 30; July 8-9, 2011)

For more information about the International Bande Dessinée Society, visit its website.

International Bande Dessinée Society
Seventh Bi-Annual Conference

Friday 8 and Saturday 9 July 2011

Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester, England

Call for Papers

Time and Space

We welcome proposals on all aspects of time and space in bande dessinée, including narrative and thematic levels.

Bande dessinée is a spatial medium which has the resources to manage both narrative time and narrative space in multiple ways. The indeterminacy of the interframe space allows for complex relationships between the chronology of the narration and the chronology of events within the diegesis: it may be used to distend or accelerate the narration, and to manipulate order through analepsis and prolepsis, rarely signalled as overtly as in film. Different temporalities may also co-exist within a single panel, as the capacity of the medium to blur boundaries between inner and outer worlds makes it possible for remembered or half-repressed material to break through into the daily reality of a protagonist. The representation of space is similarly complex, as the spatial transitions within the diegesis are overlaid by the non-linear spatial patterning of the page, and the book, as a whole.

Time and space have long been key themes of the medium: in the classic period of Franco-Belgian production, history, science fiction and adventure were major genres, and in more recent work by artists associated with alternative publishing houses, the intertwining of the personal and national past has emerged as a key area of interest, along with revisionist histories, often of the colonial period. Adventure has tended to give way to reportage, and to the exploration of the spaces of modernity, and postmodernity, including non-lieux, heterotopias and marginal spaces associated with exclusion.

The signifying practices of the medium in relation to time and space have been theorised by scholars including Fresnault-Deruelle (linear and tabular dimensions of the medium), Benoît Peeters (the notion of the périchamp, and the typology of mise en page), Thierry Groensteen (codes of arthrology, regulating the articulation of panels), Jan Baetens and Pascal Lefèvre (spatial integration of text into the image) and Scott McCloud (typology of transitions). The ambition and experimentation of bande dessinée that has been produced by contemporary artists has encouraged scholars to employ frameworks of analysis drawn from a variety of disciplines, including postcolonial theory and cultural geography. Current academic work on bande dessinée is building on this theoretical base and extending it: we intend that the conference should provide a forum for significant advances, and in particular to create synergy between narrative and thematic approaches to time and space.

Please send papers to either

Dr Matthew Screech, Manchester Metropolitan University - m.screech@mmu.ac.uk


Dr Ann Miller, University of Leicester - am84@leicester.ac.uk

Deadline: November 30, 2010

Image credit: By Tanitoc, from the IBDS website.

Labels: , , , ,

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

CFP - Comics: Cultures & Genres (Jan. 15; April 13-14)

The Graphic Novel and Comic Conference

Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

13-14 April 2010

Comics and graphic novels enjoy a paradoxical relationship with mainstream culture. Their narratives and characters are familiar to mass audiences through their adaptations in film, television and other mass media. However comics’ texts are rarely known or read outside comic book cultures. In recent years comics have instigated themselves into the public consciousness due, to a number of diverse circumstances such as the narrative possibilities they offer in an increasingly complex transmedia landscape.

This conference aims to explore the intersections between comic books, graphic novels, their audiences and the ways they reflect the cultures and subcultures that produce them. The conference themes reflect the scope and aims of Routledge’s new journal, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, edited by David Huxley and Joan Ormrod, (first issue July 2010).

Abstracts of up to 250 words are invited around (but are not confined to) the following issues:
  • Genres (horror, romance, superheroes, autobiography, experimental etc)
  • Underground/alternative comics
  • Censorship
  • Online comics
  • Political and topical issues
  • Fans and audiences (subcultures, gender, subcultural production)
  • Comics production and distribution systems
  • Experimental comics
Presentations will be 20 minutes long.

Abstracts should be sent by 15 January 2010 to David Huxley (D.Huxley@mmu.ac.uk) and Joan Ormrod (J.ormrod@mmu.ac.uk)

Read the full call for papers: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/cfp/rcomcfp1.pdf

Find out more about the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/rcom

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship in 19th-Century Media (September 1)

This note was posted on SHARP-L by listowner Patrick Leary, who says:
Please let your students and colleagues know about this innovative fellowship, which supports dissertation work that makes use of full-text digital exploration of 19th-century British periodicals.
This CFP is also available as a PDF; and the RSVP website also lists several other awards and fellowships.

