Saturday, March 13, 2010

CFP: MLA 2011: Graphic Aging (3/19/2010; 1/6-9/2011)

Note the imminent deadline. --GK--

Graphic Aging
MLA 2011

The MLA Discussion Area in Age Studies and the MLA Discussion Area in Comics and Graphic Narratives are collaborating to assemble and propose a joint panel on comics for the 2011 MLA Annual Convention, to be held 6–9 January in Los Angeles.

Following is a Call for Papers for that panel. The submission deadline has been extended to next Friday, March 19. Please pass this on to colleagues in age studies, childhood studies, children's/youth literature and culture studies, comics studies, and other potentially relevant fields!

Graphic Aging: youth, ripening, and intergenerational relationships in Love & Rockets, Likewise, Token, etc. This panel explores how images and understandings of age inform each other in graphic novels, novel graphics, and related media.

Paper proposals might explore the following themes, but need not be limited to these ideas:
  • How do graphic novels render and thematize images of youth/aging/old age?
  • How are youth, aging, and elderhood rendered, valued, and made visible in graphic narratives and/or film?
  • What critical vocabulary is needed for readers to fully explore ages’ visual complexities?
  • How does a particular author/artist depict the complexities of age’s vitality, beauty, and grotesques?
  • How, or how well, do the comics and graphic narratives of a particular minority or majority community convey that group’s valuations and understandings of aging?
  • How do visual depictions of old age reinforce/resist ageist stereotyping?
  • When a character ages during the timespan of a text, what is the age-related somatic transformation process?
  • In flashbacks for which the “present” of the narrator is multiple decades from the “present” of the story, what is the visual presence of the narrator, and how does that add to the text?
  • When comics and graphic narratives transition from text to screen, what is the impact on the visual representations of age?
  • What aspects or sights of aging are left to the reader to imagine, and what are part of the text’s images?
  • How do the graphic renderings of intergenerational relationships reinforce/resist ageist stereotypes?
  • How do expectations about the audience’s age impact images of age in graphic narratives?
Submit 300+ word abstracts by 3/19/2010 to Leni Marshall at

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