Essay Collection: Graphic Novel Pedagogy -- ABSTRACT 6/1/13

full name / name of organization: 
Matthew L. Miller / University of South Carolina Aiken
contact email: 

Call for Papers: Graphic Novel Pedagogy

Contributions are needed for an edited collection of essays on teaching graphic novels and/or comics. The overall goal of the collection is provide a place to gather ideas about pedagogy, organized generally around three major trends: 1) problems with using graphic novels in the classroom, 2) best practices for teaching graphic novels for college students, and 3) rewards for using graphic novels in various academic settings. References to specific novels and more general discussions are welcomed. The editor encourages essays across multiple disciplines. Possible topics could consist of the following:

Problems – Essays could offer discussions of various stumbling blocks, or challenges, when using graphic novels in the classroom. Each instructor/writer could include a "teaching moment" where the instructor tried to adjust and resolve the problem. Potential problems could include the following:
• Struggles with Visual Literacy
• Dead classroom discussions
• Navigating offensive materials
• Finding source materials for student papers
• Technological problems with incorporating panels into papers
• Struggles with creative projects or graphic novel workshops
• Collaborating outside your discipline

Strategies – Essays could offer discussions of best practices when using graphic novels in the classroom. Aside from the best graphic novels to use, potential best practices scenarios could include the following:
• Rhetoric through comics
• Building critical thinking through visual literacy
• Graphic novels as First-Year Reading/Common Reading Experiences
• Using graphic novels to teach content in multiple ways
• Making graphic novels in Creative Writing Programs
• How to use technology for graphic novel projects/papers

Rewards – Essays could offer discussions on the benefits of using graphic novels. Each could address at least one effective moment in the classroom where a graphic novel enhanced learning and content. Potential rewards include the following:
• Witnessing history through graphic novels (i.e., Speigelman's Maus, Satrapi's Persepolis, Cruse's Stuck Rubber Baby, etc.)
• Improving critical thinking through reading, contextualizing, and writing
• Learning life writing through graphic memories (i.e., Thompson's Blankets, Small's Stitches, Neufeld's A. D., etc.)
• Creating graphic novels, novellas, and stories in creative writing/art setting(s)
• Exploring foreign cultures through manga, European comics, and multicultural American comics
• Increasing visual literacy and literacy in general

The editor of this collection has secured the firm interest of a publisher. Abstracts for proposed contributions should be between 250-300 words. Name, institutional affiliation, email, and phone number must be included. The deadline for abstracts is June 1, 2013. If accepted for inclusion, final manuscripts would be due by December 31, 2013.

Inquiries and/or abstracts should be sent to

Matthew L. Miller, Ph. D.
Associate Professor of English
University of South Carolina Aiken
(803) 641-3208