Call for Proposals
Deadline: September 1, 2009
The Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship
in 19th-Century Media

The Research Society for Victorian Periodicals (RSVP) is pleased to announce a new fellowship for 2009, made possible by the generosity of publisher Gale, part of Cengage Learning, in support of dissertation research that makes substantial use of full-text digitized collections of 19th-century British magazines and newspapers. A prize of $1500 will be awarded, together with one year's subscription to selected digital collections from Gale, including 19th Century UK Periodicals and 19th Century British Library Newspapers.

Purpose: The purpose of the Gale Dissertation Research Fellowship is two-fold, (1) to support historical and literary research that deepens our understanding of the 19th-century British press in all its rich variety, and (2) to encourage the scholarly use of full-text digitized collections of these primary sources in aid of that research.

Eligibility: Eligible for this award is any currently enrolled postgraduate student, in any academic discipline, who by the end of 2009 will have embarked on a doctoral dissertation or thesis that centrally involves investigation into one or more aspects of the British magazine and newspaper press of the 19th century. Preference will be given to projects that are interdisciplinary in approach, and that propose to use methods of exploration that online collections uniquely make possible. The digitized collections used in this research may include those created by any publishers or projects, whether commercial or non-commercial.

Applications: Applicants should send a c.v., and the names and contact information of two scholars who are familiar with the applicant and his or her dissertation project; it is expected that one of these will be the student's dissertation director. The project description (approx. 500-800 words) is the key element of the application. That description should concisely explain the aims of the proposed research and the expected role of full-text digitized collections in that research.

Applications for the Gale Fellowship for dissertation research to be undertaken in 2009-10 must be submitted in electronic form and sent to galefellowship[at]rs4vp.org by September 1, 2009. Any queries about the application may be sent to the same address. Applicants will be notified by November 1, 2009. The successful applicant will be expected to submit a brief report to RSVP at the conclusion of the funded portion of the project, describing the results of the research.

For more information about the Research Society for Victorian Periodicals, please visit the Society’s website at www.rs4vp.org

Image Credit: RSVP website.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

CFP: History of Books for Children and Young Adults, Bedford UK: April 17; June 16

Note the specific mention of comics and graphic novels.
The History of Books
for Children and Young Adults

University of Bedfordshire, Polhill Campus, Bedford UK
16th June 2009
The University of Bedfordshire is hosting a forthcoming one-day conference on the history of books for children and young adults to be held on the 16th June 2009 at the Polhill Campus, Bedford. The Hockliffe archive comprises works of fiction and non-fiction for children from the eighteenth, nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These include a wide range of literary genres, from fables and fairy tales, through periodicals and instruction books, to poetry and fiction, as well as books on games and pastimes, natural science, history, mathematics, geography and travel (amongst others).

We do not, however, wish to restrict papers to work on books actually in the collection, although papers on these are of course very welcome, but instead we wish to use the conference as an occasion to celebrate the long and vibrant history of publications aimed at children and young adults, and the increasingly multi-disciplinary areas of research with which this has been associated. We therefore welcome contributions that centre on the following very broad topics and themes:
  • Academic approaches to children’s, young adult (YA) and crossover literature.
  • The history of children's book illustration, including work on picture books, comics and graphic novels.
  • The representation of children and childhood in fiction and non-fiction.
  • Multi-disciplinary work in the fields of childhood and youth studies.
  • The history of instruction books for children, from bible stories and hymns, through books on history, geography and travel, to natural science and mathematics.
  • Children's oral culture, including folklore, myths and legends.
  • Pedagogic theory and practice, from ABC books, to postgraduate courses on children’s literature and culture and creative writing for young and YA readers.
  • The history of children's play and leisure, including research on toys, games, and sports.
  • Multi-media childhoods, including work on the history of children's television, film and computer games.
Please note that proposed papers from postgraduate students are welcome.

