CFP: Sexuality and Mental Illness in Comics

Collection of essays on Sexuality and Mental Illness in Comics
Stichtag: 2018 01 15

Notions of sexuality and illness have long co-existed. From early discussions about hysteria to the de-classification of homosexuality as a mental illness, theorists, practitioners, and sufferers alike have pondered how mental illness intersects with human sexuality. Traditional literature has also paired gender identity, hyper-sexuality, homosexuality, and sexual expression with themes of madness and criminality, but also with mental deviance and illness.

Sexuality and Mental Illness in Comics seeks to explore the complex intersections between sexual identification, practice, performance, and mental illness in comics. The comics medium, which is so often associated with hyper-masculinized or -feminized, hypersexualized, or idealized bodies, is particularly suited to the exploration of expressions of sexuality and their relationship to mental illness.

We seek contributions that combine theoretical debates with close critical readings of comics. Papers examining representations of mental illness in comics alongside the following topics are welcome:

  • Mental Illness, Social Stigma, and the Sexual-Self
  • Sexuality and Madness
  • Sexual Infection and the Psyche
  • Pregnancy, Abortion, and Infertility
  • The Absence of Sexuality
  • Masturbation and Sexual Self-Therapy
  • Sexual Fixation
  • Sexual Violence or Trauma
  • Caregiving and Sexuality
  • Pre-and-Post Diagnosis and Sexuality

Please submit a 300-word abstract and short bio to Nancy Pedri at and Irene Velentzas at by January 15, 2018.

Completed papers should be submitted by September 1, 2018.

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