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Call for Papers: "Comics and Childhood"
Fourth Annual University of Florida Comics Conference
February 24-25, 2006.
Deadline for Abstracts: October 7, 2005.
The University of Florida's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is
pleased to announce the 2006 UF Conference on Comics: "Comics and
Childhood," which will be held in Gainesville, Florida, on February
This fourth annual conference on comics will focus on the theme of
comics and childhood, particularly the use of image and text in the
hybrid forms of comics and children's literature. This conference will
focus on comics and children's literature in terms of illustration,
sequence, serialization, and their connections as hybrid works of image
and text. Because of the emphasis on illustration and the sequencing of
illustration in both forms, comics and children's literature often
utilize similar techniques. This conference will examine these
techniques and their relationship to comics and children's literature as
oriented around several key themes:
* How does the serial nature of comics and children's literature
influence and impact individual works and the fields themselves?
* What is the significance of sequence? How does sequence impact the
* What constitutes illustration? How are illustration norms and
techniques established in each form and to what extent?
* What techniques cross over from comics into children's literature
or vice versa? What techniques do not cross over and why?
* What techniques carry over from animation into children's
animation and children's programming in general (including
television shows that include both live action and animation) or
vice versa? What techniques do not carry over and why? How do
these animation techniques impact printed works?
* To what extent are genre restrictions in children's literature and
comics limiting, and to what extent are they liberating or
* How does audience impact comics and children's literature in
general? in terms of illustrative style and content? in terms of
critical reception and archivization?
In addition, the conference seeks to examine how comics and children's
literature have been treated and constructed given their hybrid
representations and, in turn, how these have allowed for subversive
possibilities in both children's literature and comics. Papers may
feature an argument about particular works within these forms and/or
address critical approaches to the forms themselves.
Possible topics include but are not limited to:
* History and evolution of the comics in relation to children's
* Cross pollination between comics and children's literature authors
and artists (Ian Falconer, Neil Gaiman, Berkeley Breathed, Chris
Ware, Lynda Barry, William Steig).
* The Comics Code for comic books and regulations involving
animation because they were viewed to be children's works.
* Disney's role in comics and in making comics into children's texts.
* Rising circulation in the USA of anime and manga for children
(including translation of anime and manga for American audiences,
and for children).
* Significance of regulation and awards for recognizing 'quality'
works, including the importance of the Comics Code seal of
approval, the Caldecott Award and Honor Emblems, the Eisner Award,
* Synthesis of comics and children's literature with comicesque
works for children like Mo Willems' works, picture books that
could be classed as comics, as with Gaiman's "Stardust," and with
works like Jeff Smith's "Bone," which is now being distributed by
* Animation being treated as a 'children's form', often being
embedded in other children's programming like "Sesame Street" and
"Pee Wee's Playhouse" as well as being often used to present
children in non-children's shows (the focus on children characters
in "The Simpsons," "South Park," "Family Guy," and others)
* Subversive workings of comics and children's literature due to
their marginalized positions and due to difficulties in regulating
* Revisionist traditions in comics and children's literature,
particularly comics that revise children's literature works and
children's literature works that revise comics ("Castle Waiting,"
"Fables," "Courtney Crumrin," "Nightmares and Fairytales,"
"Sleeping Beauty," and "Classics Illustrated").
* Cultural translation with animation, anime, comics, and children's
literature (manga and anime being rewritten to be less violent for
US viewers and readers).
* Big Little Books and Better Little Books.
* Issues of archiving and access in regards to comics and children's
literature as it relates to their changing, mutable, and often
* Questions of audience with original comic strips at turn of
century for mass audiences and children's literature seen as 'for
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 Friday, October 7, 2005. We
accept abstracts in print form or in e-mail attachments. Email is
Send email submissions to Cathlena Martin or Laurie N. Taylor:
Cmartin_at_english.ufl.edu or Ltaylor_at_english.ufl.edu
Or, send hard copies to:
Department of English
Univ. of Florida
4008 Turlington Hall
P.O. Box 117310
Gainesville, FL 32611-7310
Please visit the conference website for more information:
From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
Full Information at
or write Jennifer Higginbotham: higginbj_at_english.upenn.edu
Received on Sat Sep 10 2005 - 12:40:01 EDT