Monday, March 01, 2010

CFP: "The Arts and the Public"; NEASA Conference (4/9; 10/1-3/10)

Note that this CFP mentions graphic novels...

The Arts and the Public
New England American Studies Association
Annual Conference

Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, MA
October 1-3, 2010

The New England American Studies Association welcomes proposals for its 2010 conference on "The Arts and the Public," to be held at the Massachusetts Historical Society, October, 1-3, 2010. Proposals for papers, panels, workshops, and other forms of presentation will be accepted at through April 9, 2010. Proposals are limited to 300 words. NEASA welcomes proposals from across the disciplines, from primary/secondary as well as higher ed, from artists as well as scholars, and from outside the academy as well as within. More information is available at

The relationship between the arts and the public has always been both contentious and celebrated in American life. From debates over the propriety of early American novels to present-day attacks on public-arts funding, from nineteenth-century responses to abolitionist literature to controversial post-9/11 representations of Muhammad, the link between the artistic and civic has long generated suspicion and argument. At the same time, the arts are frequently understood as an essential component of an education in democratic citizenship and have throughout the twentieth century been supported by the state. Indeed, the establishment and institutionalization of American Studies itselfowes a great deal to such state sponsorship. It is clear that the arts interpellate, just as they also help construct new publics - new collectivities based on race, gender, sexuality, and other orientations - that challenge dominant values of the public. The histories of social and identity movements are also the histories of art and aesthetics.

In inviting proposals for papers, panels, workshops, and presentations on this topic, NEASA conceives of "the arts" and "the public" very broadly. We welcome work on the visual, literary, print, (new) media, performance, photographic, musical, cinematic, plastic, fine, and popular arts, as well as material culture, industrial arts, kitsch, built environments, architecture, and folklore. We hope for papers and panels on public policy, public funding, Public History, Public Humanities, public art, public education, public sphere theory, and counterpublics. Papers may even challenge the very idea of "the arts" and "the public." Participants may address the topic historically, theoretically, politically. We are interested in the work of practitioners as well as scholars, of visual and performance artists as well as those who work with the arts in public institutions.

Additional fields and objects of engagement might include:
  • Black Arts Movement
  • Blacklists
  • The New Deal and WPA
  • Native-American arts
  • Arts and the border
  • Transnational arts
  • Documentary
  • Histories of public art
  • Folk art and folklore
  • Publication and circulation
  • Privatization of publishing
  • Free publishing
  • New Media and the public sphere
  • Popular music
  • Copyright, patent, and intellectual property
  • Open Source and open access
  • Open universities
  • Secondary Education and the Arts
  • NEA
  • Culture fronts
  • Relational aesthetics
  • Queer film, zines, poetry, fiction, performance . . .
  • Art of the book
  • Graphic novels
  • Illustration
  • Religious iconography
  • On-line learning
  • American Studies and the public
  • The history of American Studies and other disciplines
  • The crisis in the humanities
  • Cultural tourism
  • Art markets and criticism
  • Private/public splits
  • Questions of cultural identity and the public sphere
  • Citizenship and the arts
  • The neoliberal notion of culture
  • Controversies and censorship
  • Education and pedagogy
  • Culture wars
  • Public funding of the arts
  • Sociology of literature and art
  • The intersection of the aesthetic and the political
  • Museum studies
  • Democracy and the arts

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

CFP: Read Feather Journal (June 1)

Of possible interest...
Call for submissions to

Red Feather Journal

Red Feather Journal invites critical and/or theoretical examination of the child image to further our understanding of the consumption, circulation, and representation of the child throughout the world’s visual mediums. Red Feather Journal welcomes submissions that examine the child image from a broad range of media’s: children’s film, Hollywood film, international film, television images of children or childhood, child images on the Internet, images of children/childhood in art, or images of children/childhood in any other visual medium. Some sample topics include, but are certainly not limited to: studies of images of children of color; child as commodity; images of children in Africa, Asia, Middle East, South America, etc.; political uses of the child image; children in film; children in advertising; visual adaptations of children’s literary works; child welfare images; children and war; or any other critical examination of the child image in a variety of visual mediums.

Red Feather Journal is a peer-reviewed journal that facilitates an international dialogue among scholars and professionals through vigorous discussion of the intersections between the child image and the conception of childhood, children’s material culture, children and politics, the child body, and any other conceptions of the child within local, national, and global contexts.

Red Feather Journal is published twice a year, February and September, and adheres to the MLA citation system. Authors are welcome to submit articles in other citation systems, with the understanding that, upon acceptance, conversion to MLA is a condition of publication. For more information, please refer to our website:

Interested contributors please submit the paper, an abstract, and a brief 50-word biography as attachments (Microsoft Word compatible) to

Deadline for submissions for the fall issue is June 1st, 2010.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

CFP: Contemporary Comics (March 25; May 21)

artists, current themes and contexts

University of Copenhagen, Denmark
21 May 2010

This academic conference is presented in collaboration with Copenhagen's comics biennial, the international comics festival in Øksnehallen, Copenhagen, 22-23 May.

As an independent part of the festival's programme, it aims to present the status of international research in contemporary comics both to an academic and a general audience, and will form part of a broader range of programming in the city in the days surrounding the festival, celebrating comics and comics culture.

Contributions might be within the following subjects, but we welcome other suggestions:
  • Comics / politics / society
  • Aesthetic movements
  • Contemporary artists: mainstream and independent
  • Publication platforms: from book publishing to the internet
  • The future of comics
Presentations will be 20 minutes long. Speakers will be given free pass to the festival and access to the Friday night VIP award show. Confirmed artists are: Dave Gibbons, Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, Charles Burns and Frank Quitely. The festival's programme is available at An artist's talk involving one or more of the visiting artists is being planned, so contributions about or including works of the above mentioned artists will be given priority.

Abstracts of approximately 250 words and a short biographical text of maximum 100 words should be sent by 25 March to Rikke Platz Cortsen at along with any general enquiries.

