Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A COMICS STUDIES READER Wins the 2009 Peter C. Rollins Book Award

As posted today at the blog for the University Press of Mississippi,
A Comics Studies Reader has just been named winner of the 2009 Peter C. Rollins Book Award by the Southwest Texas Popular/ American Culture Association. This prize is awarded annually for the best book in popular culture studies and/or American culture studies.

Editors, Jeet Heer and Kent Worcester have been honored for their exemplary work in the popular culture field. Designed to reward genuine research and lucid expression, the award bears the name of Peter C. Rollins, Founder of the SWTX organizations.
See UPM's original blog post for more information. Congratulations, Jeet and Kent!

Full, proud discosure: This book reprints my essay on Chris Ware. You can see the book's complete table of contents at its ComicsResearch.org page.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

CFP: Arthurian-Themed Comics Collection (1/30/10--1st Stage)

Arthurian-Themed Comics Collection
(1/30/10--1st Stage)

In commemoration of the upcoming 75 anniversary of PRINCE VALIANT, I am seeking brief proposals (apx. 200-500 words) for a collection of essays on comics (comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, web comics, and adaptations into other media) based on or inspired by the Arthurian tradition. The collection will be edited by myself and Jason Tondro.

Please submit proposals to the editors for first-round consideration by 30 January 2010. (A second call for papers will be distributed this spring.)

Michael A Torregrossa
The Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages
34 Second Street
Smithfield, RI 02917-3627
United States
Visit the website at http://Arthur.of.the.Comics.blogspot.com/

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

CFP: Time & Space - IBDS Conference (November 30; July 8-9, 2011)

For more information about the International Bande Dessinée Society, visit its website.

International Bande Dessinée Society
Seventh Bi-Annual Conference

Friday 8 and Saturday 9 July 2011

Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester, England

Call for Papers

Time and Space

We welcome proposals on all aspects of time and space in bande dessinée, including narrative and thematic levels.

Bande dessinée is a spatial medium which has the resources to manage both narrative time and narrative space in multiple ways. The indeterminacy of the interframe space allows for complex relationships between the chronology of the narration and the chronology of events within the diegesis: it may be used to distend or accelerate the narration, and to manipulate order through analepsis and prolepsis, rarely signalled as overtly as in film. Different temporalities may also co-exist within a single panel, as the capacity of the medium to blur boundaries between inner and outer worlds makes it possible for remembered or half-repressed material to break through into the daily reality of a protagonist. The representation of space is similarly complex, as the spatial transitions within the diegesis are overlaid by the non-linear spatial patterning of the page, and the book, as a whole.

Time and space have long been key themes of the medium: in the classic period of Franco-Belgian production, history, science fiction and adventure were major genres, and in more recent work by artists associated with alternative publishing houses, the intertwining of the personal and national past has emerged as a key area of interest, along with revisionist histories, often of the colonial period. Adventure has tended to give way to reportage, and to the exploration of the spaces of modernity, and postmodernity, including non-lieux, heterotopias and marginal spaces associated with exclusion.

The signifying practices of the medium in relation to time and space have been theorised by scholars including Fresnault-Deruelle (linear and tabular dimensions of the medium), Benoît Peeters (the notion of the périchamp, and the typology of mise en page), Thierry Groensteen (codes of arthrology, regulating the articulation of panels), Jan Baetens and Pascal Lefèvre (spatial integration of text into the image) and Scott McCloud (typology of transitions). The ambition and experimentation of bande dessinée that has been produced by contemporary artists has encouraged scholars to employ frameworks of analysis drawn from a variety of disciplines, including postcolonial theory and cultural geography. Current academic work on bande dessinée is building on this theoretical base and extending it: we intend that the conference should provide a forum for significant advances, and in particular to create synergy between narrative and thematic approaches to time and space.

Please send papers to either

Dr Matthew Screech, Manchester Metropolitan University - m.screech@mmu.ac.uk


Dr Ann Miller, University of Leicester - am84@leicester.ac.uk

Deadline: November 30, 2010

Image credit: By Tanitoc, from the IBDS website.

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

CFP - Comics: Cultures & Genres (Jan. 15; April 13-14)

The Graphic Novel and Comic Conference

Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

13-14 April 2010

Comics and graphic novels enjoy a paradoxical relationship with mainstream culture. Their narratives and characters are familiar to mass audiences through their adaptations in film, television and other mass media. However comics’ texts are rarely known or read outside comic book cultures. In recent years comics have instigated themselves into the public consciousness due, to a number of diverse circumstances such as the narrative possibilities they offer in an increasingly complex transmedia landscape.

This conference aims to explore the intersections between comic books, graphic novels, their audiences and the ways they reflect the cultures and subcultures that produce them. The conference themes reflect the scope and aims of Routledge’s new journal, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, edited by David Huxley and Joan Ormrod, (first issue July 2010).

Abstracts of up to 250 words are invited around (but are not confined to) the following issues:
  • Genres (horror, romance, superheroes, autobiography, experimental etc)
  • Underground/alternative comics
  • Censorship
  • Online comics
  • Political and topical issues
  • Fans and audiences (subcultures, gender, subcultural production)
  • Comics production and distribution systems
  • Experimental comics
Presentations will be 20 minutes long.

Abstracts should be sent by 15 January 2010 to David Huxley (D.Huxley@mmu.ac.uk) and Joan Ormrod (J.ormrod@mmu.ac.uk)

Read the full call for papers: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/cfp/rcomcfp1.pdf

Find out more about the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/rcom

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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

CFP - 3rd annual New Narrative conference: Narrative arts and visual media (March 31; May 6-7)

3rd annual New Narrative conference:
Narrative arts and visual media

An interdisciplinary conference
at the University of Toronto
6-7 May 2010

In keeping with the spirit of sequels, we are again soliciting papers on a wide range of graphic novels, comic art, and related visual media. Comics, whether in the form of novelistic illustrations, newspaper serials, animated films, film adaptations, graphic novels, or sequential art narratives, have been with us since the rise of literature itself, yet until recently such media have never been considered "serious" - or at least, serious enough to be considered novels that might be on university syllabi. But are illustrated novels and live action films really about the pictures and not the narrative? How can the history of the form be reconciled with consumer culture and the ill-defined categories of "high" and "low" culture?

Papers which examine and interpret these narratives in interdisciplinary forms are most welcome. Essays on novelistic illustrations, newspaper serials, animated films, film adaptations, graphic novels, or sequential art narratives may consider the following (incomplete) list:
  • graphic novels and auto/biography
  • illustrated and multi-media works
  • web design and on-line comix
  • film adaptations of comics
  • series; engravings and caricatures
  • the Comics Code Authority
  • the "invention" of manga
  • geopolitics/war and the graphic novel
  • bande desinée & European comix
  • early comics & comic history
  • illustrations in (literary) novels
  • woodcut and "silent" artists
Proposals should be 400-500 words and must clearly indicate significance, the line of argument, principal texts considered, and relation to existing scholarship (or originality). One email copy of the proposal, and a 50 word bio note must be included, as an attachment in MS Word.

Deadline for proposals is 31 March 2010 (responses by 08 April 2010)

Jeff Parker, Assistant Professor, and/or Dr Andrew Lesk
Department of English, University of Toronto
E-mail: andrew.lesk@utoronto.ca

See also http://andrewlesk.com/conferences.html

This Conference will take place just before the Toronto Comics Arts Festival on May 8 and 9. (See Torontocomics.com)

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CFP: Bilder des Comics (Germany) (Feb. 28; Nov. 25-27)

Gesellschaft für Comicforschung (ComFor)
5. Wissenschaftstagung

Bilder des Comics: Visualität, Sequenzialität, Medialität

25.-27. November 2010
Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Call for Papers

