Wednesday, August 06, 2014

CFP: Comics and Translation / New Readings journal issue (Nov 10)

Comics and Translation
Call for Contributions
to themed issue of New Readings

Since its rise to popularity in the early 20th century, comic literature has travelled extensively across linguistic and cultural borders. Many comic characters are part of a general cultural heritage that is not confined to any one language. Yet, the role of the translator and translation in facilitating comic literature’s mobility has been relatively little studied. This oversight may well stem from the traditional marginalisation of comics within the literary field, but it can also be linked to the particular circumstances in which many mainstream comics are produced. More often than not, comics are a team effort involving at least one graphic artist and one scriptwriter, or larger creative teams. In such circumstances, the traditional idea of individual authorship and responsibility is untenable from the outset, turning the translator into one of several collaborators in the production process. Lawrence Venuti has studied the translator’s invisibility, which goes hand in hand with a ‘practice of reading and evaluating’ that takes the translation for the original. This invisibility seems to apply even more markedly to the translation of comic literature, where there is a multimodal message. Here the message is only in part encoded linguistically and the visual mode is often taken to predominate over the textual mode, further reducing the translator’s visibility. This themed journal issue aims to expose the importance of translation in the history of comics.

New Readings is inviting articles on any aspect of the translation of comic literature, widely understood here to refer to literature that combines images with words, from single stand-alone panels, to comic strips and graphic novels. We are particularly interested in theoretical contributions and in articles whose scope transcends single texts or individual authors. However, work on practical aspects of comics translation and case studies will also be considered for publication.
Topics can include, but are not limited to:
  • The comics translator’s (in)visibility
  • Reading comics in translation
  • The limits of translatability
  • Translation and comics genre
  • Dialect, sociolect and idiolect in comics translation
  • Standards and conventions of comics translation
  • Translating sound effects
  • Translating images
  • Software-based comics translation
  • Spatial constraints in translating comics
  • Translating comics adaptations of literary classics
  • Reception of comics in translation
  • The market for comics translation
  • Case studies of comics translated between any of the following languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.
Contributions to the themed issue should reach New Readings by 10 November 2014. Submission is through the journal’s online system and requires self-registration. Submissions must be prepared in accordance with the conventions of MLA style and be between 6,000 and 8,000 words long (including footnotes and a list of works cited). New Readings welcomes submissions in English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Articles in languages other than English are considered for publication if the subject matter justifies the choice of language. If in doubt, and for all other queries, please contact the editors prior to submission: For full submission details and a checklist, please see the journal’s webpage:

About the journal
New Readings is a peer-reviewed (double-blind), open-access online journal based at Cardiff University. We publish original research in the fields of literature, film and visual culture. Previous themed issues are: ‘Images of Exile’, ‘Figures of the Self’, ‘Identity, Gender, Politics’, ‘Space and Identity’, ‘Travelling the Urban Space’, ‘Writing Difference’, ‘Alternative Voices in European Cinema’, ‘Truth Claims in Fiction Film’ and ‘Hamlet and Poetry’. See the website for all past issues:

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CFP: Nordic History and Cultural Memory in Comics / SJoCA journal issue (Oct 1)

Call for Papers
From the Land
of the Midnight Sun:
Nordic History and Cultural Memory in Comics
Special Issue of
Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art

The past is all around us, not least in our entertainments. It is also a highly malleable thing that can be moulded and shaped to tell us who we are, who we should be, and where we came from. The myriad ways in which conceptions about the past can be informed by contemporary concerns and the ways the past can be used to legitimize present practices and ideas have been ably charted by scholars in the rapidly growing field of memory studies. Although highly interdisciplinary, comics studies has yet to truly enter this field, despite the fact that its subject matter provides ample opportunity for studies of representations of history and memory.

