Comics as Scholarship: Digital Humanities Quarterly Special Issue
- CFP: From Akira to Žižek: Comics and Contemporary Cultural Theory
- Some Early Notes on The Comics Grid: Collaboration, Scholarship, Dissemination
- Of Thought and Bubbles: the Leeds Comics Forum and the Practice of Comics Scholarship
- Will Eisner: "What we are always struggling with is the technology of storytelling"
- Surface is Profound: Notes on Comic Book Matter(s)
Edited by Anastasia Salter and Roger Whitson
Comic Version of the CFP
While the coexistence of images and text towards a shared purpose is now an established part of our digital landscape, often in conjunction with animation, interaction and sound, scholarly forms are still dominated by the textual. But meaningful juxtapositions of media as sequential art offer an opportunity for scholarly reflection, as works such as Bryan Talbot's Alice in Sunderland and Robert Berry's Ulysses Seen remind us. Often, the comic form is still associated with simplicity or beginners. Series of graphic scholarship spawn titles like McLuhan for Beginners that suggest comics are only a tool for transitioning to "real" monographs. But of course, McLuhan himself used experimental forms in his scholarship: The Medium is the Massage has more in common with graphic novels than it does with his text-heavier volumes.
Taking the graphic novel as a scholarly text and transforming it into digital can make things even more interesting. The digital editions of graphic novels, including the CD version (with animations, billed as "interactive literature") of Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe, the many layers of Art Spiegelman's Meta Maus, and the work of Scott McCloud in his Understanding Comics trilogy add another dimension to the form. Comic books evolving online are already texts of study for the digitally-minded humanities, but can they also offer inspiration for rethinking our own forms of communication? We seek a series of articles in the form of sequential art (digital, interactive or traditional) from a variety of critical and disciplinary perspectives that may address one or more of the following questions:
- How can a problem in your field of humanities scholarship be addressed, re-contextualized or explored using the affordances of the comics form?
- How can we use the comics form (as redefined and extended through interactive media) to reflect on our processes of scholarship?
- How do you peer review visual media like comic panels?
- What can the comic medium contribute to scholarly debates?
- How does digital technology make comics scholarship easier to make?
- How can scholars who aren't adept at illustration engage in comics scholarship?
- How can we make comic writing more ubiquitous?
- What forms of digital comics can be important for scholarship?
Timeline and Submission Guidelines
May 1st, 2013 -- Peer review ready submissions due, including:
- 1 to 5 page Statement of Purpose that identifies the creators, provides an overview of the work, discusses the original contribution of the work, and discusses its reception or evaluation, where suitable. The Statement should place the work in a theoretical, technical and historical context.
- 1 to 5 sample images of the finished work
- Storyboard of the complete comic or interactive sequential art
- Script of the complete work
- Finished versions of accepted works will be requested based on the peer review timeline for DHQ
About the Editors
Anastasia Salter is an assistant professor of Science, Information Arts and Technologies at the University of Baltimore. Her primary research focuses on digital narratives and electronic literature as storytelling is transformed and remediated by emerging technologies. She holds a Doctorate in Communications Design from the University of Baltimore and a MFA in Children's Literature from Hollins University. She writes about technology and pedagogy for ProfHacker, a group blog hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education.
Roger Whitson is an assistant professor of 19th Century British and Anglophone Literature at Washington State University. He is coauthor of William Blake and the Digital Humanities: Collaboration, Creativity, and Social Media, forthcoming from Routledge at the end of 2012. He graduated in 2008 with a Ph.D. in English at the University of Florida and held a Brittain Fellowship at the Georgia Institute of Technology and an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at Emory University's Digital Scholarship Commons (DiSC).
Illustrated CFP by Anastasia Salter; Banner by Roger Whitson. Please redistribute freely!
More info here: http://comicscholarship.selfloud.net/textcfp.html
CFP as a comic -- full size available by clicking the image below: