LGBTQ Comics Studies Reader: Critical Challenges, Future Directions
Critical scholarship of comics, cartoons, and graphic narratives has been a burgeoning field in research and debate for at least the last twenty-five years. Amid such scholarly richness, LGBTQ comics criticism and scholarly attention to LGBTQ comics and cartoons is at least keeping pace with a field within which it is still negotiating its position. Until recently, LGBTQ comics lurked at the edges of the mainstream or hid in plain sight, existing in a “parallel universe,” published almost exclusively in gay newspapers and magazines, and available mostly in LGBTQ bookstores, even as all kinds of male and female homosociality, body and physique art, identity narrative, and varieties of the “outsider” appeared in a mainstream that was itself overcoming kinds of denigration (as unserious and trivial, or lurid and dangerous, etc.) familiar to LGBTQ experience. A new generation of LGBTQ readers is creating and analyzing comics, amalgamating, building on, and surpassing those suggestive tendencies. Recent scholarly comics criticism anthologies include separate chapters on LGBTQ comics. The moment is right for LGBTQ comics criticism to have a scholarly anthology of its own.
Under contract with the University of Mississippi Press, the LGBTQ Comics Studies Reader will honour LGBTQ work that emerged from and was influenced by the underground and alternative comix movement of the mid-1960s to become what is still an underrepresented sub-genre in comics scholarship: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) comics, their critical implications, their provocative current iterations, and their future directions. The aim of this LGBTQ Comics Studies Reader is to provide a platform for sustained, theoretically rigorous thinking about the various social, economic, historical, cultural, ethical and pedagogical issues at work in LGTBQ comics and cartoons, from around the world.
Chapter-length submissions may consider issues such as the following, but are not limited by these suggestions:
- The history of LGBTQ comics and graphic novels, and LGBTQ comics scholarship/criticism;
- Representations of LGBTQ experience in comics and graphic novels (coming out, romance/dating/heartbreak, health/illness, relationship building, gay/lesbian culture/society/community, celebration/pride, creativity, political action/activism, etc.);
- Comics and graphic novels created by LGBTQ artists and writers for LGBTQ audiences; LGBTQ characters in non-LGBTQ comics and graphic novels;
- Emerging and/or established trends and genres (superheroes, fantasy, memoir/autobiography, manga, Young Adult (YA), erotica, slash fiction, kink, etc.);
- Theoretical approaches to LGBTQ comics (psychoanalysis, queer studies, cultural studies, women’s studies, sexuality studies, visual studies, media discourse studies, materialist studies, transnational and world literatures analysis, reader response approaches, etc.);
- LGBTQ comics and cartoons within, across, in relation, and/or in resistance to various national/regional contexts/traditions (French BD; Mexico; Latin America; Japan, etc.), including cross-cultural reception and circulation of LGBTQ comics;
- LGBTQ Children’s literature/culture and Childhood Studies;
- LGBTQ “adult” literature/erotica/kink/sex comics;
- Adaptations of LGBTQ comics and graphic novels (inter/transmediality, web comics), narratology and textual analysis across media; cross-cultural LGBTQ adaptations;
- LGBTQ comics fandom (including conventions, cosplay, etc.);
- Teaching with LGBTQ comics, cartoons and/or graphic novels (including, for example, health promotion, cultural literacy, sexual development, etc.); and
- Representations of LGBTQ characters and/or experiences in other comics.
Abstracts should run about 250 words and are due by 1 November 2018. All submissions will be acknowledged. Final papers should be approximately 15-18 pages double-spaced, 12-point font, addressing both a scholarly and a more advanced general reader.
Contributors’ first drafts will be due by 1 March 2019, and final drafts by 1 September 2019 for a summer 2020 publication date.
Contributors are responsible for obtaining permission to reproduce images in their article, and must pay permission costs. Permissions must be cleared before publication. Please send low resolution images (small jpegs), in separate attachments. If the article is accepted, high quality images will be required.