The day's proceedings will end with readings by one or more contemporary children's writers (please check the conference website for updates on this).

Other related topics and themes will be considered for inclusion in the conference programme. Please submit a 250 word abstract, accompanied by contact details and a brief biography, to be received by 17th April 2009, to the following address:

The Hockliffe Conference
c/o Dr Clare Walsh
Division of Performing Arts & English
University of Bedfordshire
Polhill Avenue
MK41 9EA
Or by email to: hockliffe [at] beds.ac.uk

Labels: , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Exhibit Announcement: True Stories by Phillip Marsden

For an exhibit showing later this year. Posted on behalf of the Riverside Gallery.

True Stories by Phillip Marsden
Exhibition at the Riverside Gallery, Richmond UK
12 September - 28 November 2009
A retrospective look at cartoon and comic strip works from the last five years, including Clam & Elgar, Aesop's Fables, the collaborative Blackout and the occasional True Stories series, chronicling curious instances from the artist's daily life, presented here in its entirety for the first time.

More information:
Riverside Gallery's exhibition page
The Arts Service at Orleans House Gallery, Riverside, Twickenham, TW1 3DJ
Image credit: Cartoon by Phillip Marsden, from exhibition page.

Labels: , ,

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Graphic Short Story Prize Winners Announced

The winners of the Observer's Graphic Short Story Prize were announced today. (See our earlier post on the contest.) Congratulations to first-place winner Catherine Brighton, second-place finisher Stuart Kolakovic, and the third-place team of Finn Dean and Sam Green. For more information on the contest and the winners, see the Observer's story by Robert McCrum and Rachel Cooke.

Update (10/16/07): You can download PDFs of all three prize-winning stories near the bottom of another column by Robert McCrum. I think all three stories are very well-done, with the pieces by Brighton and Kolakovic holding their own with some of the best very short pieces I've read in some time. Brighton's two-pager, "Away in a Manger" (warning: 4MB pdf!), manages the hat-trick of being simultaneously cute, mysterious, and wistful, with artwork reminiscent of a ligne-claire Maurice Sendak. Kolakovic's tale of innocence and necessary deception, "The Box," benefits from its subdued pallet and its elegant visual metaphor - a real treat. I can see how Dean and Green's "The Waitress" "provoked so much debate among the judges" - it's more than a bit elliptical, but it still reveals nice artistic chops as well as the ability to convey a good bit of character within a two-page, often mute, tale. I'd certainly like to see more of these contests - and, of course, more new-talent winners.

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Graphic Short Story Prize (U.K.: 3 September 2007)

Received from Random House UK: A great opportunity for cartoonists who reside in the UK or the Republic of Ireland, offering a chance at publication and prizes. The Graphic Short Story Prize is sponsored by The Observer, Jonathan Cape, and the Comica Festival. The judges are first-rate, so the results should be well-worth the attention of cartooning fans. Here's the official announcement:
Are you an aspiring graphic novelist? Do you have an imaginative and original story to tell?

Take this opportunity to get your work read by industry experts. The judges are:
Nick Hornby
Posy Simmonds
Rachel Cooke (The Observer)
Dan Franklin (Publisher, Jonathan Cape)
Paul Gravett (Comica Festival Director)
Suzanne Dean (Random House Creative Director)
The overall winner will receive a prize of £1000 and their graphic short story will be printed across a whole page of The Observer

The runner-up will receive £250

Deadline for entries: Monday 3rd September 2007

The winner will be printed in The Observer on 14th October and the prize will be awarded at Comica Festival at the ICA in London on 20th October
Click here for the official website; click here for the entry form (31KB PDF file).

[Note that an alternate version of the entry form includes a slightly different wording for section (e) of the Entry Specifications: "printed on no larger than A4-sized sheets and submitted as flat work (i.e. not as a booklet) with a view to printing in a newspaper/publishing online and displaying at Comica."]

Labels: , , , ,