Unfurling Unflattening: Tracing Pedagogical Possibilities within Higher Education (FINAL CALL; deadline 10/15/21)

deadline for submissions: 
October 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Janine Utell
contact email: 

Unfurling Unflattening:  Tracing Pedagogical Possibilities within Higher Education


NOTE TO PROSPECTIVE CONTRIBUTORS:  This is a final call for papers for an edited volume on teaching—and teaching with—Nick Sousanis’s graphic work Unflattening in higher education.  Additional potential contributions are being sought.  The volume has interest from MIT Press, and is in the later stages of review.


Upon its publication in 2015, Nick Sousanis’s graphic work Unflattening was hailed as a breakthrough in reimagining education, the study of creativity, and the power of visual thinking; and as an argument for the radical potential of comics for the transformation of scholarly work and communication.  Drawing on philosophical questions of education and epistemology; the past, present, and future of visual culture; and the aesthetic and critical processes and networks of comics, Sousanis argues for new ways of seeing the world.  Part scholarship in comics, part visual manifesto for a new way of thinking and learning, part intellectual autobiography, the innovations of Unflattening have prompted many to use the work to inspire a broad tapestry of pedagogical possibilities within higher education. 


The editors seek essays for an edited volume on teaching—and teaching with—Unflattening in higher education.  Of particular interest are essays that:


  • Detail bold approaches to using Unflattening in teaching, especially using this complex graphic work as a launching point for pedagogical applications at a beyond-one-classroom and/or a programmatic level

  • Reflect on innovative practices emerging from Unflattening, particularly sharing what has worked and what hasn’t

  • Critique Sousanis’s work, with an emphasis on feminist critique, anti-racist critique, radical and abolitionist critique, and decolonizing critique

  • Intervene in comics studies and comics pedagogy, with essays that incorporate original visual work (e.g., chapters as comics/in comics form) being most welcome


Personal writing, hybrid texts, autotheory, and similarly experimental pieces are encouraged, as are essays where gaps and ambiguities are identified and solutions to problems with the text are addressed.


DEADLINE:  October 15, 2021.  Please send 500-word abstracts to unfurlingunflattening@gmail.com along with contact information and institutional affiliation.