Call for Papers for MLA 2018: Teaching Global Arab Comics in the US

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This panel seeks papers that address graphic narratives by/about Arabs, and how they are taught or not taught today in the US. Some of the topics may include: circulation, translation, critical/pedagogical reception, aesthetics/politics of representation, gender, counternarrative, figurations of history, occupation, the status of refugees, and states of belonging. Genres to consider may include satire, memoir, fiction, journalism, or alternative formations. Possible comics may include the website PositiveNegatives, the zine Tok Tok, and the series The 99. Possible creators to consider may include Joe Sacco, Toufic El Rassi, Riad Sattouf, Farid Boudjellal, Magdy El Shafee, Zeina Abirached, Leila Abdelrazaq, Marguerite Dabaie, Nicole Georges, and Jana Traboulsi, among others. The organizers hope to collect a panel of presenters that would consider how, when, and which Arab comics and graphic narratives are taught or not taught in the U.S. Comparative as well as transnational approaches to pedagogy and production are welcome.

Abstracts by 15 March 2017; Susan E. Kirtley (skirtley@pdx.edu) and Pauline Vinson (pvinson@dvc.edu).

This CFP is for a competitive session at MLA 2018, and is contingent on approval by the MLA Program Committee. Responses to individual submissions will be sent out by the beginning of April, but the MLA Program Committee will not consider the entire session proposal until after that date. All prospective presenters must be current MLA members by no later than April 2017.

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.

Call for Papers for MLA 2018: Comics and the Culture Wars

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In contemporary America, popular culture has become one of the primary spaces in which political debates are enacted. The Gamergate movement in video game criticism, which helped lead to the rise of the “alt-right,” demonstrates how popular culture not only comments on America’s cultural and political divides but is itself a site of political contention. This is just as true of comics as of other cultural forms, as suggested, for example, by the South Carolina government’s retaliation against universities that selected Fun Home as a common book, or the respective use of Ms. Marvel and Pepe the Frog as anti-Islamophobic and racist symbols.

We solicit papers on how comics comment upon or intervene in contemporary cultural debates. Relevant questions might include:

  • How have comics (e.g. Persepolis or Drama) become focuses of political controversy?
  • How have superhero comics (e.g. Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye) or their film and TV adaptations sought to represent diverse identities? what reactions have such representations provoked?
  • How have images derived from comics (e.g. Wonder Woman punching Trump) been deployed for political purposes?
  • How do comics (e.g. Southern Bastards) depict the political effects of transformations in American regional identities?

250-300-word abstracts to akashtan@uncc.edu by March 12, 2017. This CFP is for a proposed, not guaranteed, session at MLA 2017, and is contingent on approval by the MLA Program Committee. Responses to individual submissions will be sent out by the beginning of April, but the MLA Program Committee will not consider the entire session proposal until after that date. All prospective presenters must be current MLA members by no later than April 2017.

Our two Forum panels this year (and our cash bar!) and some other panels to note:

Saturday, 7 January

581. Alien Lines: Science Fiction Comics

1:45–3:00 p.m., Grand Ballroom Salon A, Philadelphia Marriott

Program arranged by the forums GS Comics and Graphic Narratives and GS Speculative Fiction

Presiding: Aaron Kashtan, Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte

1. “Don’t Let Them Touch and Despair You: World Construction in the World of The Wrenchies and It Will All Hurt,” Phoebe Salzman-Cohen, Penn State Univ., University Park

2. “‘This Is How an Idea Becomes Real’: Bodies in Saga,” Daniel John Pinti, Niagara Univ.

3. “‘I’m Getting Too Good to Ignore’: The Feminist Politics of Sharon Ruhdal’s Dystopian Comics,” Margaret Galvan, New York Univ.

4. “Feeling The Puma Blues: The Dilution of Science Fiction and the Decline of the Creator within Independent Comics’ Golden Age,” Keith McCleary, UC San Diego.