Please visit our website at: which will be updated regularly.

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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

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Monday, February 08, 2010

CFP: Phoenix Comicon Comic Art Conference (3/30; 5/27-30)

Call for papers

The Phoenix Comicon is sponsoring a comic art conference in conjunction with its programming from May 27-30, 2010. Based on participant interest, we are expanding the scope of the comics conference to include broader areas of comics scholarship.

We are seeking papers for presentations from academics, teachers, artists, retailers, and others who engage comics on either a practical or scholarly level. The conference will feature a number of themes, and respondents are encouraged to pitch their own ideas or propose a panel discussion.

Technology and the comics: Futures and Resistance
  • Critical approaches to and innovations in web comics
  • The shift from traditional illustration and distribution methods to digital methods
  • Applications and analysis of “infinite canvas” texts
  • Constrained comics and other resistance authors/artists
Comic culture in the 21st century
  • Changes in how we sell, collect, and consume comics
  • Scanlations and manga
  • Teaching comics
  • Cosplay and costuming
Media blending
  • Video games and comics
  • Movie and other adaptations
  • Motion comics and other web-based media
Respondents are encouraged to expand on this list in shaping their proposals. Respondents are also encouraged to pitch alternate panels.

Graduate students, artists, writers, industry professionals, independent scholars, and academics are all encouraged to submit. We envision our panels as representing a variety of perspectives geared toward the broad audience of the Phoenix Comicon. Panels will last for one hour. Presenters will be asked to make a short presentation, followed by a moderated panel round table and a Q and A session with the audience. Presentations integrating audio and visuals are recommended. Please note any A/V needs along with your proposal.

Please submit a 300-500 word proposal to Dr. Kathleen Dunley at by March 30, 2010. Proposals will go through a peer review process and those accepted will be notified via email.

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

ImageText 5.1 Published

The new issue of ImageText, the journal about comics from the University of Florida, was just published. Here's the homepage for this issue. Contents include:


Graphic Whiteness and the Lessons of Chris Ware’s Jimmy CorriganJuda Bennett and Cassandra Jackson
Watchmen: The Graphic Novel as Trauma FictionBrandy Ball Blake
The Confluence of Heroism, Sissyhood, and Camp in The Rawhide Kid: Slap LeatherFrank Bramlett
"To the Stables, Robin": Regenerating the Frontier in Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight ReturnsTheo Finigan
Breaking the Frame: Political Acts of Body in the Televised Dark KnightDT Kofoed
"Mosaic Thresholds": Manifesting the Collection and Production of Comics in the works of Chris WareAaron Mauro
The Beautiful Ambiguity of Blankets: Comics Representation and Religious ArtBenjamin Stevens


"Now you will pay a dreadful penalty!": A Review of I Shall Destroy All the Civilized Planets! and You Shall Die by Your Own Evil Creation! by Fletcher HanksTerry Harpold


Notes on Contributors

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Monday, February 01, 2010

CFP: SANE journal (July and October)

This looks like it could become a very important new journal...
CFP: First and Second issues of
SANE journal:
sequential art narrative in education
(ISSN 2153-2613)

SANE journal
is now seeking submissions for works of research, practitioner-based articles, reviews, and rationales regarding its first two themed issues. Information about this new peer-reviewed, open access interdisciplinary journal covering all things comics-and-education-related, from pre-k to doctorate, can be obtained by visiting For more information, e-mail James Bucky Carter: jbcarter2 at utep dot edu.

V1.1 (late 2010 release or per article as considered ready by review board): “Comics in the Contact Zone.”

Mary Louis Pratt defines the contact zone as “social spaces where cultures meet, clash and grapple with each other, often in the contexts of highly asymmetrical relations of power, such as colonialism, slavery, or their aftermaths as they are lived out in many parts of the world today” and where those involved in the educational experience may “reconsider the models of community that many of us rely on in teaching and theorizing and that are under challenge today.” Texts are social spaces, of course, and the comic book may be the best indicator of this fact. How do you see comics as meeting, clashing, and grappling with social issues in your classrooms when you teach them? How do comics illustrate contact zone precepts such as speech acts, transculturation, unsolicited oppositional discourse, autoethnography, and safe houses? How does the integration of comics themselves set up contact zones in the classroom? Which texts do you teach to get at notions associated with contact zone pedagogy? How does teaching a comics course set up a contact zone with professional colleagues, departments, university officials, etc? Articles should make explicit mention to contact zone theory and its component concepts. Deadline July 2010.

V1.2 (planned 2011 released or per article as considered ready by the review board): “Teaching the Works of Alan Moore.”

Alan Moore may be the most influential and controversial comics writer of the 20th and 21st centuries. How do you teach his complex, multilayered works in your high school classrooms, your college courses, etc? What are the challenges associated with teaching his texts or specific texts and how do you and your students address them? Can they be addressed? How does his output “fit” with notions of literature, literary, canon, etc. as you teach them in your courses? Articles may cover several of Moore’s texts or focus specifically on one. Deadline October 2010.

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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.

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A COMICS STUDIES READER Wins the 2009 Peter C. Rollins Book Award

As posted today at the blog for the University Press of Mississippi,
A Comics Studies Reader has just been named winner of the 2009 Peter C. Rollins Book Award by the Southwest Texas Popular/ American Culture Association. This prize is awarded annually for the best book in popular culture studies and/or American culture studies.

Editors, Jeet Heer and Kent Worcester have been honored for their exemplary work in the popular culture field. Designed to reward genuine research and lucid expression, the award bears the name of Peter C. Rollins, Founder of the SWTX organizations.
See UPM's original blog post for more information. Congratulations, Jeet and Kent!

