Conference Ahead May 8, 9, and 10th 2015

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 12.41.25 PMLooking forward to this year’s conference.

Friday May 8 (5-6:30 PM)

Join us for a roundtable discussion on art and comics with Brian Cremins, Nhora Serrano, James Sturm, and Enrico Riley. A book fair of CCS student work to follow!

On Saturday, May 9th we are also excited for a visit with comics artist John Jennings.

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Two more CFPs

Hagiography and Biography

Can there be a biographical pictorial representation of a historical figure that is NOT hagiographic?

This proposed panel seeks papers that investigate the biographical strategies and implications of visual representations in comics, animation, and/or book illustration and children’s books of revered figures such as Nelson Mandella, Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandi, Mother Theresa, presidents and kings. This panel seeks to put critical pressure on the cultural, formal, and ideological work that the visual does in relation to the historical.

How do visual media represent history?
What strategies do visual media employ to negotiate historical personality?
What practices govern the reception of historical celebrity?

Please send 250-word abstracts and a bio to Michael Chaney by November 15th, 2013 at

Papers on animation and book illustration are particularly welcome for this panel, as are those on comics and/or graphic novels.

Religion and the Image (abstracts due: November 15)

This panel seeks papers that explore the relationship between religion or religious practice and the hand-drawn image in all of its forms, from comics and illustrations in children’s literature to animated films.

In addition to papers on individual texts or artists whose work merits consideration given the topic, we are also interested in papers responsive to the following questions:

*How have media events associated with profane images shifted the status of the image? How have they re-imagined religion?
*How do religious comics, animations, or book illustrations theorize the human or the divine?
*In what ways do images intervene upon spiritual experiences differently from other types of media?
*To what extent do contemporary images bear out historical tensions between iconography and idolatry?

Please send all abstracts with a short bio to Michael Chaney at by Nov 15, 2013.

CFP: Can Comics Be Poetry?



Comics scholars lament the problematic association of comics and fiction. Many of the most celebrated “graphic novels” are not novels at all but autobiographies. These “graphic narratives” make use of fictive literary devices, to be sure, but they also employ other devices of storytelling distinct from fiction.

Nevertheless, we may be left wondering whether long-form comics can ever convey literary meaning without narrative.
What gets lost in some of the genre-squabbling over graphic novels is the extent to which comics can be poetry.

This panel probes the possibilities of a lyric comics mode, a comics form that has more in line with poetry than narrative.

  • Can comics be poetry?
  • Which long-form comics share modes, devices, strategies, and forms with poetry?
  • How do comics accomplish or perform the poetic?
  • What happens to McCloudean “closure” when poetry’s “non-sequitur” panel-to-panel relationships predominate?
  • What new ways of thinking about comics must we consider in light of comics poetry?

Send 250-word abstracts and a bio no later than November 15 to
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Call For Papers

Illustration, Comics, and Animation Conference
What is the future of illustration studies?

What can comics scholars learn from animation studies and vice versa?

Do illustrated books or graphic novels resist the supposed obsolescence of the book? What do pictures want (now)?

These and related questions will be explored at the Illustration, Comics, and Animation Conference at Dartmouth College to be held April 19 – 21 2013.

Scholars interested in the illustrated image in all of its mediated guises are invited to participate in this interdisciplinary conference. Nearly all illustrated or drawn ‘texts’ are eligible for consideration:

  • comics and graphic novels
  • cartoons and animated films
  • illustrated books and picture books
And given the uniquely plenary nature of the conference, which brings together scholarship on static and moving illustrations, preference will be given to proposals that seek to bridge visual media.
*Individual titles by prominent practitioners in the field
*Identity, subjectivity, authority, ideology or culture in or more type of illustration media
*The future of particular schools of criticism (psychoanalysis, critical race theory, phenomenology, Marxism, feminism, queer theory, post-colonialism, formalism, aesthetic theories, etc.) and one or more type of illustration media
Other questions which could become the germ for panels or papers:
  • Can there be closure in animation?
  • How do digital technologies impact the comics image?
  • How do qualities of stasis, simultaneity, and sequence associated with the comics image apply to animation?
  • In what ways do the word-image tensions of the illustrated book or picture book differ from those of a graphic novel?
  • What is the phenomenology of the contemporary graphic novel, illustrated book, or animated film?
  • How do these forms presage the future of the human or the humanities?

And finally, the location of the conference may also be a source of inspiration for prospective participants. Not only does Dartmouth College lie in close proximity to the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, Vermont, but it is also the historic home of Theodore Geisel, Dr. Seuss, whose illustrated books continue to awe and amuse.

Interested participants may propose individual papers or panels. Individual papers should be no longer than 20 minutes. Panels shall be ninety minutes long and should be comprised of three presenters and one (ideally separate) panel chair. Please send 300 word abstracts and a brief bio for each proposed paper no later than December 1, 2012.

Send all proposals and inquiries to

Michael A. Chaney
Associate Professor of English
Dartmouth College

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