10. Annual Conference of the „Gesellschaft für Comicforschung“ (ComFor)
04/09/2015 – 06/09/2015
Goethe-University Frankfurt, Campus Westend
As the title indicates, the contributions and discussions of the conference will focus on comics and graphic literature with a double perspective: One field of interest will consist of the historical topics and subjects, ranging from antiquity to contemporary history, that are depicted in works of sequential art from all over the world and attract the attention of a broad readership. Contributing considerably to an international archive of cultural memory, comics play an important role in academic research as both historical source material and as depictions and interpretations of historical events. This provides a fertile ground for interdisciplinary research that combines approaches from academic disciplines such as literature, art, media, and cultural studies and history in particular.
Another field of interest – closely linked to and in correspondence with the aspects mentioned above – consists of the historicisation of the phenomenon ‘comic’, its contemporary varieties and its readership(s) as well as the analysis of its international developments. Focusing on history and the historical in picture stories, it is adequate and relevant to ask about the lines of tradition of the medium and their preconditions: not least since the debates on new (or seemingly new) trends such as manga and graphic novel, seriality, media culture, the relation of comics and picture books, comics in traditional and modern media, etc. raise questions on the nature of graphic literature.
Potential topics for contributions may include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Genres, forms and tendencies of historical comics
• Historical and contemporary approaches to conveying history in comics
• Personalisation, event and structure in historical comic narratives
• Stereotypes of nationality and foreignness
• Addressing and reception of historical comics
• From illustrations to sequential narratives, from individual pictures to picture stories
• The history of comics, questions and problems of periodisation
• Simultaneity and difference in the international development of graphic literature
• Historical varieties of visual and narrative styles in comics
• The history of picture stories and comics as media
• Perspectives on the development of the genre: Comics in the 21st century
Contributions will be accepted in English or German and should not exceed 30 minutes. Please direct your conference proposals, including name, address, short biography and an abstract of about 1300 characters, to Bernd Dolle-Weinkauff, Department for Children’s Literature Research.
Before planning and submitting your conference proposal, please note that a full refund of travel and accommodation expenses will probably not be possible, at best a partial reimbursement.
Additionally, the conference in Frankfurt will give scholars the opportunity to discuss and get feedback on current and future projects and find answers to pending questions within the context of a workshop atmosphere. The presentations in this open panel are limited to 15 minutes. They are not bound to the topic of the conference, but can belong to the entire field of comics studies. Proposals should be send via email with the subject line “Forum ComFor 2015” and including name, address, short biography and an abstract of about 1300 characters. Contact: Bernd Dolle-Weinkauff, Department for Children’s Literature