CFP: Comics Studies I: Comics and Graphic Novels in a Transnational Perspective

Panel
German Studies Association Annual Conference
Washington, D.C.
October 1-4, 2020,
Stichtag: 31.01.2020

National literatures are not isolated from artistic production in other areas of the world, and graphic narratives are no exception. Either directly through personal relations (transnational artist collectives, teacher-student influences) or through indirect intertextual correspondence (“trends”), graphic narratives register developments beyond their national borders. Books like Stein, Denson, and Meyer’s Transnational Perspectives on Graphic Narratives as well as recent transnational comic panels and conferences testify to an emerging scholarly interest in this field. German graphic narratives, however, are underrepresented within these comparisons.

This panel looks at German-language comics and graphic novels within a transnational framework. It welcomes papers that consider transnational comparisons of works or other transnational connections (circulation, personal connections etc.) with at least one German-language example. The panel thus seeks to trace influences, similarities, and differences in comics beyond the confines of the German language or comics market. The analysis can focus on various aspects of the works such as a common genre (e.g. memoir; steam-punk; manga), a common theme (e.g. immigration, women’s representation, history), as well as formal elements (e.g. wordless graphic art; drawing styles). Alternatively, the papers can speak to other forms of transnational resonance, for example by tracing personal, stylistic, or generic influences across borders.

Possible lines of inquiry include, but are not limited to the following questions:

  • How are these works similar or different and which role does language and nationality play in explaining these?
  • In which ways did and do German-language comic artists partake in a transnational dialogue?
  • How do the comparisons question the alignment of language and nationality in the first place?
  • Which models of intertextuality do the given works support or complicate?
  • How do trends move through different national (comics) markets?
  • How does translation or adaptation of comics work across national boundaries?

The panel is intended to add to a growing body of inquiries that explore how transnational perspectives enrich Comics Studies, particularly in German Studies. It surveys the existing body of artifacts and traces the influences, but also differences between sequential narratives in the German-speaking world and elsewhere.

Please send a 350-600 word abstract and short bio by January 31st, 2020, to Julia Ludewig (jludewig@allegheny.edu).

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