Comics Academe: Calls for Action and CFP

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It’s been a banner year in Comics Studies, with new series, edited collections, and conferences debuting. And with the growing opportunities come the Calls for Proposals, Calls for Papers, and Calls for Panels.

The Comics Studies Society recently sold a t-shirt (design by Librarian Extraordinaire Dr. Carol Tilley) reminding everyone to Read, Cite, and Invite women and non-binary scholars. It’s not enough to simply be an ally ideologically–there needs to be action. So to kick off July, here’s a brief round-up of some of the actions happening in Comics Studies headed by women.

The Comics Studies Society, whose annual conference is happening at Ryerson this year which you should definitely attend if you have the means and opportunity, recently added a membership listserv.

I, for one, think it is worth the membership fee to have an alternative to the Comix-L, and I’m excited to watch it grow.

Senior Editor of University of Mississippi Press Katie E. Keene recently announced on twitter that she’s taking over the Comics Studies list.

Erin La Cour and Anna Poletti are co-editing an upcoming special issue in the journal Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly on Graphic Medicine, seeking out work by comics creators in addition to traditional scholarly submissions.

A new edited collection on Nick Sousanis’s work Unflattening has an all-woman editorial team composed of longtime comics studies scholar-practitioners Janine Utell, Amanda O. Latz, and Andrea Kantrowitz, all of whose work is fascinating in its own right.

In their own words:

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 theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical possibilities. The edited volume “Unfurling Unflattening” will present a range of chapters that suggest new potential for the application of Sousanis’s work germane to re-envisioning theory, expanding methodology, and transforming pedagogy. Rather than provide answers to questions of practical utility, this book is meant to generate openings—to catalyze the unfurling of myriad possibilities—related to Sousanis’s work.  The volume will make a valuable contribution to the fields of graphic studies and visual culture, art and design, network and information theory, and philosophy, as well as interdisciplinary interventions into study and practice in and of teaching in education, particularly into the importance of innovation, creativity, and play.

The editors aim to gather chapter authors from a wide variety of disciplines (e.g., science, English, education, philosophy, art and design, performance) and educational contexts (e.g., elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education). Authors are asked to write from a first-person perspective on the ways in which they are unfurling the possibilities of Unflattening within one of the three sections to be included within the book: theoretical, methodological, or pedagogical. 

Nick is, in addition to being a great teacher and overall nice person, a scholar-practitioner of Comic Studies–and a teacher–a trifecta more common than one would think based on the comics studies scholarship out there. Comics studies is a living, evolving field that is focused on a medium, and the deliberate move to seek out submissions by creators, or encourage scholar-practitioners to utilize the medium in their work, is one of the best things about the field right now.

Have a CFP or Conference you want to promote? Contact WWAC at

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Kate Tanski

Kate Tanski

Recovering academic. Fangirl. Geek knitter.