Call for Papers GRAPHIC NOVELS, COMICS, AND POPULAR CULTURE
Call for Papers
GRAPHIC NOVELS, COMICS, AND POPULAR CULTURE
Southwest Popular / American Culture Association (SWPACA)
39th Annual Conference, February 7-10, 2018
Hyatt Regency Hotel & Conference Center
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Proposal submission deadline: October 22, 2017
Proposals for papers and panels are now being accepted for the 39th annual SWPACA conference. One of the nation’s largest interdisciplinary academic conferences, SWPACA offers nearly 70 subject areas, each typically featuring multiple panels. For a full list of subject areas, area descriptions, and Area Chairs, please visit http://southwestpca.org/conference/registration
The area chair seeks presentation proposals on Graphic Novels, Comics, and Popular Culture.
Any aspect of Comics and Graphic Novels in Popular Culture will be considered, but particular attention will be paid to those presentations that discuss distinctive American aspects of comics and graphic novels in the context of history and the content. Why is the superhero as we know it today a uniquely American creation? Why is the birth of the comics industry tied to the Jewish American experience? Does the Americanism of comics and graphic novels have anything to say to the world today or have other styles such as manga, Bande dessinée, or fumetto have more of an impact today?
Possible panel/discussion topics:
- Comics podcasts. With so much comics-related news on websites, another form that has taken off in recent years includes the podcast/radio show. How well do these podcasts relate comic/graphic novels news? We have podcasts on the Golden Age of comics, superhero comics, and most recently The Comics Alternative, which goes beyond superheroes to discuss the independents. What impact do podcasts like this have?
- The concept of the super-villain! There is much scholarly literature on the superhero but not nearly as much on the super-villain. Yet a superhero is usually only as good or interesting as their super-villain counterpart. Stan Lee said that coming up with interesting super-villains is often difficult. Why? How have super-villains in comics changed over the years? What makes a super-villain like the Joker or Magneto so compelling? We would welcome full panels on super-villains.
- What is the future of the superhero-based movie? Will the superhero movie continue to be popular? Are people tired of the superhero movie? Has the superhero film run its course?
- With the success of Sony and Marvel Studios Spider-Man: Homecoming do you think more collaboration is forthcoming say between Fox and Marvel or Universal and Marvel?
- Pedagogical approaches to teaching graphic novel content. This has become an increasingly important part of comic studies, and the area chair seeks those scholars who would like to present on this topic.
- Sequential art and storytelling
- Manga, anime and the movies
- Comic conventions/fan culture
- Particular artists or writers (Bendis, Steranko, Kirby, Everett, Niles, etc.)
- The rise of the graphic novel
- What is a graphic novel?
- History of newspaper comics
- Gay characters in comics
- Film and superheroes
- Adapting graphic novels for the screen
- Racism and the X-Men
- Spider-Man as the Everyman
- Cartoon Network: Good or bad for comics?
- Comics and philosophy
- Graphic novels as outlets for social justice (e.g., World War III)
- Comics as political satire (e.g., Tom Tomorrow, Addicted To War)
- Horror comics
- “The Resurrection of Captain America” – Why NO comic character ever stays dead.
- DC, Marvel, and comic corporations
- Comics studies and film studies: How do the two intersect?
- The definition of the superhero
- Indies and their role
- Comics and graphic novels around the world (e.g., Tintin, Asterix)
- The scholarly study of graphic novels/comics in the academy
- Libraries and graphic novels
All proposals must be submitted through the conference’s database at http://conference.southwestpca.org/
For details on using the submission database and on the application process in general, please see the Proposal Submission FAQs and Tips page at
Individual proposals for 15-minute papers must include an abstract of approximately 200-500 words. Including a brief bio in the body of the proposal form is encouraged, but not required.
For information on how to submit a proposal for a roundtable or a multi-paper panel, please view the above FAQs and Tips page.
The deadline for submissions is October 22, 2017.
SWPACA offers monetary awards for the best graduate student papers in a variety of categories. Submissions of accepted, full papers are due December 1. For more information, visit http://southwestpca.org/conference/graduate-student-awards/
Registration and travel information for the conference is available at http://southwestpca.org/conference/registration/
In addition, please check out the organization’s peer-reviewed, scholarly journal, Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, at http://journaldialogue.org
If you have any questions about the GRAPHIC NOVELS, COMICS, AND POPULAR CULTURE area, please contact its Area Chair, Robert G. Weiner, Texas Tech University Library, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to receiving your submissions.