CFP: Picture Books and Children's Comics: Semiotics of Text and Image (9/15/06; NEMLA, 3/1/06-3/4/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Vanessa Raney
contact email: 

38th Annual NeMLA Convention, 1-4 Mar. 2007, Baltimore, MD
Panel: Picture Books and Children's Comics: Semiotics of Text and Image
Chair: Vanessa Raney, Michigan State University

If we follow the argument that comics are for children, then what
distinguishes them from picture books? In the last decade, a newer focus on
the semiotics of picture books has begun to inform scholarship on comics.

Yet, for comics specifically written for children, do these reflect similar
patterns as found in picture books? If not, where do children's comics
diverge to be grouped along with comics intended for adults?

Regarding picture books, one of its distinguishing characteristics is voice.
Also, picture books depend primarily on illustrative art where comics employ
diverse arts, especially evident in works like Lynda Barry's
100 Demons!.

So, then, do children's picture books appear "childish" because of the
textures of artistic contribution against the oversized properties of text?
If so, do the bolder colors in children's comics, like Art Spiegelman's
Little Lit series, point to reflexes of adult imaginations possible in

You are welcome to contribute other ideas you think are pertinent to this
discussion. The idea, though, is to connect, challenge and comment on
opposing mediums that nonetheless depend on image and text to tell the
stories children love.

Ideally, I would like to have two papers that focus on picture books, and
two papers on children's comics. I will accept abstracts through Sept. 15,
2006. Please include your name, affiliation, e-mail, complete mailing
address, telephone number, and any A/V needs. Thanks!

Vanessa Raney, Graduate Caucus Director

 From Elizabeth Abele, NeMLA Executive Director:
"In addition to the wide range of panels, NeMLA's 38th Convention will offer
programs highlighting prominent scholars and authors. Thanks to our host
institution, Johns Hopkins University, our keynote speaker will be Amanda
Anderson. Professor Anderson specializes in Victorian literature and
contemporary literary, cultural, and political theory. She is the author of
The Way We Argue Now: A Study in the Cultures of Theory (Princeton, 2006).
We will kick-off the Convention on Thursday March 1 with a free welcoming
reception and reading, featuring the works of novelist Madison Smartt Bell
and poet Elizabeth Spire. With additional speakers and events being planned
by the Language Directors and MLS, NEMLA's 38th Convention promises to offer
a stimulating conference to regular NEMLA members and new friends."

Of interest to grad students:

NeMLA's 2006-07 Graduate Caucus Board is confirmed with these officers:

President: Vanessa Raney, Michigan State University
Member, Summer Fellowship Committee

Vice-President: Gabi Eichmanns, University of Washington-Seattle
Chair, Graduate Caucus Roundtable

Secretary: Julie Flynn, Drew University
Chair, Graduate Caucus Prize

NeMLA offers travel awards for the 2007 NeMLA Convention (limited number
available), the Graduate Caucus Prize for the best graduate student paper
presented (prize is publication in MLS), the Graduate Caucus Roundtable (on
topics such as negotiating the job market), and the Summer Fellowship
(deadline: Jan. 31, 2007). Details will be posted to the NeMLA Website by
Fall 2006. In the meantime, feel free to e-mail anyone on the Graduate
Caucus Board with questions. Note: New members will be eligible to join at
the grad rate once registration is opened for the 2007 NeMLA Convention;
check the Website in Oct. for more info.

              From the Literary Calls for Papers Mailing List
                         Full Information at
         or write Jennifer Higginbotham:
Received on Mon Jun 26 2006 - 18:26:20 EDT