Intended for scholars in English, Popular Culture, Narrative Theory, Semiotics, etc., this CFP asks contributors to address the congruencies between picture books and children's comics.
38th Annual NeMLA Convention, 1-4 Mar. 2007, Baltimore, MD
Panel: Picture Books and Children's Comics: Semiotics of Text and Image
Chair: Vanessa Raney, Michigan State University
If we follow the argument that comics are for children, then what distinguishes them from picture books? In the last decade, a newer focus on the semiotics of picture books has begun to inform scholarship on comics.
Yet, for comics specifically written for children, do these reflect similar patterns as found in picture books? If not, where do children's comics diverge to be grouped along with comics intended for adults?
Regarding picture books, one of its distinguishing characteristics is voice. Also, picture books depend primarily on illustrative art where comics employ diverse arts, especially evident in works like Lynda Barry's 100 Demons!.
So, then, do children's picture books appear "childish" because of the textures of artistic contribution against the oversized properties of text? If so, do the bolder colors in children's comics, like Art Spiegelman's Little Lit series, point to reflexes of adult imaginations possible in children?
You are welcome to contribute other ideas you think are pertinent to this discussion. The idea, though, is to connect, challenge and comment on opposing mediums that nonetheless depend on image and text to tell the stories children love.
Ideally, I would like to have two papers that focus on picture books, and two papers on children's comics. I will accept abstracts through Sept. 15, 2006. Please include your name, affiliation, e-mail, complete mailing address, telephone number, and any A/V needs. Thanks!
Vanessa Raney, Graduate Caucus Director
From Elizabeth Abele, NeMLA Executive Director:
"In addition to the wide range of panels, NeMLA's 38th Convention will offer programs highlighting prominent scholars and authors. Thanks to our host institution, Johns Hopkins University, our keynote speaker will be Amanda Anderson. Professor Anderson specializes in Victorian literature and contemporary literary, cultural, and political theory. She is the author of The Way We Argue Now: A Study in the Cultures of Theory (Princeton, 2006). We will kick-off the Convention on Thursday March 1 with a free welcoming reception and reading, featuring the works of novelist Madison Smartt Bell and poet Elizabeth Spire. With additional speakers and events being planned by the Language Directors and MLS, NEMLA's 38th Convention promises to offer a stimulating conference to regular NEMLA members and new friends."
Of interest to grad students:
NeMLA's 2006-07 Graduate Caucus Board is confirmed with these officers:
President: Vanessa Raney, Michigan State University
Member, Summer Fellowship Committee
Vice-President: Gabi Eichmanns, University of Washington-Seattle
Chair, Graduate Caucus Roundtable
Secretary: Julie Flynn, Drew University
Chair, Graduate Caucus Prize
NeMLA offers travel awards for the 2007 NeMLA Convention (limited number available), the Graduate Caucus Prize for the best graduate student paper presented (prize is publication in MLS), the Graduate Caucus Roundtable (on topics such as negotiating the job market), and the Summer Fellowship (deadline: Jan. 31, 2007). Details will be posted to the NeMLA Website by Fall 2006. In the meantime, feel free to e-mail anyone on the Graduate Caucus Board with questions. Note: New members will be eligible to join at the grad rate once registration is opened for the 2007 NeMLA Convention; check the Website in Oct. for more info.
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