CFP: [General] Convergences: Comics, Culture and Globalization (12/01/08, 03/21/09-03/22/09)

full name / name of organization: 
Tania Darlington
contact email: 

The University of Florida's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is
pleased to announce the 2008 UF Conference on Comics and Graphic Novels:
"Convergences: Comics, Culture and Globalization," which will be held in
Gainesville, Florida, on March 21-22, 2009.

This seventh annual conference on comics will focus on issues of
globalization and reception. Comics are, now more than ever, an
international phenomenon, but scholarly accounts of comics are often
limited by an exclusive focus on examples from a single national or
continental comics industry. This problem is exacerbated by the scarcity
of translations. Furthermore, one of the many obstacles facing the
emergent discipline of comics studies is the difficulty of communication
between scholars working in different national and cultural contexts. This
conference is intended as a small step toward meeting these challenges.
The goal of this conference, therefore, is to consider the history and
reception of comics on a global level. We are interested in papers that
focus on international comics and animation markets, cross-cultural
reception of comics, and the differential status of comics in different
cultures (e.g. as a children’s/mass medium or as a mainstream form of
literature). Here we are using "comics" in its broadest sense, embracing
animation, manga, anime, graphic novels, webcomics, political cartoons,
and even some "fine art." In addition to theoretically grounded work, we
encourage submission of archival and historical research.

Special guests will include Susan Napier (From Impressionism to Anime:
Japan as Fantasy and Fan Cult in the Mind of the West), Jessica Abel (La
Perdida), Matt Madden (99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style) and
Sara Cooper (Founder, MLA Discussion Group on Cuban and Cuban Diaspora
Cultural Production).

Possible topics include but are not limited to:
• The reception of comics outside their original cultural context,
both by fans (e.g. manga fandom in the United States) and by creators
(e.g. American comics’ influence on the development of manga and BD, the
“nouvelle manga” movement).
• Connections between comics form and cultural status. How have
views of the cultural position of comics (e.g. as a children’s versus an
adult medium or as a mass-cultural versus a literary medium) evolved
differently in various cultures? What does this have to do with the formal
properties of the medium, such as sequentiality and hybrid image-
• Comics as a global market: migrations of talent between multiple
comics industries (e.g. the Spanish and Filipino “invasions” of British
and American comics in the 1960s and 1970s, the Korean influence on U.S.
animation) and cross-national collaborations (e.g. mangakas working for
Marvel and DC).
• Comics studies as a global discipline. What barriers exist to the
study of comics from a global perspective and to collaborations between
comics scholars from different cultures? How might such barriers be
• The impact of the internet on the global comics market. How have
scanlations and filesharing helped or hindered global comics industries?
• Canon formation and expansion. What happens when works from
unfamiliar cultural contexts (e.g. Persepolis and Epileptic) enter a
national comics canon?
• Comics and travel/tourism, e.g. in Craig Thompson’s Carnet de
• Comics and issues of postcolonial identity, e.g. in Abouet &
Oubrerie’s Aya, Baru’s Road to America, Horrocks’s Hicksville.
• Translations of comics, both official and unofficial, e.g.
scanlation. What are the unique difficulties and advantages of comics
translation as opposed to prose translation? What are the unique
difficulties and approaches to translating comics from different cultures?
How, if at all, do “official” and “unofficial” translators approach comics
translations differently?

Abstract submissions should be approximately 250-500 words in length.
Presentations will be 15 minutes with 5 minutes of question and answer.

The deadline for abstract submissions is December 1, 2008. Abstracts or
questions should be submitted to Aaron Kashtan at
or Tania Darlington at See the conference website
for schedules and additional information: <http://global.comic->.

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Received on Wed Sep 10 2008 - 23:43:01 EDT