Call for Papers – Transnational Comics: Crossing Gutters, Transcending Borders

University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida)
April 8-10, 2016

The Call for Papers for the upcoming 13th University of Florida Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels is now open. The theme of the conference is “Transnational Comics: Crossing Gutters, Transcending Boundaries”, and the list of suggested topics specifically includes “Comics that have been translated and/or disseminated across countries (for example, the translation and reception of manga and bande dessinée in the US)”, as well as a number of others, such as “comics that deal with border-crossings” and “the effect of globalization on comics industries” that can include Japanese comics.

Proposal maximum length: 300 words
Submission deadline: January 15, 2016

Send proposals to anujamadan@ufl.edu

The program of this year’s 12th Conference, “Comics Read but Seldom Seen: Diversity and Representation in Comics and Related Media” included a dedicated session on “Representation in anime & manga”, consisting of:

“The existence of emotion is nothing but a burden:” Emotional repressions as (re)presentations of psychological disorders in anime and manga
– Kathy Nguyen, Texas Woman’s University

Queer cooking: Fumi Yoshinaga and queer existence in modern Japan
– Andrew John Smith, Indiana University of Pennsylvania)

Yamete kudasai! Romanticized rape, humiliated homosexuality: A deconstruction of patriarchal values in yaoi and gay manga
– Janardana Hayton, Florida State University

See below for the full Call for Papers.

Transnational Comic Studies: Crossing Gutters, Transcending Boudaries

The Graduate Comics Organization at the University of Florida invites proposals for the 13th UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels, “Transnational Comics: Crossing Gutters, Transcending Boundaries.” The conference will be held in Gainesville, Florida from April 8th to 10th, 2016. Confirmed keynote speakers are comics scholars John Lent (Professor Emeritus, Temple University, Editor of International Journal of Comic Art), Derek Parker Royal (Clinical Associate Professor, University of Texas, Dallas) and international comics translator Edward Gauvin.

In the age of globalization, forms of popular culture have been increasingly marked by transcultural pollination across aesthetics, content, generic conventions and iconography. The global flow of information, media and culture increasingly requires the study of comics from a transnational perspective. A few recent publications have drawn attention to intersections of national and cultural boundaries in comics. Mark Berninger, Jochen Ecke, and Gideon Haberkorn’s co-edited anthology Comics as a Nexus of Cultures: Essay on the Interplay of Media, Disciplines and International Perspectives (2010) [ed.: this collection included three chapters on manga – Holger Briel, “The roving eye meets traveling pictures: The field of vision and the global rise of adult manga”, Paul Malone, “Mangascape Germany: Comics as intercultural neutral ground”, and Dinah Zank, “Kawaii vs. rorikon: The reinvention of the term lolita in modern Japanese manga”] signaled a shift in comics studies by exploring crossovers in comics across media and nations. Daniel Stein, Shane Denson, and Christina Meyer’s edited work Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives: Comics at the Crossroads (2013) [ed.: with Daniel Stein’s “Of transcreations and Transpacific adaptations: Investigating manga versions of Spider-Man”] was was groundbreaking in redressing the dearth in transnational investigations of graphic narratives and paying attention to border crossings as well as cultural and material exchanges in comics.

The inherently dialectic, intersectional nature of comics, as manifested in image-text interplays, gutter-crossing and collaborative production, make comics a rich site for the exploration of emerging transnational crossovers. We invite a range of papers that incorporate transnational approaches to comics studies, and which address questions of translation, reception, cross-cultural exchange, tensions between global/local and center/periphery, and the transnationalization of production processes.

Suggested topics include but are not limited to:

  • Comics by transnational artists (those who straddle different cultures/countries in their work)
  • Comics that have been translated and/or disseminated across countries (for example, the translation and reception of manga and bande dessinée in the US)
  • Comics that deal with border-crossings
  • Comics that have been collaboratively created by artists of different national origins
  • Comics that showcase the influence of cultural forms from other countries
  • Superheroes crossing borders
  • The effect of globalization on comics industries; the politics of transnational production of comics
  • Reading comics through the lens of transnational studies and globalization studies

Proposal Guidelines: Please send original proposals that have not been published or presented elsewhere, along with contact information, to anujamadan@ufl.edu by January 15, 2016. All proposals will be blind reviewed, and must not exceed 300 words. Submitters will receive notification of results by February 5, 2016.

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