The scholarship surrounding comics and graphic novels has proliferated over the past several years, as has studies focusing on particular comics themes or visual texts created by certain ethnic communities. In light of these convergent fields of inquiry, I am pulling together a diverse edited collection of essays devoted to comics and Jewishness. The scope of this book will take in the theoretical, literary, and socio-historical contexts of comics and its links to Jewish identity, history, and discourse. This will be an expansion of the “Jewish Comics” special issue of Shofar that was published in Winter 2011 (vol. 29, no. 2).
I am particularly interested in essays that focus on writers and topics that have received little or no coverage in the scholarship. Possible topics could include, but are certainly not limited to:
- The ways in which comics have articulated the American Jewish experience
- Comics and the Holocaust, as expressed in such narratives as Maus, Auschwitz, I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors, We Are on Our Own, Mendel’s Daughter: A Memoir, and Yossel: April 19, 1943
- The contributions of Jews in the history of comic strips and comic books
- The representation of Jewish communities by non-Jewish comics writers and artists
- Images of Israel in the works of Joe Sacco, Rutu Modan, Ari Folman, Miriam Libicki, and the Dimona Comix Group
- Jewish identity through superheroes and villains, from Superman to The Spirit to Shaloman
- The form of the contemporary “graphic novel” by Jewish writers/artists such as Kim Deitch, Joann Sfar, Miss Lasko-Gross, Ben Katchor, and Aline Kominisky-Crumb
- Graphic adaptations of Jewish texts and legends
- Immigration, generational tensions, and ethnic urban landscapes
- Comics, the Diaspora, and Jewish internationalism
- Jewish identity and world conflict, from the world wars to 9/11
- Jewish autobiographic comics (e.g., Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor) as well as graphic biographies of such figures as Franz Kafka, Emma Goldman, Houdini, and Anne Frank
- Representations of the Jewish gangster in comics
- Interactions between Jews and other ethnic communities (this could include comparative comics studies)
Those interested should submit a detailed abstract proposal. Authors whose abstracts are selected will be invited to submit a completed essay.
Abstracts for proposed essays should be at least 350 words and can include a sampling of images. All completed essay submissions should be between 5,000 and 7,000 words, including notes. Contributors should format submissions based on the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition, and use endnotes. Authors will be responsible for securing copyright permission for all images used. Address all inquiries, and submit all abstracts or manuscripts, to Derek Parker Royal at email@example.com. Please include the words “Jewish Comics” in the subject heading.
Deadline for abstract proposals is January 25, 2012.
Deadline for final manuscript submissions is April 30, 2012.
Go to http://www.derekroyal.com/CFP-JewishComics.pdf for the official call for papers.
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