CFP: [Graduate] Comics Panel: Subcultures, Semiotics, Sexualities, and Superheroes

full name / name of organization: 
Michael G. Sivak
contact email: 

Call for Papers

Subcultures, Semiotics, Sexualities, and Superheroes:
Textual/Pictorial Methodologies in Graphic Narrative Media

Tenth Annual Southern Connecticut State University Graduate English
Reading. Teaching. Theorizing. Writing.

Southern Connecticut State University
Adanti Student Center
April 18, 2009

Through the dynamic synthesis of textual and pictorial information, graphic
narrative media provide a rich and complex wellspring for critical
investigation. Since Paleolithic times, humans have used graphical images
to record and transmit information. From cave paintings, to Biblia Pauperum
and Bayeux Tapestry, to the comics of the 20th and 21st Centuries,
coded/sequential images have been developed and employed for a number of
utilitarian, ornamental, and artistic/informative purposes. Currently, the
graphic novel represents, perhaps, the most vital form of textual/pictorial
narration. Often unafraid to exist outside the boundaries set by mainstream
culture, graphic narratives can be seen as representing a new cultural
avant-garde; one in which the limits of tastefulness are pushed, hegemonic
truths are called into question, and societal norms are subverted.

This panel solicits scholarly papers on diverse aspects of the graphic
narrative (comics, the graphic novel, sequential art): historical analysis
of the media (including evolution of the graphic novel from pre-comic
sequential illustration to modern forms of visual storytelling); visual
methods of graphic narration (structure and semiology; visual grammar,
rhetoric and tropes); comics and popular subculture (mini-comics, zines and
D.I.Y. ethos; emo culture; subversive culture); political ideologies;
treatment of sexualities (feminism; queer theory; masculinities and male
melancholia); the canonical works; comics and the culture war (Comics Code
Authority, Cold War anxiety); superhero mythology; the mainstreaming of the
medium, and the rapport between graphic narrative and other media
(reciprocity, autophagia, and co-option in graphic narrative, literature,
film and the visual arts).

Papers should be 6-8 pages in length, which will be delivered in 15-20
minute presentations. Proposals should include the paper’s title,
presenter’s name, and contact information (day and evening phone numbers,
fax number, e-mail address, surface mail address and institutional
affiliation), along with a 250-350 word abstract of paper.

Deadline: March 8th, 2009. Early submissions requested.

Participation is not limited to graduate students. All comics scholars and
creators are invited to participate.

Interested parties should contact:

Michael G Sivak


Dr. Kenneth Florey

Michael G. Sivak
c/o Dr. Kenneth Florey
Department of English, SCSU,
501 Crescent Street,
New Haven, CT 06515

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Received on Wed Feb 04 2009 - 13:04:36 EST