Wednesday, April 15, 2009

CFP: Jewish Comics [journal issue; October 2, 2009]

[Synchronicity Dep't: I'm currently reading Danny Fingeroth's Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero.]

The scholarship surrounding comics and “graphic novels” has proliferated over the past several years, as has studies focusing on particular comics themes or visual texts created by certain ethnic communities. Indeed, over the past three years alone there have been at least six critical studies investigating the links between comics and Jewishness. Given this emergent field of inquiry, Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies will devote a special issue to Jewish comics (slotted for Summer 2010). The scope of this volume will take in the theoretical, literary, and historical contexts of graphic narrative and its links to Jewish identity and discourse. Possible topics could include, but are certainly not limited to:
  • The ways in which comics have articulated the American Jewish experience
  • Comics and the Holocaust, as expressed in such narratives as Maus, Auschwitz, I Was a Child of the Holocaust, We Are on Our Own, Mendel’s Daughter: A Memoir, and Yossel: April 19, 1943
  • The contributions of Jews in the history of comic strips and comic books
  • Images of Israel in the works of Joe Sacco, Rutu Modan, Ari Folman, Miriam Libicki, and the Dimona Comix Group
  • Jewish identity through superheroes and villains, from Superman to The Spirit to Shaloman
  • The form of the contemporary “graphic novel” by Jewish writers/artists such as Kim Deitch, Joann Sfar, Miss Lasko-Gross, Ben Katchor, and Aline Kominisky-Crumb
  • Graphic adaptations of Jewish texts and legends
  • Immigration and ethnic urban landscapes in the works of comics artists such as Will Eisner and Ben Katchor
  • Comics, the Diaspora, and Jewish internationalism
  • Jewish identity and world conflict, from the world wars to 9/11
  • Jewish autobiographic comics (e.g., Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor and Will Eisner’s autobiographic fiction) as well as graphic biographies of such figures as Franz Kafka, Emma Goldman, Houdini, and Anne Frank
  • Representations of the Jewish gangster in comics
  • The uses of the golem and its relation to the superhero
All essay submissions should be between 5,000 and 8,000 words, including notes. Contributors should format submissions based on the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, and use footnotes. Authors will be responsible for securing copyright permission for all images used. Address all inquiries, and submit all completed manuscripts, to the guest editor, Derek Parker Royal at Derek_Royal[at] Please include the words “Jewish Comics” in the subject heading.

Deadline for final manuscript submission is October 2, 2009.

Shofar is published for the Midwest Jewish Studies Association, the Western Jewish Studies Association, and the Jewish Studies Program of Purdue University by the Purdue University Press. For more information on the journal, please visit

Update 04/21/2009: You also can download a pdf of this call for papers.

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