Call for Papers – CLOSURE: The Kiel University e-Journal for Comics Studies #7 (November 2020) / Thematic Section: »Eco-Comics: What Grows in the Gutter?«
In the fall of 2019, CLOSURE will once again offer a forum for all facets of comics studies. From literary, cultural, media, social and image research to the sciences and beyond: the seventh edition of CLOSURE continues our ongoing search for the best and most innovative articles and reviews representing the state of the art in comics research. We welcome detailed close readings as much as comics theory and pioneering approaches to the medium — our open section comprises a diverse range of interdisciplinary studies of all things ›comic‹.
Thematic Section: »Eco-Comics: What Grows in the Gutter?«
What is the ecology of comics? Is it, like Gregory Bateson’s ›ecology of mind‹, a »sort of complex and living tangle that fights and collaborates, like the one that can be found in woods on the mountains«? And if so: how does this relate to the tangle of words and images we call ›comics‹? Do its panels and sequences present interconnected, plural, and reversible ›images of nature‹? And if the Book of Nature can no longer contain an »Ecology without Nature« (Morton) — can the Eco-Comic do better?
For issue #7 of CLOSURE, we seek inquiries into the ecology of comics. Specifically, we invite contributors to ask how comics visualize, sequentialize, frame and annotate the relationship of nature and culture. How can comics convey our relation to the nonhuman world? Can they explore ›nature without us‹, and do justice to the perspective of others — microbes and dandelions, whales and crystals, terrestrials and extra-terrestrials? How do graphic media ›unflatten‹ (Sousanis) our view of the world, offering multiple, skewed perspectives on the nonhuman? We welcome articles that trace the entanglement of the human and the nonhuman in real and imagined comic natures: wilderness and animals, biospheres and ecosystems, landscapes framed and unframed. However, even if not a single tree makes an appearance: do comics en-vision an extended bioregionalism, multiply ecological agencies, or expand the bounds of placehood in translocal environments?
Comics both partake in the Anthropocene and find ways to represent, inflect, or contest it by dint of (1) their signs, narratives, forms; (2) their distribution, readership, and global reach; and (3) their conditions of production. Can Swamp Thing make the Environment of the »Cthulucene« (Haraway) weird again? Why is Walt Simonson’s Pogo mourning the End of Nature with his animal pals? Or: can comics by Catherine Meurisse convey the sheer scale of objects ›massively distributed in space and time‹?
Throughout, our issue asks how comics past and present respond to global heating and the climate crisis. Who reads comics as the waters rise? We welcome submissions that ask if comics confirm the ideologies that brought us here — or if they imagine alternative worlds, different nature-cultures, and radical ecologies that contest the inevitability of the »Progress of this storm« (Malm).
Possible topics include but are not limited to:
- Nature in Panels and Gutters: Comics form, ecological form
- (Mother) Nature as Salvation – Escapism, pantheism and regeneration
- Eco-Thrillers in Text and Image – the climate crisis as a catalyst for storytelling
- After the Flood: The Representation of dystopian/post-climate-apocalyptic narratives
- Mountains, Forests and the Deep Sea – The representation of natural spaces/environments
- Sustainability as Aspiration – The comics industry and eco-sufficiency
- Environmental education & activism in comics and the comics scene
- Which Eco-Wave? – Comics, Environmental Humanities, Ecocriticism
Please send your abstract for the open section or the thematic section (~ 3000 chars.) as well as a short bio-bibliographical blurb to email@example.com until November 25th, 2019.
The contributions (35.000-50.000 chars) are expected until March 1st, 2020.
For more information about the e-journal CLOSURE and our previous issues, please visit www.closure.uni-kiel.de.