Volume on Feminism and Comics and Graphic Novels Seeks Chapter Proposals

deadline for submissions: 
February 1, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
Missy Nieveen-Phegley, Sandra Cox, Susan Kendrick, Department of English at Southeast Missouri State University
contact email: 


We’re seeking chapter-length contributions to an edited volume on feminism and comics and graphic novels. Though all proposals relevant to either theme are welcome, we’re especially interested in contributions that:

  • amplify the voices/stories of female, femme and non-binary cartoonists
  • provide a more balanced critical reception of underrepresented voices and perspectives in comics and graphic novel studies
  • broaden the established canon of “literary” comics and graphic novels to be more inclusive of diverse perspectives
  • using comics and graphic novels as a means to teach, explain or enact intersectional feminism
  • apply conceptual and theoretical insights from feminist criticism to the medium of comics
  • participate in discourse about feminist narratology of graphic novels
  • extend theories of feminist interpretation from art, design, literature, historiography, or other relevant disciplines to an interdisciplinary analysis of comics and graphic novels

Routledge has expressed some interest publishing the volume, so we intend this project to speak to a variety of scholarly audiences: researchers across a range of disciplines (including faculty and graduate students), feminist critics, and a well-educated general reader. We particularly prize those contributions that are highly original and accessible, while remaining intellectually rigorous.

Such contributions may:

  • posit feminist criticism of “mainstream” comics (e.g. the “big two,” feminist readings of superheroes/heroines)
  • provide original critical readings of work by women, femme and nonbinary cartoonists, particularly cartoonists from historically underrepresented groups
  • propose critical interventions in reading comics that represent gender, sex and sexuality
  • suggest theories of interpretation specific to representations gender, sex and sexuality in comics and illustration
  • consider how visual media determine/dictate rhetorical choices in comics and graphic novels

Some questions contributors might consider as they frame their chapters could include:

  • How do graphic novels and comics imagine gender with regard to agency, authority, and power?
  • In what specific ways might feminist cartoonists either enact a corrective or revisionist approach to androcentric messaging in mainstream comics or provide a counternarrative in their own indie, underground, and community-specific comics?
  • In what ways do cartoonists’ imaginings of the present, past and future work to intervene in dominant constructions of the ways gender determines the reception or meaning of visual narratives?

Contributors are asked to send chapter title, abstract (+/- 250 words), and CV by February 1, 2019 to Dr. Sandra Cox at scox@semo.edu. Questions may be directed to the same address.