 

Saturday, 7 January

676. Cash Bar Arranged by the Forum GS Comics and Graphic Narratives

7:00–8:15 p.m., Franklin 4, Philadelphia Marriott

 

Sunday, 8 January

787. Graphic Narrative, Comics, and Temporality

1:45–3:00 p.m., Independence Ballroom Salon III, Philadelphia Marriott

Program arranged by the forum GS Comics and Graphic Narratives

Presiding: Martha B. Kuhlman, Bryant Univ.

1. “Past and Present Colors: Drawing Style as Temporal Framework in Comics,” Rikke Platz Cortsen, Univ. of Texas, Austin

2. “‘Paradise Now’: Messianic Time in the Iranian Graphic Protest Novel,” Charlotta Salmi, Univ. of Birmingham

3. “Drawing the Anthropocene? Intimacy and Antihuman ‘Deep Time,'” Aarnoud Rommens, Univ. of Liege

4. “Reading in the Deep: Time and the Z-Axis in Richard McGuire’s Here and Dan Clowes’s Patience,” Joshua Kopin, Univ. of Texas, Austin

 

Additional comics-related panels of note:

189. Reading and Seeing Modernism and Graphic Narrative: Form, Medium, Aesthetics

Friday, 6 January8:30–9:45 a.m., 111B, Pennsylvania Convention Center

A special session 

Presiding: Andrew Hoberek, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia

Speakers:Olivia Badoi, Fordham Univ.; Sheila Liming, Univ. of North Dakota; Ben Novotny Owen, Ohio State Univ., Columbus; John Paul Riquelme, Boston Univ.; Janine M. Utell, Widener Univ.

Responding: David M. Ball, Dickinson Coll.

 

285. Graphic Queer / Queer Graphics: Seriality and Sexuality in Graphic Form

Friday, 6 January12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., Independence Ballroom Salon III, Philadelphia Marriott

Program arranged by the forum TC Sexuality Studies

Presiding: Ramzi Fawaz, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

1. “Serial Sex: Intimacy as Method and the Polaroid’s Queer Aesthetic Legacies,” Ricardo Montez, New School

2. “Mapping Danny the Street: Theorizing Trans-temporality with Doom Patrol,” Kadin Henningsen, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

3. “The Pornographic Aesthetics of Fluidity in Comix,” Yetta Howard, San Diego State Univ.

4. “Desiring Blackness: A Motivated Reading of the Value of Black Panther,” André Carrington, Drexel Univ.

 

646. Placing Gender in the Graphic Novel

Saturday, 7 January5:15–6:30 p.m., Independence Ballroom Salon III, Philadelphia Marriott

Program arranged by the forum TC Women’s and Gender Studies

Presiding: Pamela Brown, Univ. of Connecticut, Stamford

1. “Cuba My Revolution: Una novela gráfica e histórica para mejor cumplir las políticas del mercado,” Mabel Cuesta, Univ. of Houston, University Park

2. “The Latent Image: Biopolitics and Diegetic Levels in Lila Quintero-Weaver’s Graphic Novel Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White, in an Aesthetics and Human Rights Course,” Karina Elizabeth Vázquez, Univ. of Richmond

3. “Transnational Bodies and Gendered Representations in Operación Bolívar, by Edgar Clément, and La perdida, by Jessica Abel,” Tania Pérez-Cano, Univ. of Pittsburgh

 

650. Invisible Made Visible: Comics and Mental Illness

Saturday, 7 January5:15–6:30 p.m., Grand Ballroom Salon I, Philadelphia Marriott

A special session 

Presiding: Jessica Gross, St. Louis Coll. of Pharmacy; Leah Misemer, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison

Speakers:Jeanine Ashforth, Univ. of South Florida; Elizabeth J. Donaldson, New York Inst. of Tech., Old Westbury; Keegan Lannon, Dominican Univ.; Claire Latxague, Université Paul Valéry, Montpellier 3

Session Description:

Panelists explore how the visual medium of comics paradoxically explores invisible mental illnesses by depicting internal emotional and mental states. They also consider the historical relation between comics and mental illness and discuss how comics can create communities of people who feel—or are—invisible within society at large.

