The Place of the Graphic Narrative in Media Studies [SCMS 2011, August 5th 2010 Proposal Deadline]

full name / name of organization: 
Drew Morton, University of California-Los Angeles
contact email: 

In the early 2000s, the Society for Cinema Studies officially changed its name to the Society for Cinema and Media Studies as a means of acknowledging both the proliferation of different forms of media (including television and video games) and, along with it, the breadth of subject matter researched by its members. Comic books, graphic novels and, more generally, graphic narratives (which includes comic books, graphic novels, manga, sequential art, etc.) have not been excluded in the pages of Cinema Journal nor at our annual conferences. For instance, panels at the previous SCMS conferences in both Chicago and Los Angeles have addressed the relationship between film, television, and comics, be it focused on stylistic patterns or industrial practices. This proposed panel is an extension of those that came before but also a significant step in bridging SCMS to the field of Comics Studies by focusing exclusively on graphic narrative. While paper proposals dealing with the relationship between media forms and case studies of adaptation will be reviewed, those focusing primarily on graphic narrative are encouraged.

Given that objective, potential proposals could include anything from textual analyses of titles to those addressing the following questions:

How has mass media conglomeration changed the comic book industry over the past decades?

How has digital distribution (be it the internet or online retailers like the Playstation Network or the iTunes store) affected comic culture?

What role does the graphic narrative play in transmedia storytelling?

How have American cultural tastes towards the comic book evolved since the benchmark year of 1986 (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Maus, and Watchmen)?

Please send a 300 word abstract with 5 bibliographic sources and a brief author bio by August 5th 2010 to Drew Morton (

Submitters will be notified by August 10th 2010 if their proposals have been accepted.