CFP: The Ethics of War and Conflict in Graphic Narratives (EAAS, The Hague, April 2014)

Alon Lischinsky alischinsky at
Wed Jul 17 08:47:01 UTC 2013

(With apologies for cross-posting)

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The Ethics of War and Conflict in Graphic Narratives
European Association for American Studies (EAAS)
The Hague, Netherlands, April 3-6 2014

This session seeks papers by Americanists from a variety of
disciplinary backgrounds who are interested in the ways that graphic
narratives address the ethical dimensions of war and conflict. We are
using the term “graphic narrative” (cf. Chute and deKoven) here to
refer to a variety of genres in comic book format because it usefully
covers comic strips, superhero comics, graphic reportage,
autobiographical comics, etc. From the human rights reportage of Joe
Sacco to the graphic memoirs of Art Spiegelman and Keiji Nakazawa,
from the rhetorics of justice that structure superhero comics to the
ways that culture wars get framed through political cartooning, all
forms of comics art both reflect and participate in the production of
various ethical considerations. These ethical considerations include
but are not limited to: discourses of justice, recognition, and human
rights; the politics of spectatorship and emotion; the costs of war on
both the private level and in the public realm; the politics of
nationalism, citizenship, and belonging; the construction of
masculinity/femininity in the context of war; racial and ethnic
stereotyping in war-related comics.

Proposals for this session can address any form of the comics medium
from any time period and can also focus on non-American comics,
although proposals must demonstrate how the topic comments or frames
“America” in some way. We are particularly interested in papers that
examine the links between comics ethics and comics form, the way the
form itself (frames, gutters, drawing style, sequential effects, the
interaction between words and images, the connections between drawing
and photography etc.) has the potential to speak to larger ethical
considerations. In addition, we are also particularly interested in
papers that contextualize comics by using critical and cultural

Papers can address the following, but we are also open to other,
related research questions as well:

How  do particular graphic narratives frame issues of war and
conflict, and in turn how do these frames shape images of America?

How has the medium of comics been used as a tool for political
propaganda during states of war and conflict?

Are there particular aspects of the medium itself that speak in unique
ways to the ethics of war, justice, and/or conflict? To related issues
of trauma, witnessing, and spectatorship?

How do particular graphic narratives contribute to American public
culture’s ideas of human rights, justice, citizenship, and/or

How might various cultural theories help us understand the links
between comics, ethics, and images of America?

Note: Speakers must be members of their national Association for
American Studies if there exists one in their home country. Speakers
from Canada, Israel, Japan, and the USA must be members of their
respective American Studies Associations, or of another organization
with an appropriate focus (OAH, APSA, etc.).

 All presentations will be 20-minutes. The conference allows for up to
2 sessions with 3-4 speakers in each session. We can therefore accept
up to 8 papers.

 Please send an abstract between 300 and 500 words by October 1st to
the workshop chairs:

 Rebecca Scherr: rebecca.scherr at

Mihaela Precup: mihaela.precup at
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