Nordic comics history and comics that represent the past and present of the Nordic countries provide one of many possible inroads into these fruitful lines of inquiry. For example, Nordic comics, from early comics strips through locally produced contemporary comic books, like the Swedish funny animal series Bamse, Norwegian humor series Nemi, the Finnish Moomin stories, Danish strip Poeten og Lillemor, and many more, all provide a vast and still largely unstudied archive of historical perspectives and attitudes. Similarly, Nordic comics creators, like “Team Fantomen,” who have produced the majority of Phantom stories for regional publication since the 1960s, make frequent use of the Nordic past as a setting or story element. In addition, varying degrees of adulation or criticism inform biographical and historical comics and graphic novels about personages like Swedish writer August Strindberg and Elias Lönnrot, compiler of Kalevala, Finland’s national epic. Finally, it can be noted that the Viking Age and conceptions about its culture and beliefs have been a particularly inspiring topic for comics creators, spawning among others Peter Madsen’s long-running and often ideologically anachronistic Valhalla, several adaptations of Swedish writer Frans G. Bengtsson’s Röde Orm (The Long Ships or Red Orm in English), and, in 2013, the superhero-inspired The Norseman.

Furthermore, comics have helped make Nordic history and memory international imaginative currency. The Viking Age has been a particularly frequent topic, appearing in American mainstream comics like Marvel’s Thor and Vertigo’s Northlanders, Japanese Manga like Viking Saga and King of Viking, and Franco-Belgian album series like Asterix, Thorgal, and Johan and Peewit. In these comics, and in many others like them, the creators use a past not their own to speak to and about their own time and place. But in recent years, Nordic comics have also increasingly appeared in translation, perhaps most notably in such anthologies as Kolor Klimax, From Wonderland with Love, and the United States’ 2010 “Swedish Invasion.” In various ways, these comics contend with preconceived notions about the Nordic countries and Nordicness.

The Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art is planning a special issue on Nordic history and cultural memory in comics, and invites articles about these and related matters.

Welcome topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Representation of Nordic historical personages and events
  • Nordic comics and the search for a useable past
  • Comics and revisionist Nordic historiography
  • Comics, the past, and Nordic social criticism
  • Nordic stereotypes and stereotyped Nordics
  • Vikings and Old Norse religion in comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, and bandes dessinées
  • Nordic comics in translation
  • The reception of Nordic comics abroad
  • What’s so Nordic about Nordic comics?
Please send an abstract of max. 300 words, along with a short bio and contact information, to The deadline for abstracts is October 1, 2014. Full articles due by January 1, 2015. We also welcome reviews and forum texts (brief, non-peer reviewed scholarly commentaries, essays, and debate pieces). Interested parties should review our submission guidelines at and contact editor Martin Lund with a pitch or book request at

Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art (SJoCA) is an online, open-access, peer reviewed academic journal about comics and sequential art. The journal is interdisciplinary, encouraging a wide range of theoretical and methodological perspectives. Although the journal is rooted in the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), it is global in scope and aims to publish high quality research regardless of national or regional boundaries. The journal publishes articles, book reviews, and forum texts from the field of comics studies. The language of the journal is English.

Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art is an independent journal and is published by the non-profit organisation Scandinavian Journal of Comic Art.

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CFP: Comics and Adaptation in the European Context / U of Leicester (Nov 17; Apr 10 2015)

Call for Papers
Comics and Adaptation
in the European Context
Friday 10 April 2015
University of Leicester

This one-day symposium aims to bring the fields of comics and adaptation studies into critical dialogue, and to provide an academic context for the discussion of adaptation from, and into, comics in the European context, including but not limited to France and Belgium, Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Iberian Peninsula.

Topics could include, but are not limited to:
  • Case studies exploring adaptation from/into comics (into/from live-action film, animation, literature, but also less studied media such TV, radio, or video game) within a national context or across European national contexts, within the same era/through time.
  • Comics adaptation within the cultural industry.
  • Adaptation from/into comics as a genre (e.g. collections such as Fétiche devoted to comics adaptation of literary works).
  • Comparison between comics and adaptation in the European and in the US contexts.
  • Authorship in comics adaptation.
  • Serial and multi-modal characters.
  • The adaptation of the medium of comics to new formats (e.g. digital comics).
  • Broader theoretical and methodological approaches to adaptation from/into comics.
We invite proposals for 20-minute papers in English. Please send your abstract of no more than 300 words by 17 November 2014 to Dr Armelle Blin-Rolland, We intend to publish a selection of the papers as an edited collection or journal special issue.

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