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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