CFP: 'Doonesbury': critical and cultural essays. An edited collection (Manchester University Press)

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Manchester Metropolitan University/Manchester University Press
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Doonesbury: critical and cultural essays. An edited collection (MUP).


For over four decades G.B. Trudeau's Doonesbury strip has reflected and refracted America's national narratives, atomising and coalescing them within the strip format to a global audience. Chronicling, dramatising and defining key debates of the late-twentieth and early-twenty-first centuries, the Pulitzer prize-winning Doonesbury has also intervened in and shaped their trajectory. Using and subverting the narrative strip form as a prism through which to explore, catalogue, landmark and define its contemporary moment, Doonesbury represents a significant artistic, cultural, comedic and critical achievement.

Doonesbury's status as a symptomatic corollary, imaginative rendition, cultural-historical document, and exploration of America, as well as the strip's diversity of interests, global reach, and cultural reception and standing, offer fertile grounds for fresh contemporary readings hitherto unfulfilled by academic engagement. Proposals are therefore invited for contributions to an edited collection of critical and cultural essays to be published through Manchester University Press that engage with the long-running, iconic strip.

The following themes are broadly suggested as points for discussion and points of departure for submitted proposals:

- Doonesbury: comedy and comment.
- Doonesbury's narrative form: fragmentation, linearity and cohesion:
- Doonesbury 40: A Retrospective: the great American novel?
- Doonesbury and the American pastoral: from Thoreau to Walden commune and beyond.
- Doonesbury, representation, war and trauma: Vietnam, Iraq 1, the war on terror, Iraq 2, Afghanistan and the war within.
- Doonesbury and the comic tradition: art, satire, liberty and independence.
- Doonesbury's and America's political debates.
- Doonesbury and activism: civil and/or gay rights representation.
- Reach and syndication: virtual Doonesbury, the daily strip and the dot com.
- Doonesbury, the counter-culture and the baby-boomers: from protest to Gen X.
- On the cover of Rolling Stone: Doonesbury, music, business and cultural representation.
- Bright Lights, Big City: Doonesbury and the eighties.
- Doonesbury and the American presidency: idealism, reality and representation.
- Doonesbury, humour, dissidence and censorship.

It must be stressed that these are only suggested areas of discussion and that proposals dealing with any aspect of the strip, or advancing alternative disciplinary, theoretical or commentative approaches will be considered.

Proposals should be no more than 1000 words in length, and should be submitted to no later than July 31st 2013.

Inquiries are welcome and should also be addressed to