CFP: Classics and Comics (2/5/07; APA, 1/3/08-1/6/08)

full name / name of organization: 
George Kovacs

Outreach Panel Session at the American Philological Association
January 3-6, 2008; Chicago, Illinois

Proposals are invited for a special outreach panel on the topic of
"Classics and Comics," to be held at the annual meeting of the American
Philological Association (APA) in January 2008. There are many examples
of comics appropriating the classics for serious or comic purposes,
including Frank Miller's /300/, Neil Gaiman's /Sandman/, Messner-Loebs'
/Epicurus the Sage/, van Lente's /Action Philosophers/, Shanower's /Age
of Bronze/, Goscinny and Uderzo's /Asterix/ series. Since Classics
Illustrated Comics' /The Last Days of Pompeii /in 1947, comics have been
drawing (on) material from Greek and Roman myth, literature and history.
At times the connection was cosmetic—as perhaps with Wonder Woman's
Amazonian heritage—and at times it was almost irrelevant—as with
Hercules' starfaring adventures in the 1982 Marvel miniseries. But all
of these make implicit or explicit claims about the place of Classics in
modern literary culture.

The APA's committee on Outreach is dedicated to promoting a wider
understanding and appreciation of Classics – Greek and Roman culture of
the ancient world. Each year the Outreach Committee hosts one panel on a
topic designed to attract an audience from outside the APA's traditional
audience (students and faculty of Classics Departments in North
America). This panel is open both to members of the APA and the general
public and will be advertised in the Chicago area.

The comic book has been a major element of North American popular
culture for over a century and has been increasingly regarded as a
legitimate artistic and literary medium. This legitimization has
happened on at least two fronts: through the emergence of the 'graphic
novel' and through scholar/practitioners such as Scott McCloud and Will
Eisner attempting to define the relationship of the comic book to
audience, artist and other artistic media. Yet to date there has been
very little work attempting to integrate the medium into a larger
understanding of Western artistic and literary culture.

The following is a list of possible topics that contributors might
explore, though the organizers invite proposals for exciting and engaged
papers that will reveal aspects of comics and their Classical sources
from any disciplinary perspective that might be relevant to the overall
- the depiction of myth or ancient history in comics
- visual representations of myth or history in ancient sources and in
the comics format
- discussions of any specific use of the Classics in the comics medium
- the transformation of narrative structure between ancient source
material and comics
- the appropriation of motif or character typology from Classical literature
- the synthesis of visual art and text in the ancient and modern worlds
- the effect of comics on modern perceptions of Greek and Roman material
- the influence of comics on other artistic media depicting Greek and
Roman material
- the legitimization of comics as literature through the use of
Classical material
- Classical narratives in Manga
- comparison of comics with other forms of 'low' culture in the ancient

The organizers are also welcoming the participation of comics writers
and artists.

Contingent to the success of the panel, the organizers may wish further
to develop and publish the proceedings.

Papers will be 20 minutes in length; use of visuals (through power
point) is expected.

Please forward a 400-word abstract, along with a brief biographical
statement or CV, as email attachments in Word or Rich Text Format to
both of the organizers:

George Kovacs (
C.W. Marshall (

Further questions may also be addressed to either of the organizers.

Abstracts will be considered beginning February 5, 2007, until the panel
is filled. Submissions are encouraged before that date.

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Received on Fri Jan 19 2007 - 20:25:35 EST