 

281. “Leap Tall Buildings in a Single Bound”: Psychoanalysis, Comics, and Architecture

Friday, 6 January12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 112A, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Program arranged by the American Psychoanalytic Association

Presiding: Vera J. Camden, Kent State Univ., Kent

Speakers:Frederik Byrn Køhlert, Univ. of Calgary; Jimenez Lai, Univ. of California, Los Angeles; Nick Sousanis, San Francisco State Univ.; Jon Yoder, Kent State Univ., Kent

Session Description:

Once considered pure pulp, comics now prevail in architecture studios, psychoanalytic institutes, and university classrooms, as well as in myriad public spaces. This session represents architecture, psychoanalysis, educational psychology, and literature to consider the ways that comics “bound” over disciplinary silos to capture buildings, bodies, and minds in lived environments.

 

27. Getting Religion: Children’s Literature as Sacred Text

Thursday, 5 January12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 111B, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Program arranged by the forums GS Children’s and Young Adult Literature and TC Religion and Literature

Presiding: Lisa M. Gordis, Barnard Coll.; Karin E. Westman, Kansas State Univ.

1. “Intertwining Histories: Catechisms and the Emergence of Eighteenth-Century Children’s Literature,” Gabrielle Owen, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln

2. “Christian Science Children’s Fiction, 1900–10,” Anne Stiles, St. Louis Univ.

3. “Nazi Children’s Literature and the Formation of the Holy Reich,” Michael Lackey, Univ. of Minnesota, Morris

4. “Characterizing Religion: The Lives and Afterlives of Stock Religious Characters in Japanese Picturebooks from the 1950s to the Present,” Heather Blair, Indiana Univ., Bloomington

 

210. Graphic Narratives

Friday, 6 January8:30–9:45 a.m., 410, Philadelphia Marriott

Program arranged by the forum LLC Luso-Brazilian

Presiding: Cesar Braga-Pinto, Northwestern Univ.

1. “Superbacana: Songs, Graphic Narratives, and Social Tension in the Late 1960s in Brazil,” Carlos Pires, Universidade de São Paulo

2. “Comics Poetry and Poema/Processo,” Jonathan R. Bass, Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick

3. “Brazilian Quadrinistas and the Franco-Belgian Market of Science Fiction and Fantasy Graphic Novels: A Marriage of Convenience,” Henri-Simon Blanc-Hoang, Defense Language Inst.

4. “Graphic Spaces of Rights,” Leila Maria Lehnen, Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque

 

282. “I Die Daily”: Police Brutality, Black Bodies, and the Force of Children’s Literature

Friday, 6 January12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 106B, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Program arranged by the Children’s Literature Association

Presiding: Michelle Hite, Spelman Coll.

1. “Postracial, but Not Postracism: The Romanticization of the Plantation South and the Whitewashing of History in Raina Telgemeier’s Drama,” Michelle Ann Abate, Ohio State Univ., Columbus

2. “The Promise and Challenge of History: Reckoning with Racism in Out of Darkness,” Ashley Pérez, Ohio State Univ., Columbus

3. “Runoff: Young African Americans with Disabilities in Landscapes of Sacrifice,” Elizabeth Anne Wheeler, Univ. of Oregon

4. “Brown Girls Dreaming: Violence, Narrative, and the Politics of the Interior,” Samira Abdur-Rahman, Univ. of Rochester

 

353. What Next? Adventures in Episodic and Serial Form

Friday, 6 January3:30–4:45 p.m., Franklin 11, Philadelphia Marriott

A special session 

Presiding: Katherine Fusco, Univ. of Nevada, Reno

Speakers:Jacquelyn Ardam, Colby Coll.; Katherine FuscoDonal Harris, Univ. of Memphis; Andrew Hoberek, Univ. of Missouri, Columbia; Heather A. Love, Univ. of South Dakota; Carter Neal, Indiana Univ., Bloomington

Responding: David M. Ball, Dickinson Coll.

