Tuesday, February 25, 2014

CFP: The Punk Aesthetic in Comics / essay collection (June 2)

Call for Papers
The Punk Aesthetic in Comics

We have just received a contract from McFarland to compile a multi-contributor manuscript on comic books and the punk aesthetic.  Comics have long had a connection with subculture. In the punk movement, comics found an aesthetic that could help preach a message to the counterculture. This collection will include essays that examine how both mainstream and underground comics/comix have borrowed from and used the punk aesthetic for their own means. 

The OED indicates that the earliest usage of "punk" occurs in 1575, and then it was used as a synonym for prostitute, but the word has come a long way since then, and it has taken on many different permutations.  Rather than attempt to form a unified definition of "punk," we encourage submissions to take advantage of the flexibility of this word and to examine the punk aesthetic in unique and original directions. Furthermore, submissions are encouraged to explore texts from outside of the obligatory UK/US discussion, and certainly before the typical 1970s "start date" of the punk movement. 

Essay Format/Style:
Essays are to be 5000-7500 words long (typed and double-spaced) and should be written in clear, concrete terms, avoiding jargon whenever possible. Shorter essays may be accepted, but, in general, we are looking for thoroughly researched, scholarly discussions of the topic. We do want to encourage contributors to use images in their submissions. Because of the reluctance of some publishers to release their images for scholastic purposes, however, there will also be a need to limit those images. As a general guideline, contributors will need to avoid using comic book covers and use no more than 2-3 images in their submission.  We must also mention that contributors should avoid using song lyrics in their articles. While we understand the difficulties involved with writing about a cultural movement that is closely tied to music without being able to include lyrics from the songs that are a part of the movement, the rights to those songs are often aggressively defended by the copyright holders and we will be unable to secure permissions to use any song lyrics in the finished project. If you are invited to contribute your article to this collection, each author must provide us with ownership of the essay, the exclusive right to publish it, and you must seek permission from McFarland to republish any of the material as long as they are causing the book to be sold. Citations should appear in endnotes, and documentation and citations should follow MLA format.  For specifics, see the guidelines outlined here: http://www.comicsresearch.org/CAC/cite.html

Anyone interested in contributing an essay should contact the editors at the email address punkcomicscollection@gmail.com, with a brief proposal (1-2 paragraphs) and a short description of their professional, educational, and publishing background no later than Monday, June 2, 2014. Invited essays will be due as e-mail attachments no later than Monday, January 19, 2015. Further information will be sent later to those who are invited to submit essays.

Possible primary texts include (but are not intended to be restricted to):
  • Air Gear
  • Beelzebub
  • Books of Magick: Life during Wartime
  • Cromartie High School
  • East Coast Rising
  • Eightball
  • Fashion Beast
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • Ghost World
  • Gokusen
  • Honour among Punks 
  • Hopeless Savages
  • How Loathsome
  • Judge Dredd
  • Kill Your Boyfriend
  • Kyou Kara Ore Wa!!  
  • Lobo
  • Love and Rockets
  • Mardock Scramble
  • Persepolis
  • Peter Pank
  • Punk Rock Jesus
  • Sandman
  • Scott Pilgrim
  • Shonan Junai Gumi (Shonan Purelove Gang) & Great Teacher Onizuka
  • Tank Girl
  • The Invisibles
  • Transmetropolitan
  • Underground Comix
  • V for Vendetta
  • Webcomics: xkcd, Nothing Nice to Say, The Oatmeal
  • X-Men
If you have any questions, you should not hesitate to contact us at the following email address: punkcomicscollection@gmail.com

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

CFP: 2014 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium (May 1; July 3-6)

Call for Papers / Call for Speakers
2014 AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium
July 3 - July 6
Anime Expo 2014

Los Angeles Convention Center (Los Angeles, CA)

Keynote Speaker:
Prof. Marc Steinberg (Concordia University, Montreal, Canada)
Submission Deadline: May 1, 2014

Japanese animation (anime) and comics (manga) represent one of the major contributions that Japan has made to global visual and popular culture. Indeed, for many people, their first - and sometimes only - contact with Japanese culture at all is through Japanese visual culture.

The field of anime and manga studies is young, only about 30 year old, but extraordinarily vibrant.
It welcomes a wide range of interpretations and approaches, draws on different disciplines and methodologies, and can involve both academics, industry professionals, independent scholars, and fans/enthusiasts.

A major goal of the Anime and Manga Studies Symposium is to bring together speakers from diverse backgrounds, fields and areas to exchange ideas, explore new directions, and contribute to building a community of anime and manga studies. Uniquely, the Anime and Manga Symposium is an integral part of the schedule of Anime Expo, the largest gathering of fans of Japanese popular culture in the U.S. This will give speakers an opportunity to present their research and scholarship directly to public, non-academic audience, to interact with fans of anime and manga from around the world, and to becomeparticipants in a celebration and appreciation of Japanese popular culture. In turn, the Symposium also serves to introduce convention attendees to the ideas and practices of formal scholarship of Japanesevisual culture.

