CfP: Drawing out the Shadows: Responses to the Holocaust in Graphic Narratives

Publication (and Symposium)
proposed volume
edited by Ken Koltun-Fromm and Assaf Gamzou
Symposium at Haverford College in late April or early May, 2017 (including workshops for contributors to this proposed volume)
Stichtag: 17.10.2016

Since the end of the Second world war, literary and graphic artists have attempted to express in some way the events of the Holocaust. We are all familiar with these struggles at representation across various media, from memoirs to large Hollywood productions. To be sure, graphic narratives (comics, graphic novels, bande dessinée, manga) are a critical part of this representational challenge: pamphlets and illustrated diaries by survivors circulated as early as 1945. From the 1950’s through to the 70’s, the superhero comic sporadically confronted the Holocaust in various storylines.

In 1986, the New York City based „Raw“ magazine, edited by Art Spiegelman and Françoise Mouly, published an unusual addition–an insert entitled Maus. This now famous piece was the first chapter of a work that would later come to win a Pulitzer prize, and overturn accepted notions concerning graphic narratives and Holocaust representation. But graphic confrontations with the Holocaust did not stop with, nor should they be reduced to Spiegelman’s monumental work. From the 1990’s onwards, a wave of new comics and graphic novels around the globe followed Maus, all concerned with Holocaust survival, memory and testimony. Artists such as Joe Kubert, Miriam Katin, and Rutu Modan, among many others, have produced significant works in these areas.

Drawing out the Shadows: Responses to the Holocaust in Graphic Narratives is a proposed volume that will examine the unique interchange between Holocaust event/memory and graphic narratives. While scholarly examination of this intersection has been published as articles and book chapters, this proposed volume would be the first dedicated solely to this aspect of sequential art. Rather than publishing a book aimed at a scholarly audience alone, this volume will track recent publications such as Hillary Chute’s edited Critical Inquiry Issue Comics & Media (Spring 2014) and Sarah Lightman’s Graphic Details (2014), drawing together scholarly essays, graphic art, and author interviews.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Sequential narrative forms
  • Testimony in Comics
  • Memory and post-memory
  • Second and Third Generation experiences
  • Super Heroes and the Holocaust
  • Bande dessinée, Fumeti, Manga, Israeli comics and the Holocaust
  • Trauma and its representation
  • Genocide
  • The ethics of representation and memory

Please send a 500-1000 word abstract, CV, and contact information to Ken Koltun-Fromm ( and Assaf Gamzou ( by October 17th, 2016. Haverford College will host a symposium on “Drawing out the Shadows: Responses to the Holocaust in Graphic Narratives” in late April or early May, 2017 that will include workshops for contributors to this proposed volume. Please indicate your interest in and availability to participate in the symposium.

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