Full, proud discosure: This book reprints my essay on Chris Ware. You can see the book's complete table of contents at its page.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

CFP: Arthurian-Themed Comics Collection (1/30/10--1st Stage)

Arthurian-Themed Comics Collection
(1/30/10--1st Stage)

In commemoration of the upcoming 75 anniversary of PRINCE VALIANT, I am seeking brief proposals (apx. 200-500 words) for a collection of essays on comics (comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, web comics, and adaptations into other media) based on or inspired by the Arthurian tradition. The collection will be edited by myself and Jason Tondro.

Please submit proposals to the editors for first-round consideration by 30 January 2010. (A second call for papers will be distributed this spring.)

Michael A Torregrossa
The Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages
34 Second Street
Smithfield, RI 02917-3627
United States
Visit the website at

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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 -


Dr Ann Miller, University of Leicester -

Deadline: November 30, 2010

Image credit: By Tanitoc, from the IBDS website.

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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 ( and Joan Ormrod (

Read the full call for papers:

Find out more about the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics:

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

CFP - 3rd annual New Narrative conference: Narrative arts and visual media (March 31; May 6-7)

3rd annual New Narrative conference:
Narrative arts and visual media

An interdisciplinary conference
at the University of Toronto
6-7 May 2010

In keeping with the spirit of sequels, we are again soliciting papers on a wide range of graphic novels, comic art, and related visual media. Comics, whether in the form of novelistic illustrations, newspaper serials, animated films, film adaptations, graphic novels, or sequential art narratives, have been with us since the rise of literature itself, yet until recently such media have never been considered "serious" - or at least, serious enough to be considered novels that might be on university syllabi. But are illustrated novels and live action films really about the pictures and not the narrative? How can the history of the form be reconciled with consumer culture and the ill-defined categories of "high" and "low" culture?

Papers which examine and interpret these narratives in interdisciplinary forms are most welcome. Essays on novelistic illustrations, newspaper serials, animated films, film adaptations, graphic novels, or sequential art narratives may consider the following (incomplete) list:
  • graphic novels and auto/biography
  • illustrated and multi-media works
  • web design and on-line comix
  • film adaptations of comics
  • series; engravings and caricatures
  • the Comics Code Authority
  • the "invention" of manga
  • geopolitics/war and the graphic novel
  • bande desinée & European comix
  • early comics & comic history
  • illustrations in (literary) novels
  • woodcut and "silent" artists
Proposals should be 400-500 words and must clearly indicate significance, the line of argument, principal texts considered, and relation to existing scholarship (or originality). One email copy of the proposal, and a 50 word bio note must be included, as an attachment in MS Word.

Deadline for proposals is 31 March 2010 (responses by 08 April 2010)

Jeff Parker, Assistant Professor, and/or Dr Andrew Lesk
Department of English, University of Toronto

See also

This Conference will take place just before the Toronto Comics Arts Festival on May 8 and 9. (See

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CFP: Bilder des Comics (Germany) (Feb. 28; Nov. 25-27)

Gesellschaft für Comicforschung (ComFor)
5. Wissenschaftstagung

Bilder des Comics: Visualität, Sequenzialität, Medialität

25.-27. November 2010
Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Call for Papers

Seit dem sogenannten „Iconic Turn“ haben sich in den Humanwissenschaften neue Forschungsansätze und Untersuchungsgegenstände etabliert. Weit über ästhetische Fragestellungen hinaus sind Themen der Bildlichkeit keine Marginalie mehr, sondern stehen im Zentrum des kulturellen Selbstverständnisses der Moderne. Die mediale Fokussierung auf Techniken und Praktiken der Schriftlichkeit und oralen Kommunikation wird so durch Kriterien einer bildlichen, visuellen, ikonischen Erschließung und Produktion von Welt ergänzt und wesentlich erweitert. Diese These ist für die modernen Gesellschaften um so überzeugender, als deren Alltagswelten stark geprägt sind von der Präsenz von Bildern und ganzen Bildwelten. Wenn sich kulturelle Realität u.a. maßgeblich über Medienrezeption erschließt, dann muss die Wahrnehmung von Bildern ebenso wie die Kommunikation und Sinngebung über Bilder als kulturell relevant akzeptiert werden. In Frage steht dabei unter anderem, ob es eine Sprache oder vergleichbare Semiotik der Bilder gibt – oder ob Bildlichkeit vielmehr einer Eigenlogik folgt, die sich auch in den kulturellen Repräsentationsmodi niederschlägt, welche das Bildliche zwischen den Individuen und kulturellen sowie gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhängen vermitteln. Sofern Bilder außerdem stets an mediale Träger gebunden sind, ist nach deren Spezifika zu fragen. Im Anschluß an McLuhan ist schließlich davon auszugehen, dass ein spezifisches Medium auch spezifische Weisen der Kommunikation und der Rezeption ausbildet, also kulturelle Bedeutungslagen eigensinnig gestaltet. Die gleichzeitige Manipulation und Ermöglichung von Wahrnehmung, insbesondere durch seinen ikonischen Index, ist jedem Medium daher eingeschrieben.

Speziell eine über Bilder getragene Form wie der Comic bietet sich für eine Untersuchung dieses Aspekts an: Comics sind seit ihrer modernen Konzeption in besonderer Weise Ort und Anlaß für gesellschaftliche, künstlerische und akademische Reflektionen über die sich wandelnde Orientierung auf Bilder gewesen, sie sind damit zugleich Schauplatz, Archiv und Testgelände für zahlreiche mediale Veränderungen gewesen. Denn wenn sich Gesellschaft nach Flusser tatsächlich in Richtung einer zunehmenden Betonung ikonischer Zeichen bewegt, dann stellt der Comic eine Schnittstelle in der Generierung von Bedeutung mittels Schrift und mittels Bildlichkeit dar. Elemente der Schriftkultur und des Lesens verbinden sich hier mit solchen eines sequentiellen Sehens, das narrative Kontexte jenseits der reinen Ikonographie erst erschließt. Die Repräsentation des Bildes, der Sog der Wahrnehmung beim Rezipienten, die Genese eines kohärenten Wirklichkeitszusammenhangs im Zuge semiotischer Prozesse, die Erstellung von Formen artifizieller Präsenz im Comic ist daher zu untersuchen. Fragen aus diesem Spektrum wird die 5. Wissenschaftstagung der Gesellschaft für Comicforschung (ComFor) aufgreifen und diskutieren.

