Call for Papers
Coded: Comics and Containment Culture in the 1950ís
We have just received a contract from McFarland to compile a multi-contributor manuscript on comic books and containment culture in the 1950s. In no other era of United States history were American values and morals more rigidly defined or more heavily policed than in the 1950s. In the comic book industry, the debate over the impact of comics on youth and the resulting self-imposed censorship of the industry reflect the general trends of the era. This book approaches this era in American comics by looking at comic book narratives and images, and unpacking the meaning stored within. We are interested in the many and varied ways in which containment culture is both reflected and subverted in the pages of comic books.
These essays should devote themselves to the close reading of American comic books from the 1950s. In focusing on this decade we are purposefully drawing on both the pre and post comic code era, from the late Golden Age to the early Silver Age of comics. As the title of the book suggests, the purpose of these narrative and visual analyses will be to locate a given text within the larger containment culture of the 1950s, not only in terms of how these images reflect the larger culture, but also how certain images and narratives subvert the dominant ideology of the time.
Since containment as both a foreign and domestic policy permeated every aspect of American culture in the 1950s, the focus of individual papers is wide open, from the portrayal of gender roles to anxiety over nuclear proliferation, and from commercial consumption to communist infiltration. Our goal is to present as broad a picture of comics in the fifties as possible, so we want to include essays on a wide range of subjects in terms of genre, theme, and publisher.
Essays are to be 3000-4500 words long (typed and double-spaced) and should be written in clear, concrete terms, avoiding jargon whenever possible. We do want to encourage contributors to use images in their submissions. Because of the reluctance of some publishers to release their images for scholastic purposes, however, there will also be a need to limit those images. As a general guideline, contributors will need to avoid using comic book covers and use no more than 2-3 images in their submission.
Anyone interested in contributing an essay should contact the editor with a brief proposal (1-2 paragraphs) and a short description of their professional, educational, and publishing background no later than April 1, 2010. Invited essays will be due as e-mail attachments no later than August 15, 2010. Further information will be sent later to those who are invited to submit essays.
If you have any questions, you should not hesitate to contact us at the addresses below:
Chris York, Chair, General Education, Pine Technical College. firstname.lastname@example.org
Rafe York, Saint Cloud State University, email@example.com
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