ImageTexT: Interdisciplinary Comics Studies

ISSN: 1549-6732

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[cfp] Canadian Graphic Life Narratives

Posted 25 Jul, 2012

A collection of essays edited by Candida Rifkind and Linda Warley

Canadian comics authors have been at the forefront of the international boom in book-length comics, particularly the forms of life writing increasingly known as "autographics" (a term coined by Gillian Whitlock and Anna Poletti). From biography to autobiography (real and fictionalized), memoir, family portrait, oral history, diary, confession, travel writing, and the sketch, over the past two decades a diverse group of Canadian cartoonists has experimented with visual and verbal forms to tell all kinds of personal life stories in sequential comics.

This volume of essays will be the first definitive collection in Canadian life writing studies that considers some of the following questions: why are Canadian cartoonists producing so many works that could be analyzed as life writing? What is the relationship between visual representation and verbal narrative? What relations are there between Canadian graphic life narratives and international texts that have garnered more popular and academic attention (eg. Spiegelman's Maus, Satrapi's Persepolis, Bechdel's Fun Home)? What can studies of Canadian life writing comics tell us about larger questions, such as identity, history, nation, memory? How do life narratives intersect with or depart from other discursive constructions of Canadian "selves"? Where is the line between "real" and "fictionalized" lives?

We invite contributions on any aspect of life writing in Canadian comics. Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • authority and authenticity
  • intergenerational narratives
  • history, memory, inheritance
  • the Bildungsroman and Kunstlerroman
  • international influences and border-crossings
  • Aboriginal and Métis graphic life writing
  • gender, sexuality, bodies
  • ethnicity, race, nationality
  • space and place
  • celebrity, fame, infamy
  • community, collective, collaborative life narratives
  • magical realism, anti-realism, surrealism, fantasy
  • life writing comics and youth cultures
  • visual experiments and innovations
  • Canadian comics publishing and print culture

Cartoonists may include, but are not limited to: Seth, Joe Matt, Chester Brown, Julie Doucet, David Collier, Guy Delisle, Michel Rabagliati, Bernice Eisenstein, Ann-Marie Fleming, Ho Che Anderson, Diane Obomsawin, Jeff Lemire, Pascal Girard, Scott Chantler, Jillian Tamaki, Michael Cho, Line Gamache, Dave Lapp, and Philippe Gerard.

Please send a 500-word proposal and a short biographical note as a Word attachment to both editors by October 15, 2012.

Completed essays of 6,000-8,000 words (MLA style) will be due on March 1, 2013.

Dr. Candida Rifkind
University of Winnipeg

Dr. Linda Warley
University of Waterloo



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