Call for Papers for a proposed guaranteed session at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention on January 9-12, 2020, in Seattle, Washington. This roundtable panel is sponsored by the Comics and Graphic Narratives Forum.

On the ten year anniversary of panels sponsored by the MLA Forum for Comics and Graphic Narratives, this roundtable asks established and emerging scholars to reflect on the history, the present, and the future of the field of Comics Studies. We seek narratives on the formation and early years of the Forum, as well as perspectives on where the field and the Forum are headed. This intergenerational conversation explores developments in the field of Comics Studies, including the growth of academic books and series, new academic programs, schools, and conferences, and emerging scholarly societies. In what ways has the MLA Forum mirrored the growth of the discipline and where would we like to see the conversation heading?

Call for Papers for a guaranteed panel at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention, January 9-12, 2020 in Seattle, WA. Please send 250-word abstracts and bios by 15 March 2019 to Susan Kirtley ( and Margaret Galvan ( Responses to individual submissions will be sent out by the beginning of April. All prospective presenters must be current MLA members by no later than April 2019.

Call for Papers for a proposed special session at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention on January 9-12, 2020, in Seattle, Washington. This panel is sponsored by the Comics and Graphic Narratives Forum.

Webcomics are arguably the form of comics with the broadest reach, but scholarship on the subject has been sparse.  As a form that both takes advantage of the representational affordances of comics and the opportunities provided by the connectivity and lack of gatekeeping in the digital realm, webcomics present a rich source of possibility for comics scholars and digital media scholars alike, particularly when considering marginalized creators and characters. This panel seeks to explore the ways that webcomics have shaped and have been shaped by the digital context in which they appear. Proposed papers might consider the following questions:

  • What can the many author-curated archives of webcomics tell us about the history of the digital sphere?
  • How have webcomics changed as digital technology has evolved?
  • How do different web cartoonists, particularly those from marginalized groups, take advantage of the web’s connectivity to create communities?
  • What role do webcomics play alongside other social media in helping authors to shape a digital identity?
  • What frameworks from digital media studies or comics studies might be useful in theorizing webcomics as a form?
  • How might webcomics’ tendency to blur boundaries–between comics and digital media, between print and digital culture, between readers and authors–reframe our understanding of these entities?

Please send 300-word abstract and bio to Leah Misemer ( by 15 March 2019.  This is a proposed special session. Acceptance to the panel does not guarantee acceptance to MLA.  All panelists must be MLA members by April 2019.

Call for Papers for a proposed special session at the Modern Language Association (MLA) Annual Convention on January 9-12, 2020, in Seattle, Washington. This collaborative panel is jointly sponsored by the Comics and Graphic Narratives Forum and the Screen Arts and Culture Forum.

Comics and graphic narratives have long explored the nonhuman as allegorical representatives of the human experience. This panel examines the difference medium makes in adapting comics and graphic narratives for the screen, and how transmedia narratives of the nonhuman represent/challenge our understanding of humanity, for example:

  • How does the change from drawn representations to human actors affect conceptualizations of the non-human?
  • Is the allegorical treatment of race and sexual difference substantive transformed by shifts in medium?
  • Do anthropomorphism or thingification play out differently on screen?
  • Do the ways in which temporality and space structure the different media—the difference in the ways in which readers and viewers see, interpret, and fill in the gaps—affect the narratives attached to the characters?
  • Have multiple delivery modes shifted the allegorical narrative because of presumed changes in audience?

Examples of possible topics include representations of hybridity in manga adaptations; the treatment of Vision from comic to screen; changes to the Inhumans on ABC series adaptations; the varied allegorical treatment of race in X-Men  comics, cartoons, and films; zombies as human allegories in Walking Dead or iZombie and how generic conventions of television shift the narrative; and how representations of violent acts are treated as examples of being less or more human in comics such as A History of Violence and Wanted.

Please send 250-word abstracts and 2-page CV by 15 March 2019 to Rebecca Wanzo ( and Lan Dong ( Submission will receive notification of results by April 1.

Please note this is a proposed, not a guaranteed, session at MLA 2020. It is contingent on approval by the MLA Program Committee. All prospective presenters must be MLA members by April 2019.

The Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures (ASAIL) invites submissions for a special panel on Indigenous comics and graphic novels to be presented at the 2020 MLA Convention taking place January 9-12 in Seattle, Washington.

We invite submissions on Indigenous comics from around the world, including collections like Moonshot: The Indigenous Comics Collection, Sovereign Traces, or Deer Woman: An Anthology. Papers could focus on any of the many comics and graphic novels coming from First Nation writers around Canada as well. Presenters could also focus on Indigenous comics institutions, including publishing presses (High Water Press, Native Realties Press), Indigenous led and focused comic shops (Red Planet Books and Comics), or the annual Indigenous Comic Con held in Albuquerque, NM.

Please send 300-word abstracts, brief (1-2 pp.) CVs, and AV Requests to Jeremy M. Carnes (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) at by March 30, 2019.

Selected Panelists will be notified by April 2, 2019 and must be members of the Modern Language Association by April 7, 2019. Information on membership is available on the MLA website: