NeMLA: Comics and the Shaping of Identity: Queer Spaces and Gendered Places
This panel investigates how queer spaces and identities get performed and contested through the affordances, narratives, and spatial politics of comics. Recent scholarship in comics studies has sought to extend queer approaches to the field beyond a sexual politics of recognition, opening up new opportunities to engage with visual culture and critical geographies to consider how queer spatiality disrupts hegemonic heterosexuality. With that in mind, this panel invites proposals that consider the connections between visual media, space, place, gender, and sexuality in comics. Potential questions to address may include: How are queer spaces embodied in comics and other graphic narratives? What is the relationship between visual images in comics and the cultural practices that produce queer narratives? How do the formal elements of comics (e.g. gutters or panels) help establish queer spaces as unfixed and contested? In what ways might they operate as disciplinary spaces themselves? What are contemporary or historical ways of representing queer spaces in comics? How might a focus on geopolitics or critical geography help scholars to expand conversations about the queer possibilities of comics? And how might comics seriality challenge or reproduce notions of queer spaces and gendered places? Ultimately, this panel welcomes proposals that interrogate how comics construct and deconstruct queer spaces, as well as how those spaces are conditioned by gender performances and sexual practices. Abstracts of 250 words should be submitted to Nicholas E. Miller at https://www.cfplist.com/nemla/Home/S/17929 between June 15, 2019 and September 30, 2019. Proposals from a range of historical, cultural, and geographical backgrounds are welcome. The conference will take place from March 5-8, 2020 in Boston, MA.