Call for Papers for MLA 2018: Connecting the Dots: Museums and Comics

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Drawing from art theorist André Malraux’s observation that “The museum invites comparison of each of the expressions of the world it brings together, and forces us to question what it is that brings them together,”­ what indeed brings comics and museums into dialogue and/or dispute about/over exhibitionary spaces and praxis? If we consider that recently there has been a surge of comics exhibitions worldwide in both government-sanctioned museums as well as the privately-owned art galleries, what do we make of this long and fraught relationship between art and comics worlds today? In our examination, we must also keep in mind comics scholar Bart Beaty’s analysis about this relationship: “[an] internalized bitterness defines how the comics world sees the larger art world.” This panel thus seeks to “connect the dots,” to interrogate and map so-to-speak the implications of bringing together comics and those sacred buildings dedicated to the muses of arts into dialogue with one another.

Papers are welcome on:

  • Comics museums from around the world (e.g. Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, Centre Belge de la bande dessinée, Cite national de la bande dessinée, Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art, etc.)
  • Comics entering the museum space (e.g. “Comic Book Apocalypse: The Graphic World of Jack Kirby,” “Albums-Bande dessinée et immigration: 1913-2013,” “Good Grief! Children and Comics,” “Little Nemo: Dream Another Dream,” etc.)
  • Comics depicting art exhibitions (Cartoon Strips, cartoonists commenting on the Armory Show, Gasoline Alley and modernism, etc.).

Please send abstracts of 250-300 words and 1-page c.v. by 12 March 2017 to Nhora Serrano (nserrano@hamilton.edu).

This is a guaranteed MLA panel. All prospective participants must be MLA members by 7 April  2017.

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