CFP: Michigan State University Comics Forum

2019 Michigan State University Comics Forum
Michigan State University Main Library
February 22-23, 2019
Stichtag: 24.09.2018

The Michigan State University Comics Forum – – is an annual academic conference that brings together scholars, creators, and fans in order to explore and celebrate the medium of comics, graphic storytelling, and sequential art. In its eleventh year, the Comics Forum is scheduled to take place February 22-23, 2019 at the Michigan State University Main Library, which houses the world’s largest public collection of comic books. This year’s event will feature keynote addresses from Seth and Qiana Whitted.

Our Creator Keynote Speaker, Seth, is the award-winning cartoonist behind the comic book series Palookaville, a semi-annual hardcover. His comics have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Best American Comics, and McSweeney’s Quarterly. His illustrations have appeared in numerous publications including the cover of the New Yorker, The Walrus, and Canadian Notes & Queries. He is also the designer for several classic comics reprint series, notably the collections of work by Charles Schulz, John Stanley, and Doug Wright. Seth has exhibited throughout the world in a variety of group and solo shows including exhibitions of his model city Dominion, which toured Galleries in Eastern and Central Canada as well as select galleries the world over. He was also the subject of the National Film Board documentary entitled Seth’s Dominion.

This year’s Scholar Keynote Speaker, Qiana Whitted, is Associate Professor of English and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina. A graduate of Hampton University with a PhD from Yale University, her research focuses on African-American literary studies and American comic books. Her publications include the edited collection, Comics and the U.S. South (Mississippi, 2012) and the book “A God of Justice?”: The Problem of Evil in Twentieth-Century Black Literature (Virginia, 2009). She is an associate editor of INKS: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society and Chair of the International Comic Arts Forum. Her most recently published articles and book chapters explore race, genre, and comics in representations of historical figures such as Nat Turner, Stagger Lee, and Emmett Till. Her forthcoming book on race and social protest in 1950s EC comics will be published by Rutgers University Press in 2019.

Our Creator Keynote Address will be on the evening of Friday, February 22nd. Saturday, February 23rd, the Michigan State University Comics Forum will feature scholarly presentations in a variety of formats as well as our Scholar Keynote Address. Concurrent with the academic panels will be our artists’ alley.

We seek proposals for presentations, which may include but are not limited to:

Individual submissions

  • Each presenter will have a maximum of 20 minutes to discuss his/her topic along with 5 minutes for questions
  • Presenters will be grouped with other participants into a panel

Panel Sessions

  • Will run for 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Must include at least 3 presenters
  • Presenters must discuss similar or connected topics
  • Those proposing a panel are responsible for finding their own panel session members


  • Will run for 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Must include at least 3 participants
  • Presenters must discuss one specific topic
  • Those proposing a roundtable are responsible for finding their own session members

Submissions from a broad range of disciplines are encouraged; however, presentations must be focused on the medium of comics. The MSU Comics Forum is seeking a multitude of perspectives that represent the diversity of comics and the medium’s social, literary, artistic, and theoretical contexts.

Individual submissions require a 250-word (maximum) abstract of the topic as well as name and affiliation. Panel sessions require one 250-word abstract for the overarching topic and a unique abstract for each presenter’s specific topic, including name and affiliation, e-mailed together. Roundtable proposals should include a 250-word abstract that includes an explanation of the topic and the names and affiliations of the participants.

Due to the visual nature of the comics medium and diverse community engagement in the Forum, we ask that all presentations integrate visual content. Panel presentations should be .ppt, slides, .pdf, or .presi, and on USB or accessible online.

Proposals are due September 24, 2018 by 11:59 PM EST. Please submit proposals to the 2019 MSU Comics Forum Panel Coordinator, Zack Kruse, at: Presenters will be notified of acceptance by October 8, 2018.

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