CFP: Comprehending Comics: Exploring Methodologies and Approaches to Comic Studies in History and the Social Sciences

The conference will take place online September 8-9, 2024. 

Please submit your proposal by May 1, 2024.

Interest in comic studies have generated wide and varied interests from an exploration of visual language and narrative in sequential art to the use of technologies in comics, to considerations current questions in both contemporary society and history. These have led to fruitful research which cross disciplines and produced diverse and complex scholarship. Richard Scully have written extensively on political cartoons and their relationship with imperialism and colonialism. Amy Matthewson’s Cartooning China examined the British popular satirical magazine Punch and situated the series of cartoons of China and Chinese people within their geopolitical frameworks. Sheena Howard and Ronald Jackson’s Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation brought together a range of critical essays exploring contributions of Black graphic artists. Collections such as Drawing the Past Vol. 1 and Vol. (2022), edited by Dorian Alexander, Michael Goodrum, and Philip Smith, brought a range of scholars to unite around the broad theme of the historical imagination in American popular media. 

There is still an evolving consensus on which the methodologies that scholars specialized in fields of history and social sciences could use when engaging with comics. Often, research focused on comics-formatted primary sources is pigeonholed into literary study, or in other cases the linguistic framework of describing and analyzing comics fails to translate to a discussion of material culture. As the range of demonstrated methodologies is vast, and as the advancement of comics-based research offers new potential for the study of history and the social sciences, it is a crucial time to reflect and take stock of current practice and possible future directions. 

We are interested in all aspects of comics-format works, comics and graphic novels, and methodologies and themes that might address (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Representation in comics
  • The challenges of comics-based research studies as applied to the study of history
  • Historical aspects of visualities and comics in particular
  • The future of comics in research
  • Archeology and comics
  • Ancient and medieval history in comics
  • The effects of digital tools in comic studies
  • Comics and the politics of methodology – race, gender, sexuality, class, etc.
  • The transnational, transcultural, and/or interdisciplinary nature of comic studies
  • Teaching history with or through comics
  • Teaching comics-based research methods
  • Comics in memory studies
  • Tensions and concordances between art history and history of comics and graphic novels

We are now accepting proposals for papers (20 minutes) and panels (of 2 or 3 papers). Graduate students are also invited to submit a poster, which will be displayed online for the duration of the conference. The poster section will enable asynchronous comments, and a presentation session where participants give a short 3-5 minute summary of the poster content. Please submit the following to comprehendingcomics@historyincomics.org or elizabethallyn.woock@upol.cz by May 1st 2024:

  • abstract of 300 words
  • a biography of 50 words including your name, email, affiliation, and gender pronouns

This will be an online conference hosted by the Comics Lab at Palacky University, Czech Republic. Given the international spread of contributors, participant time zones will be considered when scheduling panels. The conference will take place September 8-9, 2024. 

Events News Uncategorized

Seriehögen – en kartläggning

Poster: Mau risolab 2023.

Det har aldrig sålts så många serietidningar som på 70-talet. Kalle Anka, Fantomen, Min Häst, Bamse och 91:an, men också skräckserier, krigsserier, romantikserier och några misslyckade försök att introducera serier i följetongsformat. Pidde Andersson (f. 1968), manusförfattare till serier sedan 1989 och ledamot av Svenska Serieakademin kartlägger tillsammans med Gunnar Krantz (f. 1962), serietecknare och konstnärlig professor, denna guldålder i ett samtal på Malmö universitet. Samtalet utgår från varsin hög med särskilt utvalda serietidningar och sker på K3 Open Studio, Niagara.
Torsdag 16 mars kl 13.00 – 15.00 Nordenskiöldsgatan 1 och på zoom:


Samtalet är arrangerat av Malmö University Comics Hub, i samverkan med Seriearkivet.


