ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies

ISSN: 1549-6732

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[cfp] Call for Papers: Collection of Essays

Posted 23 Sep, 2012

Superhero Synergies: Genre in the Age of Digital Convergence
Edited by James Gilmore (UCLA) and Matthias Stork (UCLA)
Publisher: Scarecrow Press

Since the late 1990s, the proliferation of digital media has opened up a seemingly infinite horizon of narrative possibilities in transmedia storytelling. Traditional ideas about the look and the texture of cinema, television, and comics have equally undergone striking revision in the age of digital convergence. New technologies—including 3-D, video on-demand, and electronic tablets—change the ways we think about media production, aesthetics, and consumption. Digital media have made popular culture a malleable entity to be modified continuously. As a result,popular media do not exist in isolation, but converge into complex multidimensional objects. The Internet further relays this multidimensionality via discussion forums, fan fiction, and video-based criticism.

Nowhere has this phenomenon been more persistent, more creative, or sparked more discussion than in the superhero genre. While the genre is home to many of the most financially successful films of the last 15 years, it has also developed life in video games, digital comics, Internet criticism, video essays, novelizations, television programs, and other forms of media. These media may speak to each other—as in a video game based on the film The Avengers which is, in turn, based on a series of Marvel comic books—or incorporate and critique forms of media—as when the television series Heroes consciously employs comic book aesthetics as a central narrative component. The superhero genre thus forms an ideal lynchpin to examine the contemporary landscape of popular media convergence.

The goal of this anthology is to explore the intricate relationship between superheroes and digital media in an era of convergence. Specifically, we encourage contributors to consider analytical, research-driven, and theoretical work that tackles the problems and possibilities of convergence culture as it relates to the experience and study of superheroes in the contemporary world of digital media. While the anthology incorporates a theoretical dimension, we predominantly seek submissions that emphasize the experience of superheroes and analysis of superhero images in this expanding and converging digital landscape.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • How do conceptions of "genre" and "narrative" change amidst the interaction of multiple digital media forms?
  • Adaptation: How might superhero texts accent themselves as acts of adaptation? How do digital media and transmedia storytelling transform the notion of fidelity?
  • Reception study: What opportunities do digital media present for spectators to interact with each other and the media texts, and what are the scope and shape of those fandom culture interactions (i.e. avatar creation, fan fiction, video essay criticism)?
  • Textual/aesthetic analysis: How do the texts themselves—comics, films, video games, etc.—employ digital media and technology? In what ways do their aesthetics and structures communicate a converging digital landscape?
  • Cultural studies: How do digital media inform the discourse of socio-cultural issues within the genre, its texts, and their reception? How might digital media convergence foster a more complex discourse of these social, cultural, or political issues central to the genre—or do they?
  • Marketing aesthetics: How do the advertising strategies for individual texts take advantage of an array of new media technologies?
  • Film criticism: How does contemporary criticism use digital media technology to analyze and chronicle the development of the superhero genre?
  • Gender analysis: How are male and female bodies figured in the superhero genre, and how have those representations changed over time and across different forms of media?

Interested writers should submit a proposal of approximately 400-600 words. Each proposal should clearly state 1) the research question and/or theoretical goals of the essay, 2) the essay's relationship to the anthology's core issues, and 3) a potential bibliography. Please also include a brief CV. Accepted essays should plan to be approximately 6,000-7,000 words.

Deadline for proposals: November 1, 2012

Please send proposals to both contact e-mails:

James Gilmore: james.n.gilmore@gmail.com
Matthias Stork: mstork@ucla.edu

Publication timetable:
November 1, 2012 — Deadline for Proposals
December 15, 2012 — Notification of Acceptance Decisions
April 15, 2013 — Chapter Drafts Due
July 15, 2013 — Chapter Revisions Due
August 30, 2013 — Final Revisions Due

Acceptance will be contingent upon the contributors' ability to meet these deadlines, and to deliver professional-quality work.

[cfp] Final call for papers

Posted 11 Sep, 2012

The Comics Get Medieval 2013:
A continuing Celebration of Medieval-themed Comics

PCA at Washington Marriott Wardman Park, 3/27-30/13
Special Sessions of the Comic Art & Comics Area
Organized By Michael A. Torregrossa and Jason Tondro
Proposals Due to Organizers by 1 September 2012

Celebrating our seventh year in 2013, proposals are now being considered for inclusion at "The Comics Get Medieval 2013," a series of panels and roundtables sponsored by The Virtual Society for the Study of Popular Culture and the Middle Ages and to be hosted by the Comic Art & Comics Area of the Popular Culture Association (PCA) for the 2013 Joint Conference of the National Popular Culture and American Culture Associations to be held at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park from 27 to 30 March 2013 in Washington, DC.

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