Datum: 25.-27. November 2010

Ort: Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Organisation: PD Dr. Jörn Ahrens, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Abstracts: Themenabstracts von maximal 300 Wörtern Umfang richten Sie bitte bis spätestens 28. Februar 2010 per Email an Jörn Ahrens ( Das Abstract soll den Titel sowie das Anliegen des Vortrags, eine kurze biobibliographische Angabe sowie Name, Email-Adresse und Anschrift enthalten. Die Vortragsdauer liegt bei maximal 30 Minuten.

Forum: Die ComFor öffnet auch in diesem Jahr ein Forum als Werkstatt für die Vorstellung und Diskussion laufender und geplanter Forschungsprojekte zu jedem Aspekt der Comicforschung. Hier kann insbesondere der wissenschaftliche Nachwuchs seine Arbeit etwa im Rahmen von Qualifikationsarbeiten vorstellen. Abstracts folgen der oben beschriebenen Form und Einreichfrist; die Vorträge sollen eine Dauer von 15 Minuten nicht überschreiten.

Unterkunft: Eine Liste mit Hotels wird Ihnen mit den Tagungsunterlagen zugeschickt.

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Call for Panelists: Technology and the Comics (Feb. 19; May 27-30)

The University of Advancing Technology and Phoenix Comicon invite scholars, graduate students, industry professional, artists, and writers to submit presentations for Phoenix Comicon. This year's theme will explore the role of technology in shaping the medium and its future.

Advances in technology have fundamentally changed the look of the comics as well as how the reader engages with the comics. From the recent Microsoft Live Labs project that enables users to design infinite canvases, to the continued growth and popularity of web comics, technology is opening doors to both creators and consumers of the medium. At the same time, popular authors like Gregory “Seth” Gallant continue to innovate using the classical tools of the trade, while the “constrained comics” movement works to scale back the infinite possibilities of technologically enhanced comics. This atmosphere encourages both debate as well as reflection on the future of the comics as a medium. We are seeking papers that address the role of technology in shaping the mediums of comics, webcomics, graphic novels, and hybrid works. Possible topics include the following:
  • Digital archiving and distribution
  • The changing role of syndicated comics and the decline of newspapers
  • Critical approaches to and innovations in web comics
  • The shift from traditional illustration methods to digital methods.
  • Scanlations and their impact on manga
  • Applications and analysis of "infinite canvas" texts
  • Constrained comics and other resistance authors/artists
  • History and future of comic art technology
  • Interactive comics and "motion comics"
  • Innovative uses of illustration technologies
  • Changes and challenges in writing relating to technologically enhanced comics
  • Challenges of blending mediums (comics to video games, manga to anime, etc)
Respondents are encouraged to expand on this list in shaping their proposals.

Graduate students, artists, writers, industry professionals, independent scholars, and academics are all encouraged to submit. We envision our panels as representing a variety of perspectives geared toward the broad audience of the Phoenix Comicon. Panels will last for one hour. Presenters will be asked to make a short presentation, followed by a moderated panel round table and a Q and A session with the audience. Presentations integrating audio and visuals are recommended. Please note any A/V needs along with your proposal.

Please submit a 300-500 word proposal to Dr. Kathleen Dunley at by February 19, 2010. Proposals will go through a peer review process and those accepted will be notified via email.

More information on the Phoenix Comicon, including lodging information, can be found at our website:

Kathleen Dunley
University of Advancing Technology
2625 W. Baseline Rd
Tempe AZ 85283

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Call for Applications: Swann Fellowship (Febrary 15)


Applications for the 2010-2011 Swann Fellowship, one of the few graduate fellowships supporting scholarly work in caricature and cartoon, are due February 15, 2010. The Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon, administered by the Library of Congress, seeks to award fellowship funds up to $15,000 each year. For criteria, guidelines, and application forms, please see:

Please email or call (202) 707-9115 if you have questions.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Journal and CFP: Journal of Comics and Graphic Novels

Today I received word of yet another forthcoming academic journal devoted to comics scholarship. This time it's Journal of Comics and Graphic Novels, from Routledge. As always, you can find a complete list of journals related to comics scholarship at the Academic page of
Here's how the journal is described at its website:
The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics is a peer reviewed journal covering all aspects of the graphic novel, comic strip and comic book, with the emphasis on comics in their cultural, institutional and creative contexts. Its scope is interdisciplinary and international, covering not only English language comics but also worldwide comic culture. The journal reflects interdisciplinary research in comics and aims to establish a dialogue between academics, historians, theoreticians and practitioners of comics. It therefore examines comics production and consumption within the contexts of culture: art, cinema, television and new media technologies.

The journal will include all forms of 'sequential imagery' including precursors of the comic but in the main emphasis will be on twentieth and twenty-first century examples, reflecting the increasing interest in the modern forms of the comic, its production and cultural consumption.
The general Call for Papers is available as a PDF, but here's the gist:
Contributions are invited on a wide range of comic-related topics including, but not limited to:

Genres (horror, romance, superheroes, experimental, autobiographical etc), underground/alternative comics, censorship, online comics, political and topical issues, fans and audiences (subcultures, gender, subcultural production), comics production and distribution systems, representing famous people in comics (American Presidents, sports heroes, film stars, iconic figures from history).

Possible topics for future themed issues include: Gender issues (comics as male dominated institutions, creators, audiences, representations, women fans, women creators in small press comics), individual genres (horror, romance, superheroes etc), adaptations, convergence culture, key creators (Moore, Hergé, Ware, Crumb, Eisner, McCay, Herriman etc) and national comic cultures (Manga, Latin America, Bande Dessineé etc).

