The 7th Annual Conference of the Society for Comics Studies (Gesellschaft für Comicforschung) will take place on September 27-29, 2012, at the Institute für Media Culture Studies at Freiburg University. This year’s conference will deal with the broad subjects of Comics and Politics. Beyond this topic, the conference will also re-introduce the Open Workshop Session on ongoing research projects, and add a poster section for the first time at a ComFor conference.
Comics interact with politics and the political in several obvious ways: As a format of artistic expression, as a sometimes popular, alternative or marginalized genre, and not least as an element of new media, comics feature specific political dimensions that are not always sufficiently covered by concepts developed for the description of politics in other art forms. While several studies have dealt with particular instances, the special role of comics as archive, player, playing field, and constituent of political processes has rarely been examined under a common perspective.
The 7th Annual Conference of the Gesellschaft für Comicforschung thus invites contributions from different disciplines and starting points that deal with any of the many constellations of comics and politics. Some of these views might, for instance, connect to recent thoughts on an ‘ethical turn’ in cultural studies, or equally to contemporary questions and theories from pictorial studies.
The Call for Papers is now online. Apart from talks on the conference topics, in English or German, contributions are also invited for the following two formats:
For one, we ant to revive the tradition of the open workshop sessions which were included in the first ComFor conferences. This format allows researchers to present and gather feedback on on-going projects within comics studies in all stages of development, and without any thematic restrictions – not limited to comics and politics. The invitation stands for colleagues in all phases of academic careers to discuss any projects on which they are currently working, be it as BA, MA or PhD candidates, established institutional researchers, or free scholars.
Finally, for the first time at a ComFor conference, we want to experiment with the Anglo-Saxon format of ‘poster sessions’. Ongoing as well as concluded research projects on all topics – not limited to comics and politics – can be presented on posters. Posters will be on exhibition for the whole time of the conference, and a special poster session will give the authors an opportunity to explain and discuss their work in detail.
The Call for Papers is published; please spread the news as broadly as possible. We are looking forward to many intriguing talks, discussions and posters; and hope to meet you in September in Freiburg!
(Stephan Packard, Freiburg)