Session Description:

The presentations query how historical moments give rise to the episodic or serial forms they need (or deserve?). With topics including modernist drama, Dada art exhibitions, children’s films, comic books, and the realist novel, the panelists use a PechaKucha format of automatically advancing slides—an innovative style fitting for a session on series and episodes.

 

475. Graphic Style and Big Data

Saturday, 7 January10:15–11:30 a.m., 104A, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Program arranged by the forum LLC 20th- and 21st-Century American

Presiding: Amy Hungerford, Yale Univ.

1. “Illusions of Progress: Visualization and the Politics of Stylized Time,” Ed Finn, Arizona State Univ.

2. “Excavating the Present: Richard McGuire’s Here and the Wayback Machine,” Alexander Manshel, Stanford Univ.

3. “Chris Ware and R. Crumb: From Data to Disgust,” Rebecca Clark, Univ. of California, Berkeley

4. “The Visual Universalism of Bing Xu’s Book from the Ground,” Lee Konstantinou, Univ. of Maryland, College Park

 

524. The Life of the Child’s Mind: Rethinking Education and Intellect in Literature for Young People

Saturday, 7 January12:00 noon–1:15 p.m., 106B, Pennsylvania Convention Center

Program arranged by the Children’s Literature Association

Presiding: David Aitchison, North Central Coll.

1. “Adolescent Fiction as a Boundary Condition: Exploring the Meaning of Reading in a Transitional Genre,” Elisabeth Rose Gruner, Univ. of Richmond

2. “Smart Equals Queer: The Intellectual Child in Sex Is a Funny Word,” Gabrielle Owen, Univ. of Nebraska, Lincoln

3. “Unbounded Time, Unbounded Intellect: A Teenage ‘Song of Myself’ in John Green’s Paper Towns,” Susan Leary, Univ. of Miami

 

 

CFP for MLA 2017: Adaptation

 

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Drawing the Line: Comics and Adaptation

While comics adaptations have frequently been derided for “dumbing down” great works of literature through adaptation, recent movie adaptations of comics have conquered the box office and brought new attention to the medium. These intriguing developments beg the questions—How might comics be transformed by such adaptations? What is the potential for comics in reworking other forms? Recent books, such as Stephen Tabachnick and Esther Bendit Saltzman’s anthology Drawn from the Classics (2015) and the University of Leicester Conference (2015) on “Comics and Adaptation in the European Context” indicate growing academic interest in issues surrounding comics adaptations. This roundtable seeks to extend this scholarly conversation, exploring intersections between Comics and Adaptation Studies. Papers with an international or global focus are particularly welcome.

Relevant questions include:

  • What are the affordances particular to comics? In what way do these translate (or not) into other forms?
  • How have comics been remediated?
  • In what ways have digital and multimodal technologies changed the reading (and writing) of comics?
  • How can theory illuminate our understanding of comics adaptations? What examples shed light on the successes and failures of adaptation?
  • How have various plots been adapted into different comics? How have text-based narratives been translated into image/texts? And from comics into other forms? What is lost and what is gained in these retellings?

Please send 250-word abstracts to Susan Kirtley (skirtley@pdx.edu) by March 15. Acceptances will be announced by early April.

Please note: This CFP is for a proposed, not guaranteed, session at MLA 2017, which means that the session is contingent on approval by the MLA Program Committee. Responses to individual submissions will be sent out by the beginning of April, but the MLA Program Committee will not consider the entire session proposal until after that date. All prospective presenters must be current MLA members by no later than April 2016.