Friday, July 17, 2009

CFP: Critical Approaches to Teaching Graphic Narratives in the Literature Classroom (edited collection; 9/15/2009)

Thanks to pal Dennis Gouws for the tip.
Friends from graduate school + Facebook = networking deluxe!

Critical Approaches to
Teaching Graphic Narratives
in the Literature Classroom

Deadlines: proposal by September 15, 2009; essay by December 15, 2009.

This edited collection is tentatively titled Critical Approaches to Teaching Graphic Narratives in the Literature Classroom. Commonly known as book-length comics, graphic narratives cover a broad range of topics and formats. The past three decades have seen an increase of readership of graphic narratives as well as scholarly interest in this subject. This collection brings together scholarly essays that discuss the challenges, methodologies, and strategies for using graphic narratives in both undergraduate and graduate classes. This volume hopes to fill in the gap between the texts and the classroom by providing a platform for scholars to discuss the connection between graphic narratives and other genres, themes, criticism, and theories. With scholarly essays from various disciplines as well as interdisciplinary fields this collection aims to promote discussion on critical approaches and pedagogical and methodological challenges facing instructors. Emphasizing a combination of practical and theoretical strength, this collection encourages dialogues among teacher-scholars, advances the new constellation of scholarship on the teaching graphic narratives, and provides students with useful references and critical approaches to analyzing particular texts as well.

Each chapter is between 6000 and 7000 words including notes and works cited (MLA format). Please send a 500-word proposal, a 2-page CV, and a paragraph of bio note by September 15, 2009. Essays are due by December 15, 2009. Please do not submit works that are under consideration elsewhere or have been published previously.

Send inquiries and proposals to:

Lan Dong
English Department, UHB 3050
University of Illinois
Springfield, IL 62703

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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]

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Friday, April 07, 2006

Lynda Barry = Cruddy-est Funk Queen of the Universe, Ever

Whenever I have a pressing "To-Do List," I always seem to gravitate towards #2 on that list, not #1 - no matter how much I want to do #1.

#2 on my list right now - the thing the last few posts here have covered - is the revamping of But I do have another, more pressing issue. (OK, maybe I've got more than one "more pressing" issue at present, but I do what I can.)

But #1 - ahhhh, #1. For the Comic Art & Comics area of next week's annual meeting of the Popular Culture Association, I proposed an essay entitled "'Whenever Possible, Be the Unexpected': Approaches to Lynda Barry's Cruddy". If you haven't read Cruddy: An Illustrated Novel, but you love poetically written, well-characterized, unflichingly dark but absolutely hilarious fiction - and you have a strong stomach - Cruddy is your book, hands down.

Check out Cruddy's entry - you can read the first chapter or two there. Then read chapters four and five at the Simon & Schuster website. That'll give you a small taste of what's to come. (You don't even meet the cream of the character crop, the delightfully well-spoken "Suzy Homemaker," until about 2/3 of the way in.)

What's that? You don't know about the sublime cartooning genius of Lynda Barry? The creator of the #1 Poet, Fred Milton: Beat Poodle? Well, what are you waiting for?

OK, this post served its purpose; now I'm ready to get back to work on that essay!

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Sunday, April 02, 2006

Cartoonists Cover the Classics

An advertisement in today's New York Times Book Review alerted me to this series of "Deluxe Edition" Penguin Classics, featuring covers by a stellar line-up of cartoonists:
I'd already heard about the Candide, but the others were news to me. These are books which should grace everyone's shelves anyway; and these covers add gorgeous, graphic icing on some top-choice literary cakes. Time to update those wish lists!

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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

"Not Me!" "Ida Know!" "Yog-Sothoth!"

Dep't of the Sublime: For your edification, education, and enlightenment, I hereby direct you to The Nameless Dread, a heretofore unknown collaboration between Bill Keane (The Family Circus) and H.P. Lovecraft (The Family Cthulhu). Fourteen mind-expanding imagetexts to fill you with, well, a nameless dread...
Via The A.V. Club Blog.

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Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Can't Wait for this New "Graphic Novel"

cover, Eco's 'Loana'In general, I really dislike the term "graphic novel" -- it's an empty concept, one I'll ramble on about soon. But one upcoming book really seems like it actually will be a "graphic novel" that does justice to the term: Umberto Eco's The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, due out in June. I heard about it from the friendly Harcourt rep at last December's Modern Language Association convention, and I immediately knew I had to have this book. Besides being, well, a novel by Eco (I re-read Foucault's Pendulum nearly every year while I was in my twenties), it also apparently contains a visual orgy of images -- a concept which the cover gets across pretty clearly. Anyone got a review copy to spare?

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