15 December 2013

How Do Comics Represent Kids? In Multisyllabic Words or Less

The 2012 issue of The Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics focused on comics, picture books, and childhood. Now there’s a call for proposals for an anthology on the “Representations of Childhood in Comics”:
Childhood is now widely recognized as a social construct (Fass, Jenks, Mintz). As the artifice behind the construction of childhood has been revealed, there has been a marked increase in the analysis of children and childhood in contemporary culture (Demarr and Bakermann, Edelman, Latham, McLennan, Renner, Stockton).

Despite the increase in scholarly attention, depictions of childhood in comics and other forms of comic art are ripe for further study. . . . This is an especially interesting area of inquiry given the somewhat vexed association comic books have traditionally maintained with childhood.

In an attempt to continue developing the scholarly focus on childhood, as well as comics, we seek proposals for scholarly articles that analyze, explore and interrogate depictions of childhood in comics or comic art for inclusion in a book-length anthology. We welcome all proposals, although, based on responses so far, we are particularly interested in more submissions regarding depictions of childhood in comics aimed at adults.
The editors’ potential topics include:
  • What do comics teach us about current constructions of childhood?
  • How do comics resist or undermine contemporary constructions of childhood?
  • How can comics help us better understand the role of children in a given societal context?
  • How do comics shed light on the relationship between children and adults? Between adults and their own childhood?
  • How can depictions of childhood be understood as metaphors for specific cultural phenomena, values, disruptions or evolutions?
  • What anxieties regarding culture, politics, education, etc. do comics reveal?
  • How have ideas regarding childhood affected comics?
Proposals should consist of an abstract of 300 words and a short curriculum vitae. Send them to Mark Heimermann, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and Brittany Tullis, St. Ambrose University, at heimermanntullis@gmail.com by 1 Jan 2014. Full papers will be due by 1 June 2014.

No comments: