Archive for June, 2016

Call for Papers: “The Comics of Alison Bechdel: From the Outside In”

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

Call for Papers
The Comics of Alison Bechdel: From the Outside In

“The Comics of Alison Bechdel: From the Outside In” is a proposed volume in the series Critical Approaches to Comics Artists at the University Press of Mississippi. This volume will contain an array of critical essays on the comics of Alison Bechdel, offering new examinations of her entire body of work.

The collection takes as its starting point the phrase “from the outside in,” and proposes to look at Bechdel from several perspectives: Bechdel as an outsider and her changing position in the world of comix/comics and beyond; her investigation of interior life and its relationship to the outside world; and her many modes of drawing, writing, and performing queerness. Essays from interdisciplinary perspectives are encouraged, including critical approaches from comics studies, art history, cultural studies, material culture, print culture, life writing, queer theory, trauma studies, psychoanalytic theory, history of sexuality, archive studies, and adaptation studies.

Essays that engage Bechdel in light of the following topics would be particularly welcome (although this list is by no means exhaustive or prescriptive; essays that address topics not listed here will be considered as well):

Bechdel as outsider/in from the margins:

· alt-comix: the world of Dykes to Watch Out For and how it changed the world of comics/comix

· Bechdel and alternative weeklies

· Bechdel and censorship

· Bechdel in the classroom/Bechdel and pedagogy

· Bechdel in the academy/the Bechdel industry

· Bechdel the bestseller

Interiors and the outside world:

· imagined spaces/places/objects

· furniture and design

· architecture

· autography/memoir/life writing

· trauma/mourning

· inside the archive

· sexuality and subjectivity

Drawing, writing, performing queerness:

· the many modes of Alison Bechdel: blogging, interviews, adaptation, photography, film and Hollywood cinema (the Bechdel test)

· Bechdel and music: popular, classical, queer

· Bechdel and Broadway: music, adaptation, the tradition of comics on the stage

· Bechdel and the body: gender normativity, butchness, bodybuilding

· Bechdel and performativity

· Bechdel and queer print culture

· LGBT history and activism

Please send abstracts of at least 500 and no more than 1000 words, along with CV and contact information, to Janine Utell at by December 1.

Officer Nominations

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

Dear Members of ISSN,

This October the Society will elect two new Executive Board
members, to serve for three years, as well as its next
Second Vice-President, who serves for four years
(proceeding to First Vice-President, President, and Past
President). The nominations for these positions are drawn
up by the nominating committee, which comprises the current
VP and two other Society members.

This year, that is Sarah Copland (MacEwan University), Mari
Hatavara (University of Tampere), and me (Aarhus Institute
of Advanced Studies).

All ISSN members are invited to propose names for the
nominating committee to consider. Self-nominations are
entirely in order, so don’t be shy!

Note that eligible candidates will have attended recent
ISSN conferences, and will usually commit to attending two
meetings of the ISSN Executive Board in each year of their
term – one at the ISSN Conference and one at the MLA
Convention. At the same time, don’t hesitate to nominate
someone, including yourself, who for good reason (lack of
funding, distance, etc.) cannot make it to MLA. Candidates
for Second VP should have attended 3 out of the last 5
annual conferences.

Please send your suggestions to Sarah, Mari, and me (along
with a brief indication of the reason for your
recommendation) no later than July 15, 2016.

Sarah Copland:
Mari Hatavara:
Jan Alber:

All the best,
Jan Alber

2017 ISSN Conference CFP

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

Call for Papers-LEON EDEL PRIZE

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

The Leon Edel Prize is awarded annually for the best essay on Henry James by a beginning scholar. The prize carries with it an award of $150, and the prize-winning essay will be published in HJR.

The competition is open to applicants who have not held a full-time academic appointment for more than four years. Independent scholars and graduate students are encouraged to apply.

Essays should be 20-30 pages (including notes), original, and not under submission elsewhere or previously published.

Send electronic submissions to:

Author=s name should not appear on the manuscript. Please identify essays as submissions for the Leon Edel Prize.

A brief curriculum vitae should be included. Decisions about regular publication are also made at the same time as the prize decision.

Deadline: November 1, 2016

Extended Call for Papers- ‘Small Screen Fictions’

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Special issue of Paradoxa, ‘Small Screen Fictions’

Extended Call for Papers (anticipated publication date: December, 2017)

Editors: Astrid Ensslin (University of Alberta, Canada); Paweł Frelik (Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Lublin, Poland); Lisa Swanstrom (Florida-Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA)

In the last few decades, digital technologies have dramatically reconfigured not only the circumstances of media production and dissemination, but also many of their cultural forms and conventions, including the roles of users, producers, authors, audiences, and readers. Arguably the most spectacular of these digital transformations have affected the large screens of cinema multiplexes and the increasingly large screens of home televisions, but other narrative forms have emerged on a smaller screens as well.
Today, with growing frequency, narratives are experienced on the smaller screens of laptops, tablets, and even mobile phones. These narratives often involve direct reader/viewer/player interaction, enabling highly idiosyncratic, individualized and unique narrative experiences. Some of these fictions are merely digitized or wikified versions of texts previously available in the codex form—their digital conversion affects some of the ways in which readers engage with them, but the basic structures of these narratives remain unchanged. Some others, however, have been written and designed (these two words often blur) specifically for these small screens. Their functionalities and affordances are not replicable in any other medial form, nor do they demonstrate an allegiance to any single pre-existing art form.
Paradoxa seeks articles for a special issue devoted to “Small Screen Fictions.” Both in-depth analyses of individual texts and more general, theoretical discussions are invited. The genres and media of interest include but are not limited to:

• DVD novels, such as Steve Tomasula’s TOC (2009);
• literary-narrative video games and ludic, gamelike fictions whose principal interest is in offering innovative storytelling experiences, such as Dear Esther(2012) and Device6 (2013);
• twitter and blog texts, such as Jennifer Egan’s “Black Box” (2012);
• collectively written, locative online texts, particularly those breaking narrative linearity, such as Hundekopf (2007), The LA Flood Project (2013) andThe Silent History (2013);
• interactive graphic novels, such as Nam Le’s The Boat (2014);
• genre-bending, dialogic hybrids, such as Blast Theory’s Karen (2015);
• neo-hypertextual fictions enabled by user-friendly authoring software such as Twine;
• physically distributed narratives that make use of small screen spaces, not merely to create and display fictions, but also to navigate, negotiate, and interact with real-world spaces through geo-caching or other means, such asIngress (2013), Cartegram (2014), and Call of the Wild (2015).

Similarly, possible approaches to such screen texts include but are not limited to:

• the changing cultural patterns and expectations of engagement with narrative;
• the reality and illusions of linearity and non-linearity;
• the shifting nature of public and private spectatorship;
• the role of touch and tactility, as well as other human senses in experiencing narratives;
• the blurring of the verbal and the visual, of fact and fiction, of reading and writing, of natural and artificial;
• the economic, social, and political contexts of authorship and readership of such texts;
• the implications of such narrative experiences for the meaning(s) and perceptions of fiction, genre and literature.

Abstracts of 500 words should be submitted by 15 August 2016 to the editors: Astrid Ensslin <>, Pawel Frelik <> Lisa Swanstrom <>. Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by 30 September 2016. Full drafts (6,000 to 8,000 words) will be due by 31 December 2016.

CFP: Look Both Ways: Narrative and Metaphor in Education

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Look Both Ways: Narrative and Metaphor in Education: a Conference –  VU University, Amsterdam  to be held  30 March to 1 April 2017

Over the last 30 years, educationists have drawn increasingly on insights from philosophy, psychology, anthropology, cognitive science and linguistics to examine the roles played by narrative and metaphor in every domain of educational theory and practice. The narrative and metaphor perspectives have, however, mostly been used separately and opportunities for researchers and educators to meet and share their ideas are rare. This conference takes up the challenge of bringing educationists who have employed the narrative lens into conversation with those who have employed the metaphor lens. It highlights the work of those few researchers who have demonstrated ‘binocular vision’ (that is, employed the two perspectives in combination) in their study of education. The implications of research for teaching and policy practice will be particularly emphasized. The result should be a fuller account than has previously been attempted of the intricate relations which operate at the nexus between narrative and metaphor in and of education.

There will be 6 keynote presentations, by scholars who have undertaken outstanding work on narrative and metaphor in educational theory or practice.:
Jean Clandinin, Vera Caine & Sean Lessard – University of Alberta, Canada
Martin Cortazzi – University of Warwick & Lixian Jin – De Montfort University, UK
Kieran Egan – Simon Fraser University, Canada
Michael Hanne – University of Auckland, New Zealand
Martijn Meeter – Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Niklas Pramling – University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Questions to be explored at the conference include:

  • What specific forms do metaphor and narrative take in the educational context (ranging from learning and teaching to policy making)? How are metaphor and narrative related? Are there subject areas in which metaphor is a more effective tool for thinking and others where narrative is more useful? How may the two devices best be used in combination?
  • How do educational practitioners use metaphor and narrative as strategies in teaching or learning? In what special ways may narrative and metaphor be employed in, e.g. teacher training, counselling, and the education of learners with special needs?
  • There has been much research on how shifts in metaphor may change our thinking. How can learners and other educational practitioners become aware of the advantages and disadvantages of using metaphor? Do we need to be equally aware of the importance of shifts in narrative?
  • How are questions of e.g. agency and power both highlighted and occluded by the narratives and metaphors most commonly used in contemporary educational discourse?
  • What particular narrative and metaphor issues arise around educational theory and practice in different cultures, including developing countries?
  • Has the introduction of digital technology influenced the way in which teachers and learners employ narrative and metaphor?
  • There has been much concern about how metaphors of ‘accounting’ and ‘the market’ have come to dominate contemporary policy discourse in education. How might fresh metaphor perspectives cause us to view the challenges in education differently, and how might fresh narrative perspectives assist us to envisage fresh solutions?
  • How are narrative and metaphor employed as research tools within the educational context?

Proposals for interactive paper sessions, posters and 75-minute workshops (with an applied focus) are invited from scholars and practitioners in every field of education. Presentations employing innovative or creative formats are particularly welcome and submissions by practising teachers are invited. Submission deadline: 14 October 2016

Registration: 1 October 2016 – 17 February 2017.


For further details, see the conference website at:

The conference will be organized from the Vrije Universiteit teacher training institute (at the Faculty of Behavioural and Movement Sciences) in Amsterdam by a team of education, narrative and metaphor specialists and in collaboration with Metaphor Lab Amsterdam. It
 is the fourth in a series on the role of narrative and metaphor in different disciplines. The first, relating to medicine, was held at UC Berkeley in 2010. The second, relating to politics, was held at Claremont Graduate University in 2012. The third, relating to law, was held at Stanford Law School in early 2016.