Articles between 5000-7000 words should be emailed to: David Huxley ( and Joan Ormrod ( or posted to: Faculty of Art & Design, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chatham Building, Cavendish Street, Manchester, M15 6BR, UK
I'll be curious to see how these new journals will differentiate themselves from others in the field once they begin publication...

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

CFP: Comics and Medicine: Medical Narrative in Graphic Novels (January 29; June 17)

Call for papers:

Comics and Medicine:
Medical Narrative in Graphic Novels

17th June 2010
School of Advanced Study, Institute of English Studies
University of London

Confirmed keynote lectures by
Paul Gravett and Marc Zaffran

This one-day interdisciplinary conference aims to explore medical narrative in graphic novels and comics. Although the first comic book was invented in 1837 the long-format graphic narrative has only become a distinct and unique body of literary work relatively recently. Thanks in part to the growing Medical Humanities movement, many medical schools now encourage the reading of literature and the study of art to gain insights into the human condition. A serious content for comics is not new but representation of illness in graphic novels is an increasing trend. The melding of text and visuals in graphic fiction and non-fiction has much to offer medical professionals, students and, indeed, patients. Among the growing number of graphic novels, a sub-genre exploring the patients' and the carers' experiences of illness or disability has emerged.

Papers and posters are invited on issues related to, but not restricted to, the
following themes:
  • What motivates authors to produce graphic narratives with medical content?
  • How does the audience for this growing genre differ from traditional markets for so-called 'pathographies'?
  • What additional insights can graphic narratives offer into healthcare compared with literature and film?
  • What international trends are discernible in the production and reception of medical graphic narratives?
  • What are the ethical implications of using graphic narratives to disseminate public health messages?
  • What are the strengths of graphic fiction in bioethics conversations? In conversations between patients and health care workers?
  • How have patients (and patient communities) turned to graphic fiction to communicate health care and advocacy information to other patients, their family and surrounding community, and their physicians?
  • How do patient-created graphic fictions/narratives differ from physician- or health-care industry-created graphic narratives? What does this imply about the role played by graphic fiction in institutionalized medicine?
  • How can graphic stories be used in medical education and patient education?
  • What are the roles of graphic stories in enhancing communication within the medical profession, in scholarship and in the medical humanities?
Contributions are sought from humanities scholars, comics scholars, healthcare professionals, comics enthusiasts, writers and cartoonists.

300 word proposals for a 20 minute paper or a poster should be submitted by Friday 29th January 2010 to

Abstracts may be in Word, WordPerfect, or RTF formats, following this order: author(s), affiliation, email address, title of abstract, body of abstract

We acknowledge receipt and answer to all proposals submitted. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed blind and papers for presentation will be selected by Friday 26th of February 2010.

A report of the conference will be submitted to relevant journals and websites. All the papers and posters accepted for and presented at the conference will be eligible for development in a themed volume (subject to funding).

Paul Gravett
is a London-based freelance journalist, curator, lecturer, writer and broadcaster, who has worked in comics publishing and promotion since 1981. He has curated numerous exhibitions of comic art in Britain and in Europe and since 2003 has been the director of Comica, London's International Comics Festival at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. Paul is the co-author, with Peter Stanbury, of the books Manga: 60 Years Of Japanese Comics (2004), Graphic Novels: Stories To Change Your Life (2005), Great British Comics: Celebrating A Century Of Ripping Yarns & Wizard Wheezes (2006), The Leather Nun & Other Incredibly Strange Comics (2008) and he is the editor of The Mammoth Book Of Best Crime Comics (2008). On television he has been a consultant and interview subject on The South Bank Show's programme Manga Mania (2006) and BBC4's documentary series Comics Britannia (2007). Also, he appeared as interview subject in the DVD documentary The Mindscape Of Alan Moore (2007). He continues to write about comics for various periodicals.

Marc Zaffran, M.D. is a French-born Family Physician and a writer (under the pen name Martin Winckler). He is currently a researcher at the University of Montreal. He has written forty books including novels and essays on patient-doctor relationship, the ethics of healthcare and the representation of Doctors in mass-media fiction including pulp novels, television drama and comic-books. He is currently studying the works of a French doctor and comic-book artist, Charles Masson.

For more information go to or

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Animation 4.3 (2009) - Comics and Animation Special Issue

The brand-new issue of Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal is a special issue: "Comics and Animation." Click this link for the table of contents, with links to abstracts. Looks like there could be some fascinating stuff here.

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

Journal of Visual Culture 8.2 (2009): "The Obama Issue"

I've not seen it, but the new issue of Journal of Visual Culture (August 2009, Volume 8, No. 2) is "The Obama Issue." I'm guessing that some of the articles will discuss editorial cartoon depictions of President - and candidate - Barack Obama. You can view the table of contents here.

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Saturday, November 14, 2009

CFP: ImageNext (UF conference: Dec. 31; Mar. 26-27)

Just posted to the Comics Scholars Discussion List...

Visions Past and Future Conference
University of Florida

March 26 and 27, 2010

The University of Florida's College of Liberal Arts and sciences is pleased to announce the 2010 UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, "ImageNext: Visions Past and Future," which will be held in Gainesville, Florida on March 26 and 27. Guest speakers will include UCLA's David Kunzle (The History of the Comic Strip, Father of the Comic Strip: Rodolphe Töpffer), John Porcellino (King Cat), Molly Kiely (Diary of a Dominatrix, That Kind of Girl) and University of Iowa’s Corey Creekmur (Director of the Institute for Cinema and Culture).