Seit dem sogenannten „Iconic Turn“ haben sich in den Humanwissenschaften neue Forschungsansätze und Untersuchungsgegenstände etabliert. Weit über ästhetische Fragestellungen hinaus sind Themen der Bildlichkeit keine Marginalie mehr, sondern stehen im Zentrum des kulturellen Selbstverständnisses der Moderne. Die mediale Fokussierung auf Techniken und Praktiken der Schriftlichkeit und oralen Kommunikation wird so durch Kriterien einer bildlichen, visuellen, ikonischen Erschließung und Produktion von Welt ergänzt und wesentlich erweitert. Diese These ist für die modernen Gesellschaften um so überzeugender, als deren Alltagswelten stark geprägt sind von der Präsenz von Bildern und ganzen Bildwelten. Wenn sich kulturelle Realität u.a. maßgeblich über Medienrezeption erschließt, dann muss die Wahrnehmung von Bildern ebenso wie die Kommunikation und Sinngebung über Bilder als kulturell relevant akzeptiert werden. In Frage steht dabei unter anderem, ob es eine Sprache oder vergleichbare Semiotik der Bilder gibt – oder ob Bildlichkeit vielmehr einer Eigenlogik folgt, die sich auch in den kulturellen Repräsentationsmodi niederschlägt, welche das Bildliche zwischen den Individuen und kulturellen sowie gesellschaftlichen Zusammenhängen vermitteln. Sofern Bilder außerdem stets an mediale Träger gebunden sind, ist nach deren Spezifika zu fragen. Im Anschluß an McLuhan ist schließlich davon auszugehen, dass ein spezifisches Medium auch spezifische Weisen der Kommunikation und der Rezeption ausbildet, also kulturelle Bedeutungslagen eigensinnig gestaltet. Die gleichzeitige Manipulation und Ermöglichung von Wahrnehmung, insbesondere durch seinen ikonischen Index, ist jedem Medium daher eingeschrieben.

Speziell eine über Bilder getragene Form wie der Comic bietet sich für eine Untersuchung dieses Aspekts an: Comics sind seit ihrer modernen Konzeption in besonderer Weise Ort und Anlaß für gesellschaftliche, künstlerische und akademische Reflektionen über die sich wandelnde Orientierung auf Bilder gewesen, sie sind damit zugleich Schauplatz, Archiv und Testgelände für zahlreiche mediale Veränderungen gewesen. Denn wenn sich Gesellschaft nach Flusser tatsächlich in Richtung einer zunehmenden Betonung ikonischer Zeichen bewegt, dann stellt der Comic eine Schnittstelle in der Generierung von Bedeutung mittels Schrift und mittels Bildlichkeit dar. Elemente der Schriftkultur und des Lesens verbinden sich hier mit solchen eines sequentiellen Sehens, das narrative Kontexte jenseits der reinen Ikonographie erst erschließt. Die Repräsentation des Bildes, der Sog der Wahrnehmung beim Rezipienten, die Genese eines kohärenten Wirklichkeitszusammenhangs im Zuge semiotischer Prozesse, die Erstellung von Formen artifizieller Präsenz im Comic ist daher zu untersuchen. Fragen aus diesem Spektrum wird die 5. Wissenschaftstagung der Gesellschaft für Comicforschung (ComFor) aufgreifen und diskutieren.

Datum: 25.-27. November 2010

Ort: Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Organisation: PD Dr. Jörn Ahrens, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

Abstracts: Themenabstracts von maximal 300 Wörtern Umfang richten Sie bitte bis spätestens 28. Februar 2010 per Email an Jörn Ahrens (joern.ahrens@sowi.uni-giessen.de). Das Abstract soll den Titel sowie das Anliegen des Vortrags, eine kurze biobibliographische Angabe sowie Name, Email-Adresse und Anschrift enthalten. Die Vortragsdauer liegt bei maximal 30 Minuten.

Forum: Die ComFor öffnet auch in diesem Jahr ein Forum als Werkstatt für die Vorstellung und Diskussion laufender und geplanter Forschungsprojekte zu jedem Aspekt der Comicforschung. Hier kann insbesondere der wissenschaftliche Nachwuchs seine Arbeit etwa im Rahmen von Qualifikationsarbeiten vorstellen. Abstracts folgen der oben beschriebenen Form und Einreichfrist; die Vorträge sollen eine Dauer von 15 Minuten nicht überschreiten.

Unterkunft: Eine Liste mit Hotels wird Ihnen mit den Tagungsunterlagen zugeschickt.

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Friday, January 01, 2010

Old Comics for a New Year

Richard Graham of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Love Library has made public a large (183 item) collection of U.S. Government-sponsored comic books and related documents, all downloadable as PDFs. Battle Drugs with Captain America! Stay Healthy with Nutri-Man and Vita Woman (also en Español)! Learn to Duck and Cover! And lots, lots more.

Several people have pointed out this great resource to me, and it's high time I shared it, too. Click here for the main page.

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