MLA 2022 Non-Guaranteed Session CFP: Comics on the Border (DEADLINE: 3/15/2021) Call for Papers for a proposed non-guaranteed roundtable sponsored by the Comics and Graphic Narratives Forum to be held (if accepted) at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention, Jan. 6-9, 2022, in Washington D.C. Comics are defined by borders in formal representation and structure, in the boundaries between word and image and generic categories, in the networks and communities of mainstream and alternative production and circulation. Beyond questions of form—borders created by panels and gutters—and audience—borders around communities of readership—borders materially contain, constrict, and dominate identities.  In Disaster Drawn, Hillary Chute considers theRead More →

MLA 2022 Collaborative/Non-Guaranteed Session CFP: Reading and Translating Comics in Two Directions (DEADLINE: 3/15/2021) Call for Papers for a proposed special session at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention, Jan. 6-9, 2022, in Washington D.C. This collaborative panel is jointly sponsored by the Arabic Forum and the Comics and Graphic Narratives Forum. The 2022 MLA Presidential Theme calls us to look at “multilingual US,” and “make language a tool of inclusion rather than exclusion.” Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, and the “Maghreb” are the main producers of comics and graphic narratives today. Comics have become very popular among Middle Eastern writers and artists, such as: ZeinaRead More →

MLA 2022 Guaranteed Session CFP: Manga’s Global Influence (DEADLINE: 3/15/2021) Call for Papers for a guaranteed roundtable panel sponsored by the Forum for Comics and Graphic Narratives at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention, January 6-9, 2022 in Washington, DC. Though conversations about comics have frequently replicated the silos of the academy by discussing one national tradition at a time, scholars have begun paying attention to how, as print and digital objects, comics readily cross national borders. The tradition of manga in Japan is one of the oldest and largest comics traditions, encompassing a multitude of genres and audiences, and this status has ledRead More →

New Flashpoints in Comics History Call for Papers for a guaranteed roundtable panel sponsored by the Forum for Comics and Graphic Narratives at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention, January 7-10, 2021 in Toronto, ON. “For all the vibrant scholarship emerging around comics today, the medium remains a largely unplumbed and uncanonized field of texts you’ve never heard of.” —Ramzi Fawaz, “A Queer Sequence: Comics as a Disruptive Medium” (2019) Certain moments in comics have been regarded as pivotal in our histories and often bear repeating in scholarship, including R. Crumb’s shaping of the underground and subsequent movements through publishing Zap Comix in 1968;Read More →

Decolonizing Comics and/as Activism Call for papers for a non-guaranteed proposed session at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention on January 7-10, 2021, in Toronto, Canada. This panel is sponsored by the Comics and Graphic Narrative Forum. Academic histories of comics are too often colonial, in their focus on America, France, and Japan and in the aesthetic criteria they favor. Yet, when we tell history in this colonial, Eurocentric way, we leave out many perspectives, particularly those of colonized and indigenous peoples. Ken Coats defines global indigenous people through their activism when he says indigenous groups have a history of “participating in protests organizedRead More →

Comics and Graphic Narratives for Young Audiences This panel explores intersections between children’s literature and comics (including manga and graphic novels). All periods and nations welcome. Call for Papers for a proposed special session at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention on January 7-10, 2021 in Toronto, ON. This collaborative panel is jointly sponsored by the Comics and Graphic Narratives Forum and the Children’s and Young Adult Literature Forum. Children’s comics and graphic novels have emerged as the dominant commercial force in the industry, with authors like Raina Telgemeier and Dav Pilkey selling millions of books. Yet comics studies still pays relatively little attention to comics for children.Read More →

Call for Papers for a proposed guaranteed session at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention on January 9-12, 2020, in Seattle, Washington. This roundtable panel is sponsored by the Comics and Graphic Narratives Forum. On the ten year anniversary of panels sponsored by the MLA Forum for Comics and Graphic Narratives, this roundtable asks established and emerging scholars to reflect on the history, the present, and the future of the field of Comics Studies. We seek narratives on the formation and early years of the Forum, as well as perspectives on where the field and the Forum are headed. This intergenerational conversation explores developmentsRead More →

Call for Papers for a proposed special session at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention on January 9-12, 2020, in Seattle, Washington. This panel is sponsored by the Comics and Graphic Narratives Forum. Webcomics are arguably the form of comics with the broadest reach, but scholarship on the subject has been sparse.  As a form that both takes advantage of the representational affordances of comics and the opportunities provided by the connectivity and lack of gatekeeping in the digital realm, webcomics present a rich source of possibility for comics scholars and digital media scholars alike, particularly when considering marginalized creators and characters. This panelRead More →

Call for Papers for a proposed special session at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention on January 9-12, 2020, in Seattle, Washington. This collaborative panel is jointly sponsored by the Comics and Graphic Narratives Forum and the Screen Arts and Culture Forum. Comics and graphic narratives have long explored the nonhuman as allegorical representatives of the human experience. This panel examines the difference medium makes in adapting comics and graphic narratives for the screen, and how transmedia narratives of the nonhuman represent/challenge our understanding of humanity, for example: How does the change from drawn representations to human actors affect conceptualizations of the non-human? IsRead More →

DEADLINE: 3/15/18  Comics have been involved in a wide variety of “textual transactions” at least since the 1890s origin of the comic strip. Yet comics fandom evolved in the ‘70s and ‘80s as a site of mostly straight, white, adult and male-dominated “textual transactions,” practiced in non-inclusive venues like the comics convention and the comic book store. Alternative spaces for comics fan practices have always existed. But thanks to developments such as the Internet, superhero films, graphic novels, and social justice movements, comics fandom is now undergoing a historic shift as new audiences demand inclusion in historically exclusionary comics fan communities. This panel seeks papersRead More →