NEMLA’s Comics-Related CFPs

NEMLA, the Northeast Modern Language Associate, has issued a full call for papers for the organization’s 2009 convention in Boston, Massachussetts. The CFP includes the following specifically comics-related panels:

History, Memoir, and Comics “History, Memoir, and Comics” invites papers on recent graphic narratives. The panel seeks papers that investigate (1) why the comics form lends itself to the representation of tragic events; (2) the strategies by which graphic narratives simultaneously invoke personal and public history; and/or (3) why studying the interaction of verbal and visual narratives matters, especially today. Please send abstracts to dpines@bu.edu.

Reclaiming the Comic Book Canon Comic books were once the near-exclusive domain of dedicated outsiders and fringe enthusiasts. Now, they are everywhere — and being judged by almost everyone. Who holds the power now for anointing the greats? Has the medium gone irreversible corporate? Or does the Ivory Tower of Academia have more say than the local comic shop? Works largely identified as avant garde, such as Maus, Persepolis, Blankets, etc., are of particular interest here, as well as those serving as the basis for multimedia spectaculars (e.g. Iron Man, Batman, Spider-Man, X-Men). A. David Lewis: adl@bu.edu

Neil Gaiman: Intertextuality and Influences Fantasy fiction writer and graphic novelist Neil Gaiman blurs the border of reality through imaginative tales that transport us to strange and alluring lands. Yet embedded in the extraordinary are hints of the familiar. In what ways does Gaiman modernize old myths and narratives and to what end? How does internet culture influence his work? What other cultural texts, traditions, and conventions – both new and old – inform Gaiman’s short stories, novels, comics, graphic novels, and films? What does this generic heterogeneity signify and how can – and should – we classify these texts? Grace Wetzel: wetzelg@mailbox.sc.edu

Other panels also invite comics-specific takes on the subject at hand. Unless otherwise noted, abstracts are due to panel chairs by September 15, 2008. NEMLA’s 2009 convention takes place from February 26 through March 9, 2009 at Boston University.

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