Submissions on a wide range of topics dealing with anime and manga will be considered. Possible areas to explore can include—but are not limited to:
  • Critical studies of individual creators, directors and animators, especially in larger contexts such as anime/manga as a whole, animation, comics, Japanese literature/film, science fiction, war literature, etc.
  • Close readings of particular works, with a focus on genre conventions and subversions and relationships to previous works in anime/manga and other media.
  • Gender and Sexuality: Fan service and objectification, the male and female gaze, the interplay of male and female creators, producers, and audiences
  • Age, class, race, ethnicity/nationality and other social differences
  • Reflections on current social, political and ecological issues
  • Responses to the world and to Japanese history: The 3.11 Tohoku Disaster, World War II, interactions between Japan and other countries
  • The impact of new technologies (wireless communication, augmented reality, mobile computing) on storytelling in anime/manga
  • The use of remix culture: Adaptation and interpretation of Eastern, Western and other literatures and visual media in Japanese popular culture
  • Copyright, obscenity, and other legal issues
  • Anime and manga as tools of globalization and agents of promoting Japanese culture
  • The history and evolution of anime/manga fandom outside Japan: Fan practices and experiences—clubs, conventions, cosplay, fansites, fansubbing, anime music videos
  • The future of anime/manga consumption – streaming, online comics, crowdsourcing, etc.
  • Potentials for anime/manga as platforms for social change and anime/manga fans as actors of social change
  • The ethics and challenges of presenting Japanese popular culture products around the world
The Symposium particularly welcomes presentations on newer/emerging works and creators.

Speakers are also welcome to submit proposals for roundtable discussions on these and related topics.

Potential roundtables can include:
  • Differences in theoretical approaches to anime and manga
  • Anime/manga fan practices and activities in different countries, cultures and regions
  • New directions, new opportunities, and new challenges in thinking, writing, and teaching about anime/manga
The AX Anime and Manga Studies Symposium will be open to all AX attendees. Speakers are urged to consider subjects that will be of interest to general non-specialist audiences and do not require significant backgrounds in Asian Studies, media theory, literature, etc.

For consideration, please submit the title of your paper or panel, an abstract (300 words maximum) and a CV to mkoulikov@gmail.com


All submissions will be peer-reviewed.

All invited participants will be offered free admission to Anime Expo.

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Monday, February 03, 2014

Where I'll Be: "Graphic Jews: Negotiating Identity In Sequential Art" Panel @ Skidmore College, Thurs. 2/6/14

Panel Discussion
Graphic Jews:
Negotiating Identity In Sequential Art
 7:00 pm reception; 7:30 pm panel discussion
February 6, 2014, 7:00pm
Skidmore College
Saratoga Springs, NY

I was honored to be asked to participate in this event on the campus of Skidmore College, in which I'll be co-moderating a panel discussion with three excellent cartoonists. From the press release:
Sequential artists Ben Katchor, Leela Corman, and James Sturm talk about their work in the medium of comics and discuss the ways in which their work engages with contemporary constructions of Jewish identity. Co-moderated by Dr. Gene Kannenberg Jr., historian, director of ComicsResearch.org and author of 500 Essential Graphic Novels; and Gregory Spinner, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion, Skidmore College. Sponsored by the Jacob Perlow Lecture Fund and presented in collaboration with the Office of the Dean of Special Programs, Skidmore College.
The panel is being held in conjunction with an exhibit of comic art at the Tang Teaching Museum, "Graphic Jews: Negotiating Identity in Sequential Art." As stated above, I'll be co-moderating the panel with Prof. Gregory Spinner, co-curator of the exhibit. Here's a video overview of the show, featuring an interview with Greg:

Tang Museum | Graphic Jews: Negotiating Identity in Sequential Art 
from The Tang Museum on Vimeo.

And here's the full press release for the exhibit, which will be on display through April 13:
Graphic Jews presents a selection of graphic novels and original pages by contemporary Jewish artists Leela Corman, Vanessa Davis, Ben Katchor, and James Sturm that tell stories about Jewishness and explore some of the many ways Jews have figured and reconfigured their Jewish identities. These works combine words and pictures into what Will Eisner, one of the masters of the form, called “sequential art”: telling stories by putting one image after another after another.

Graphic Jews builds on a long history of Jewish Americans and comics. Jews played an outsized role in the history of American comics, creating, writing, illustrating, and publishing some of the best-known comics during the medium’s Golden Age in the 1930s and 1940s. Yet for much of the twentieth century the actual scale of Jewish involvement in the medium was not obvious, as neither the creators or their creations were marked, let alone marketed, as Jewish. Cultural shifts in American society in the 1960s and 1970s took pressure off Jewish immigrants and their children to assimilate into American society, and, as result, both long-time comics professionals and younger artists began to draw comics in which Jews and questions of Jewish identity figured more prominently. Two important graphic novels from this period signaled the transition: Will Eisner’s A Contract with God (1978), considered by many to be the first graphic novel, and Art Spiegelman’s Maus (1980-1991). Along with copies of graphic novels by Corman, Davis, Katchor, and Sturm, Eisner’s and Spiegelman’s two novels are available for visitors to explore in the exhibition.

The artists in Graphic Jews build on the emergence of overt Jewish characters and content in comics that began in the 1970s. Taken together, the works touch on the plurality of Jewish identities and experiences: struggles with alienation and assimilation, a spectrum of religious observance and indifference, and the knotty intersections of race, gender, and class. The exhibition explores how sequential art functions to visualize narrative, wherein images and texts about the past inform our present sense of our selves, thus contributing to the narrative construction of identity. We are the stories we tell and retell, from sacred narratives inherited from tradition and passed down through the generations, to more recent histories, fictions, and fantasies.

Graphic Jews is co-curated by Gregory Spinner, Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion, Skidmore College, and Rachel Seligman, Assistant Director for Curatorial Affairs, Tang Museum.
I'll also be attending the Tang's Winter/Spring Opening Reception on Saturday, February 15, with performances by David Greenberger and A Strong Dog in One Upon. Performance from 3:00 – 6:00 pm; Reception from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. For a list of all the events at the Tang this spring, click here.

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