REMINDER: The Comics of Alison Bechdel (edited collection; DEADLINE 12/1/16)

deadline for submissions: 
December 1, 2016
full name / name of organization: 
Janine Utell
contact email: 

The Comics of Alison Bechdel: From the Outside In

“The Comics of Alison Bechdel: From the Outside In” is a proposed volume in the series Critical Approaches to Comics Artists at the University Press of Mississippi. This volume will contain an array of critical essays on the comics of Alison Bechdel, offering new examinations of her entire body of work. 

The collection takes as its starting point the phrase “from the outside in,” and proposes to look at Bechdel from several perspectives: Bechdel as an outsider and her changing position in the world of comix/comics and beyond; her investigation of interior life and its relationship to the outside world; and her many modes of drawing, writing, and performing queerness. Essays from interdisciplinary perspectives are encouraged, including critical approaches from comics studies, art history, cultural studies, material culture, print culture, visual culture, women’s writing, life writing, queer studies/theory/history, lesbian studies/theory/history, trauma studies, psychoanalytic theory, history of sexuality, archive studies, and adaptation studies.

Essays that engage Bechdel in light of the following topics would be particularly welcome (although this list is by no means exhaustive or prescriptive; essays that address topics not listed here will be considered as well):


Bechdel as outsider/in from the margins:

  • alt-comix: the world of Dykes to Watch Out For and how it changed the world of comics/comix
  • Bechdel and alternative weeklies
  • Bechdel and censorship
  • Bechdel in the classroom/Bechdel and pedagogy
  • Bechdel in the academy/the Bechdel industry
  • Bechdel the bestseller

Interiors and the outside world:

  • imagined spaces/places/objects
  • furniture and design
  • architecture
  • autography/memoir/life writing
  • trauma/mourning
  • inside the archive
  • sexuality and subjectivity

Drawing, writing, performing queerness:

  • the many modes of Alison Bechdel: blogging, interviews, adaptation, photography, film and Hollywood cinema (the Bechdel test)
  • Bechdel and music: popular, classical, queer
  • Bechdel and Broadway: music, adaptation, the tradition of comics on the stage
  • Bechdel and the body: gender normativity, butchness, bodybuilding
  • Bechdel and performativity
  • Bechdel as lesbian writer/artist/activist
  • Bechdel and queer print culture
  • LGBT history and activism/lesbian history and activism


Please send abstracts of at least 500 and no more than 1000 words, along with CV and contact information, to Janine Utell at by December 1.  Any queries also welcome at any point in the process.