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.

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.

CFP for MLA 2017: Temporality

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Graphic Narrative, Comics, and Temporality

Whether we consider the fragmentation of time in the Dr. Manhattan chapter of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ Watchmen, or Art Spiegleman’s intermingling of his father’s WWII past with his present as narrator in Maus, rendering time as space has been one of the most unique and commented upon formal aspects of the graphic novel. More recent, innovative graphic narratives that deliberately foreground time include Richard McGuire’s Here and Chris Ware’s Building Stories.

This panel seeks new scholarly work on the representation of temporality in comics and graphic narratives, with a particular attention to the formal qualities of comics. Papers may address simultaneity, human vs. cosmic time scales, eruptions of the past into the present, sequentiality, seriality, or other experimental permutations of time in comics. Graphic narratives from other countries and traditions outside of the Anglophone world are welcome. Possible examples include Rutu Modan, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, and Oubapo cartoonists.

250-300 word abstracts & CV to mkuhlman@bryant.edu by March 4th. This is a guaranteed panel for the Forum on Comics and Graphic Narrative. Responses to individual submissions will be sent out by the end of March. All prospective presenters must be MLA members by early April 2016.