This year's conference will focus on "comics" - in their broadest sense, which includes animation, manga, anime, graphic novels, webcomics, political cartoons, and even some "fine art" - that explore human history and alternate histories. Comics discussed may include reimaginings of the past (both personal and cultural), projections of the future and revisions of pre-existing timelines, fictional or historical. Presentations could address comics that represent historical periods and/or genres (i.e. classic comics, steampunk, etc.) or the historical precedents of comics as we now understand them (i.e. political cartoons in nineteenth-century newspapers, narrative paintings, etc.).

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
  • comics in/as history (Rodolphe Topffer, George Cruikshank, John Leech)
  • comics as cultural records (Maus, Persepolis, contemporary comic strips and political cartoons)
  • biographical and autobiographical comics (Julie Doucet, Fun Home, With the Light, Epileptic)
  • historically based genres (e.g. steampunk and cyberpunk, (post-)apocalyptic narratives)
  • multiverses and alternate continuities (Crisis on Infinite Earths, 52, House of M, Marvel Zombies)
  • comic book continuity reboots (Marvel, Ultimate Universe, etc.)
  • the visual rhetoric of utopias and dystopias (Y The Last Man, Akira)
  • the revision and reimagination of the superhero (Watchmen, Kingdom Come, Marvels, Astro City)
  • comic adaptations and appropriations of literature ("Classic Comics," manga Shakespeare, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen)
Submit an abstract (250-400 words) of your presentation by December 31, 2009. Send all submissions and questions to Please include the words "Comics Conference" in your subject heading.

The conference will be held on the University of Florida campus.

Image credit: Dylan Horrocks, from the UF Comics Conferences website.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

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

Note the explicit suggestion of papers about graphic novels. Click here for the conference website. Thanks to the Institute for Comics Studies for the tip.

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

Visual and multi-modal texts are an integral element of both popular and literary culture, contemporary and past. This conference invites papers which engage with the notion of text and image, through, for example critical examination of graphic novels, television, film, illustrated texts or adaptations. We actively welcome papers with an interdisciplinary approach, allowing for a collision of meaning and interpretations of both text and image. We’re particularly interested in – but not limiting our remit to – topics which focus on the fusion of word and image, and perhaps on the gaps which can be perceived between, and within, visual and textual representation. Where do textual spaces exist? Where do word and image meet? Where do they separate? Where does meaning fuse? Where does it disintegrate? As the conference title suggests, we’re also interested in the duplicitous and unstable nature of texts and images and would also like to explore issues such as: How words and / or images be misappropriated, misused or misdirected to create alternative and divergent meanings; The fragility of meaning created by words and / or images; Problems of reading and interpretation.

This conference will provide a stimulating environment for postgraduate students and other researchers to present work and to share and discuss ideas stemming from the examination of texts employing varied representational modes, adaptations and interactions between text and image. We hope to encourage speakers from multiple disciplines, working across historical, cultural and literary periods, and with a wide range of texts.

Suggested topics, themes and disciplinary approaches include:
  • Film Studies
  • Cultural Studies
  • Literary Studies
  • Language
  • Propaganda Texts
  • Journalism / Photo Journalism
  • Graphic Novels and Picture Books
  • Children and Young Adult Literature
  • Television
  • Identity
  • Ownership of Truth
  • Authenticity
  • Biographical Texts
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Sexuality
  • Translation
  • Gaps and Silences
  • Absences
Or, any other topic which the conference title inspires.

Abstracts of no more than 300 words for papers not exceeding 20 minutes should be submitted by 15th February 2010, to the organisers at: Please include the title of your paper, your name, e-mail address, institutional affiliation, and a brief summary of your research interests.

For more information, visit the conference website.

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Monday, November 09, 2009

In Our Mailbox - "Graphic Novels Beyond the Basics" and "IJOCA 11.2"

It's a good day here at the offices (okay, office): Today's mail brought two all-new, all-different publications. First up is Graphic Novels Beyond the Basics: Insights and Issues for Libraries, edited by Martha Cornog & Timothy Perper. We'll be adding an info page to our bibliography for this book soon (edit: here it is!), but in the meantime, here's how the publisher's website describes it (handy, because I just walked in the door and haven't had time to begin to read the book yet):
This study of the graphic novel and its growth in the library helps librarians utilize and develop this extraordinarily popular format in their library collections.

One of the few bright spots in 21st century print publishing, graphic novels have moved from their stereotypical fanboy niche to the bestseller list, profoundly influencing movies, television, games, music, design, and fashion along the way. The phenomenon has reached libraries as well, with librarians collecting a variety of graphic novels for patrons of all ages.

What does the surge of popularity in graphic novels mean for libraries? Graphic Novels Beyond the Basics: Insights and Issues for Libraries goes deeper into this subject than any other volume previously published, bringing together a distinguished panel of experts to examine questions librarians may encounter as they work to enhance their graphic novel holdings.

Graphic Novels Beyond the Basics begins by introducing librarians to the world of the graphic novel: popular and critically acclaimed fiction and nonfiction titles; a wide range of genres including Japanese manga and other international favorites; recurring story and character archetypes; and titles created for specific cultural audiences and female readers. The book then offers a series of chapters on key issues librarians will face with graphic novels on the shelves, including processing and retention questions, preservation and retention, collecting related media such as Japanese anime films and video games, potential grounds for patron or parental complaints, the future of graphic novels, and more.
Check out the link above for additional information; we'll update this entry once we have the table of contents on our website. The contents are wide-ranging, covering genres, readers, resources and more, all designed with library collections in mind.

The second publication in today's mail was the International Journal of Comic Art 11.2 (Fall 2009). As always, editor and publisher John Lent has assembled an embarrassment of riches: This issue is more than 500 pages long, begins with a symposium on comics in India, contains almost two dozen additional essays, includes about 70 pages of reviews, and ends with a 14-page international cartoon portfolio. And yes, this is a typical issue.

