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 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.

CFP for MLA 2017: Alien Lines


Alien Lines: Science Fiction Comics

The medium of comics—often dominated by genres bound to contemporary concerns or enduring conventions—remains marginal in the study of science fiction. Likewise, the oldest questions driving science fiction scholarship—identity and difference, self and other, chance and futurity—have not been central to comics studies. In short, we have rarely asked: how do the central projects of science fiction manifest in comics form?

The Forum on Speculative Fiction and the Forum on Comics and Graphic Narratives therefore invite papers that explore this question. We especially desire proposals focused on the ways difference, otherness and futurity manifest on the comics page. How does the comics medium, a form with close ties to stable technologies of production and to the human body, manifest new visions of other technologies, bodies, times, places and selves?

This panel might cover any works that manifest such alien lines. Papers on comics of all kinds—short stories, open-ended serials and graphic novels, print and digital, newspaper and book-form—are invited, as are papers focused on any era of science fiction, from its earliest beginnings through its postmodern and contemporary phases. We welcome proposals on canonical figures such as Tezuka, Moebius, and the EC creators of the early 1950s, and on contemporary creators such as Vaughan, Lemire, and Kirkman. Potential panelists should also feel free to propose talks on independent works such as Jesse Jacobs’s By This You Shall Know Him, Dash Shaw’s Bodyworld, and Sophie Goldstein’s The Oven, or on mainstream revisions of SF tropes such as McDuffie’s Hardware, DeConnick’s Bitch Planet, and Layman’s Chew. SF manga by Hagio, Otomo, Yukimura, and many other contemporary figures, as well as European comics by creators such as Schuiten and Peeters, Mézières and Christin, Vehlmann and De Bonneval, Bilal, and others will likewise be enthusiastically considered.

250-word abstracts & CV to by March 15. Note that this CFP is for a proposed, not guaranteed, session at MLA 2017; the session is contingent on approval by the MLA Program Committee. Responses to individual submissions will be sent out by the beginning of April, and the MLA Program Committee will consider the entire session proposal after that date. All prospective presenters must be MLA members by early April 2016.

Cash Bar Friday 7-8:15 Hope to see you there!


Join us!

7:00–8:15 p.m., JW Grand 1, JW Marriott

Our three Forum panels this year:

Friday, 8 January

  1. Satire and the Editorial Cartooon

5:15-6:30, 311, JW Marriott

Saturday, 9 January

  1. Latina/o Comics

10:15–11:30 a.m.

JW Marriot , Lone Star C

  1. Charlie Hebdo and Its Publics

10:15–11:30 a.m.

JW Marriot , Lone Star C

See you in Austin!

(see earlier post for more details)

Congratulations to Aaron Kashtan

Aaron Kashtan, Visiting Assistant Professor at Miami University, will join the forum in 2017!