African American Comics, Graphic Novels, and Animation, (12/15/2012)

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Illustration, Comics, and Animation Conference Dartmouth College April 19 – 21 2013

This is a special topics call for papers for the Illustration, Comics, and Animation Conference to be held at Dartmouth College April 19 – 21 2013.

Papers are sought that investigate the recent outpouring of works by and about African Americans and black history.

A keynote discussion for the conference will celebrate the accomplishments of Jeremy Love, author and artist of DC Comics _Bayou_, and Milton Knight, veteran animator and illustrator of comics adaptations of Zora Neal Hurston as well as many other authors in the _Graphic Classics_ series. Papers that address any of their works are particularly welcome.

In addition, we seek papers that respond to some of the following questions:

How do contemporary graphic novels about the history of slavery, Middle Passage, or Jim Crow theorize history? How do they theorize African American identity both in the present and as a historical construct?

What aspects of African American culture, history, identity, or experience do visual media centered on hand-drawn illustrations represent better than other types of media? What are the drawbacks to the hand-drawn image in this regard?

How does illustration promote, prevent, and/or problematize the emergence of a post-racial discourse?

How should we theorize the fact that there are far more biographical comics and graphic novels by black artist/authors about the black experience than autobiographical ones?

To what extent do interracial authorial collaborations complicate the racial status of the texts that result from such collaborations, such as Incognegro, Stagger Lee, and many others?

How do the illustrations in African American childrens literature represent blackness? In what ways do they renegotiate the terms of a visual culture that has been traditionally hostile to blackness?

Please send all abstracts with a short bio to Michael Chaney at
by December 15, 2012.