If your library doesn't already subscribe to IJOCA, do all you can to convince them to. For just $70 per yer, they get three giant-size issues, two traditional issues plus a third, all-bibliography issue - this is a steal compared to almost any other journal. And individual subscriptions are only $45 per year (all three issues). If you're counting along at home, that's about 1,000 pages of content per year, not even including the new bibliography issue (I'm curious to see how massive these volumes will be).

For more information about the International Journal of Comic Art, visit the journal's website and blog.

Happy reading!

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Monday, November 02, 2009

CFP: Coded: Comics and Containment Culture in the 1950s (collection; April 1, 2010)

Call for Papers
Comics and Containment Culture
in the 1950s

We have just received a contract from McFarland to compile a multi-contributor manuscript on comic books and containment culture in the 1950s. In no other era of United States history were American values and morals more rigidly defined or more heavily policed than in the 1950s. In the comic book industry, the debate over the impact of comics on youth and the resulting self-imposed censorship of the industry reflect the general trends of the era. This book approaches this era in American comics by looking at comic book narratives and images, and unpacking the meaning stored within. We are interested in the many and varied ways in which containment culture is both reflected and subverted in the pages of comic books.

These essays should devote themselves to the close reading of American comic books from the 1950s. In focusing on this decade we are purposefully drawing on both the pre and post comic code era, from the late Golden Age to the early Silver Age of comics. As the title of the book suggests, the purpose of these narrative and visual analyses will be to locate a given text within the larger containment culture of the 1950s, not only in terms of how these images reflect the larger culture, but also how certain images and narratives subvert the dominant ideology of the time.

Since containment as both a foreign and domestic policy permeated every aspect of American culture in the 1950s, the focus of individual papers is wide open, from the portrayal of gender roles to anxiety over nuclear proliferation, and from commercial consumption to communist infiltration. Our goal is to present as broad a picture of comics in the fifties as possible, so we want to include essays on a wide range of subjects in terms of genre, theme, and publisher.

Essay Format/Style:
Essays are to be 3000-4500 words long (typed and double-spaced) and should be written in clear, concrete terms, avoiding jargon whenever possible. We do want to encourage contributors to use images in their submissions. Because of the reluctance of some publishers to release their images for scholastic purposes, however, there will also be a need to limit those images. As a general guideline, contributors will need to avoid using comic book covers and use no more than 2-3 images in their submission.

Anyone interested in contributing an essay should contact the editor with a brief proposal (1-2 paragraphs) and a short description of their professional, educational, and publishing background no later than April 1, 2010. Invited essays will be due as e-mail attachments no later than August 15, 2010. Further information will be sent later to those who are invited to submit essays.

If you have any questions, you should not hesitate to contact us at the addresses below:
Chris York, Chair, General Education, Pine Technical College.

Rafe York, Saint Cloud State University,

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Monday, October 26, 2009

CFP: Animals in Graphic Novels (journal issue; December 1)

H/T to Richard De Angelis...
Animals in Graphic Novels

Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture is seeking submission for its June 2010 issue devoted to the subject of "animals in graphic novels."

The issue will primarily focus on papers that examine contemporary graphic novels; examples of these might include Pride of Baghdad (Brian K. Vaughan), First in Space (James Vining), the works of Osamu Tezuka, Animal Man (Grant Morrison), Rabbi's Cat (Joann Sfar), Fables (Bill Willingham), and Maus (Art Spiegelman), among others. Papers that examine the subjects of comics for children and comic strips that appear in newspapers may also be considered, depending on the originality of the contextualisation through which they may be presented.

We are looking at gathering a wide range of perspectives, themes and ideas within the broad scope of "animals in graphic novels." These may include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Exploring animality in the graphic novel medium
  • Representing the human/animal divide
  • Positive and negative aspects of anthropomorphism
  • Becoming animal
  • Links between sexism, racism and speciesism
  • Non-western graphic novels
  • The challenges of animal first-person narratives
  • Ecocriticism and nature in graphic novels
As per usual, Antennae is open to consideration of academic essays as well as fiction and experimental writing. Submission of abstracts and proposals is 1st of December 2009. Final deadline for submissions is 1st of March 2010. For any questions please contact Giovanni Aloi and Lisa Brown (Guest Editor of the Animals in Graphic Novels Issue) at antennaeproject [at]

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

CFP: Linguistics and the Study of Comics (edited collection; revised) (Nov. 16)

Here's an updated version of an earlier post...

Second Call for Proposals
Linguistics & the Study of Comics
(Edited Collection)
Submission Deadline:
Monday 16 November 2009

Scholars are invited to submit their work on the linguistic study of the comic arts. The essays in this edited collection will focus on the ways that linguistic codes function in comics.

Any aspect of linguistic theory and analysis is welcome, and all submissions should appeal to both comics scholars and linguists. All forms of comics will be considered: graphic novels, comic strips, comic books, on-line comics, videos, etc.

Scholarship in non-English and multilingual comics is especially encouraged.

Contributor Guidelines
  1. Send an abstract of 400-500 words accepted.
  2. Send a one-page tailored curriculum vitae for each author and co-author. (Narrative CVs are fine.)
  3. Submit abstracts and CVs as Word or Word-compatible files. PDFs are also acceptable.
  4. Submission deadline: Monday 16 November 2009.
  5. Materials should be sent to Frank Bramlett via email: fbramlett [at]
Possible topics for this edited collection

pidgin/creole studies * politeness theory
conversation analysis * language variation
speech act theory * bilingual/multilingual texts
intercultural communication * language & gender
language & sexuality * code switching * phonology
morphology * syntax * semantics * corpus linguistics
cognitive linguistics * interactional sociolinguistics
standard/prestige language * language policy
language & ethnicity/race * constructed languages
critical discourse analysis * language socialization
language death * language preservation

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Monday, October 05, 2009

CFP: Comic Art & Comics, PCA (Nov. 30; March 31-April 3)

I've been going to the PCA for nearly 15 years. It's a great place, particularly for beginning scholars: You'll find a large, collegial, and enthusiastic community of like-minded comics academics.

