CFP: Comics|Histories

Online via Zoom
Organizers: Jaqueline Berndt (Stockholm University, Sweden), Felix Giesa (Goethe University
Frankfurt, Germany), Christina Meyer (TU Braunschweig, Germany)
July 16-17, 2021
Stichtag: 01.05.2021

Comics Studies are on the rise, but the bulk of comics research prioritizes contemporary productions, whereas comics’ histories and genealogies, or preconditions of what appears as comics and other forms of graphic narratives today, remain understudied. To fill the gap and to map as yet unknown territories, a new book series will be launched soon by academic publisher Rombach Wissenschaft, and this conference, organized by the series editors, is intended
as a kick-off event.

The book series and conference aim to revise the wide spectrum of what is now regarded as comics (including caricature, cartoons, graphic novel, etc.), broadening the view of Comics Studies not only retrospectively, but also prospectively at a moment in time when modern media identities are dissolving. We welcome in particular contributions that engage with both theories and methods employed in Comics Studies so far, and crucial disciplinary concerns of history (as specified in literary, cultural, media, or art history, and so on). While there is already
a significant amount of publications that foreground representations of history in comics, our conference seeks to highlight comics-specific contributions to history. In addition to that, we invite papers that address comics from a transnational while culturally situated, perspective, without privileging national histories of the medium in the narrower sense, i.e., as confined to North American, Franco-Belgian, or Japanese publication markets. Last but not least, we call for papers that put the spotlight on the historiography of Comics Studies, in other words, the inter- and transdisciplinary research on comics as an object of analysis in itself. Multidisciplinary assessments of the field and its practices of research and publishing, author- and editorship promise new insight into processes of knowledge formation, as well as the power relations involved.

Possible topics include but are not limited to:

  • historical comics research: historiography of comics, including the relation of modern comics to caricature, cartoons, or picture books
  • critical reflection on theoretical frameworks of historical research in its applicability to Comics Studies
  • methods and tools of historical comics research
  • conditions of historical comics research: resources, materials, archives
  • digital humanities for comics historiography
  • transnational and transregional comics histories
  • representative comics historians and their work in context.

To do justice to the working character of our conference and the joint elaboration of a map for the hitherto unexplored fields in the coordinate system Comics|Histories we would like to bring prompts into dialogue during the two days of this conference. Please send a 200-word abstract (including a title) for a short 10 minute paper and a short bio to the three organizers: Jaqueline Berndt (, Felix Giesa (, and Christina Meyer (

Deadline for submission: May 1, 2021.
Acceptance notifications will be sent out by May 14, 2021.
Conference date: July 16, 2021 and July 17, 2021.

Location: online via Zoom – the link will be made available to all registered participants.