Joe Sacco to Malmö

Joe Sacco will visit Malmö and give a talk at Författarscenen (The Writers Scene) at Malmö City Library, Sunday, March 19th at 16.00 (pm). Free entrance. The talk will be moderated by Gunnar Krantz, Malmö university.

Photo by: Michael Tierney
Calls & Conferences Uncategorized

Comics and/as Resistance

Oxford Comics Network Conference

Thursday 22 – Friday 23 June 2023 TORCH, Radcliffe Humanities, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6GG, U.K.

comics and resistance

Call for Papers ‘Comics and/as Resistance’
Thursday 22 June and Friday 23 June 2023
In person at the University of Oxford (UK) and online

This conference seeks to bring together a wide range of scholars and creators to explore the poetics and politics of resistance within comics and graphic literature. Comics is a highly diverse and versatile medium, able to speak across boundaries, languages, temporalities, and cultures. This kind of formal flexibility makes it a particularly potent form for mediating resistance and resistance narratives. We understand resistance as a theme in a broad sense, from acts of political defiance to cultural practices that challenge perceived hegemonies. Resistance can also be a useful concept with which to examine the way that comics as a medium engages with categorizations, ideas about cultural legitimacy, and dominant forms of storytelling and historical representation. How are stories and histories of resistance mediated through comics? How are resisters and their agency depicted? How do comics creators contest dominant narratives and formal expectations and constraints? How is ‘resistance’ conceived of and enacted within the comics medium?

We invite papers that engage with these questions, and with resistance more broadly as a theme and/or as a mode of critical enquiry. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

· Depictions and/or mediations of historical acts of resistance, resistance networks, and the role of comics within cultural memory

· Representations of contemporary resistance movements

· Examples of comics being used to challenge dominant/hegemonic discourses and/or contribute to political discourses of resistance

· Formal conceptions of resistance within comics, for example the use of sound as a means of ‘resisting’ the silence of the medium; forms of hybridity than could be understood as resistance between text and image; resistance through the use of frames, the gutter, and text

· Histories of publication, distribution, and reception, particularly within transnational and global contexts

· Comics and/in translation

· Issues of genre, such as tensions between graphic fiction, memoir, and non-fiction

· The role of comics within pedagogies of resistance

· Comics as a collaborative form of resistance

· Comics and/as adaptation

· Graphic journalism

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers to be delivered in English.

Please submit your abstract (max. 250 words) and a short biographical note (max. 75 words) to Dr Alex Lloyd (Lead Convenor, Oxford Comics Network) and the conference organising committee (Laura Bergin, Cailee Davis, Carolin Gluchowski, Luise Morawetz), using this form: https://forms.office.com/e/B6rsF2Fka5.

The deadline for submissions is 31 January 2023. Notifications will be made by 15 February 2023. A publication of selected papers is planned.

Please direct any queries to comics@torch.ox.ac.uk.

The Oxford Comics Network at the University of Oxford (UK) brings together students, academics, and practitioners from a variety of disciplinary backgrounds to explore the power, politics, and potential of the comics form.


K3 research seminars with Comics Hub: Processing death and grief in graphic novels

Magnus Jonason: Måste ringa brorsan (cover)

Wed 2022-11-16 14:00 – 16:00. Niagara building, Nordenskiöldsgatan 1, Malmö. NIC0541-K3 studio. (5th floor).

Magnus Jonasons autobiographical book Måste ringa brorsan (2022) deals with strong emotions like sorrow, grief and co-dependency. In contrast to many contemporary Swedish autobiographical comic artists, Jonason’s works in a realistic style and show meticulous attention to detail and setting. He originally started out as acomics artist, but has for the last decades worked with storyboards, for ad-agencys, as well as movies–  among them Tomas Alfredsson’s Låt den rätte komma in (2008) and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (2011). Jonasons position between often compared artforms (comics and film) poses important questions of narrative similarities as well as differences between these. The seminar will begin with an introduction by Gunnar Krantz. 

All welcome! 

The seminar is hybrid. Welcome to K3 studio or https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/62522949096