Comic Art & Comics Area
Popular Culture Association


Graphic Novels, Strips, Panels, Films,

and Everything in Between

The Comic Art & Comics Area of the Popular Culture Association invites all comics scholars to participate in the annual meeting of the Popular Culture Association and American Culture Association to be held March 31 - April 3, 2010, in St. Louis, Missouri, at the Renaissance Grand Hotel St. Louis. Details of the conference can be found at the conference website:

The Comic Art & Comics Area of the Popular Culture Association offers a chance for scholars from across the country to share their research and exchange ideas on the growing field of comics scholarship. Graduate students and those without current academic affiliation are also welcome. Papers on all aspects of the medium are invited. Past papers have covered mainstream comic books, graphic novels, underground comics, cartoons, comic strips, comics and film, international comics, writers, artists, teaching comics, and writing and publishing comics scholarship.

This call asks for individual paper proposals or submissions for entire panels. If you are submitting a panel, please make sure to note the members of your panel. In addition to general papers, if a presenter would like to propose a special panel or roundtable discussion, please e-mail the chair so she can forward the request to the mailing list.

Papers should be delivered in 15-20 minutes. The PCA limits presenters to one paper given at the conference, so if you are interested in presenting a paper in the Comic Art & Comics Area, do not submit a paper to another area. Participants are eligible for the annual Inge Award for Comics Scholarship, awarded to the top paper presented in the Comic Art & Comics Area of the PCA.

Scholars interested in presenting a paper at the national conference should send a 100-200 word abstract and a short introductory bio by November 30, 2009, to the area chair:

Via e-mail:
Nicole Freim:

Via mail:
Nicole Freim
Riverside Community College
1798 Main Street
Riverside, CA 92501

For more information, please visit the PCA web site:

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Dissertations on Comic Book[s]

It's no secret that comics are featured in more and more college and university courses every year. That's due in no small part to the increasing number of people who have been focusing on comics in their Ph.D. dissertations.

Here at we try to keep up with this trend with our Comics-Related Dissertations & Theses pages, where we collect information on PhD dissertations as well as Masters and Undergraduate theses concerning comic art. You might be surprised at the number of entries listed and the broad range of topics and approaches covered. Also, you can see that while interest has exploded in the past two decades, there was dissertation-level work on comics being done more than fifty years ago. (If you've done or know of work we should include here, please let us know.)

Why do we bring this up? Well, during one of our periodic Internet searches for new dissertations to add, we ran across a website called ("One-of-a-kind and never resold!") which offers "assistance" on all sorts of topics, including comics. Please, students, please please please don't consider using places like this. (Well, we know you wouldn't, of course, but tell your friends, ok?) Your advisors can usually suss out this type of "research," especially once you're in graduate school. Besides, could you really trust a service which clearly cares so little about their product that they can't even be bothered to proofread their own cut-n-paste promotional copy? Exempli gratia:
Do you need help with a dissertation, research proposal, or thesis involving Comic Book? [...] If you need assistance with your dissertation or thesis on Comic Book, our contracted research specialists can begin helping immediately! You will be the ONLY person to ever receive our one-of-a-kind, unique document on Comic Book, which we will write specifically and solely for YOU!
What a deal! They'll write about Comic Book just for you! Remember, by not supplying the "s," they're saving you money every time you want to write about Comic Book[s].


Here endeth the lesson.

Image: Boy, I sure am glad that they stopped using the mini-gown by the time of my PhD. graduation. It leaves so little to the imagination! Copyright © 1978, 2006, 2009 Marvel Entertainment.

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

CFP: ImageTexT issue on Alan Moore and adaptation (journal issue; April 1, 2010)

So today was the day for Alan Moore scholars, apparently...


Alan Moore and Adaptation

ImageTexT is pleased to announce an upcoming special issue on the work of Alan Moore and adaptation. Throughout his career, Moore has displayed a willingness to adapt and appropriate the plots, characters, settings, and themes from traditional narratives and the works of other authors into his own writing. Additionally, Moore's work itself continues to be the focus of adaptation, typically in the form of big-budget Hollywood films. We are seeking articles that deal with the work of Alan Moore and adaptation in any and every sense, whether that means analyzing the transitions of comics like Watchmen and V for Vendetta into film or analyzing the incorporation of folk tale and literature elements in works like Lost Girls and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

Possible topics may include but are not limited to:
  • Problems in adaptation and appropriation of existing characters and elements
  • Formal analysis of comics as the medium for adaptation
  • Issues concerning film adaptations where the author is not involved (which Moore rarely is)
  • Concern with (or disdain for) historical fidelity when dealing with stories from a specific era
  • Moore’s collaborations with various artists and their effect on adaptation
  • Characters and narratives supposedly reserved for children which are adapted into explicitly adult stories
As ImageTexT is concerned with the formal study of image/text relations, we are most interested in submissions that give significant attention to how images function in relationship to text. We strongly prefer to receive submissions that make reference to specific images and include high-resolution artwork along with text. Throughout his career, Moore’s work has been resolutely bold and we encourage prospective contributors to be similarly daring with their ideas and analysis.

All submissions for this special issue are due April 1st, 2010. Send all submissions to Rex Krueger at and CC them to Katherine Shaeffer at

Submissions will be peer-reviewed and returned by June 1, 2010.

This issue is slated for publication in the Spring of 2011.

ImageTexT is a web-based journal published by the University of Florida, committed to advancing the academic study of comic books, comic strips, and animated cartoons. Under the guidance of an editorial board of scholars from a variety of disciplines, ImageTexT publishes solicited and peer-reviewed papers that investigate the material, historical, theoretical, and cultural implications of visual textuality. ImageTexT welcomes essays emphasizing (but not limited to) the aesthetics, cognition, production, reception, distribution and dissemination of comics and other media as they relate to comics, along with translations of previously existing research on comics as dimensions of visual culture.

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