Call for Papers for third ‘Transitions’ comic conference in November

Transitions is a one-day symposium promoting new research and multi-disciplinary academic study of comics, comix, manga, bande dessinée and other forms of sequential art, now in its third year, with the next event taking place as part of Comica 2012 on Saturday 3rd November 2012 at the School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, London WC1E 7HX.

Comics studies occupy a unique multi-disciplinary middle-space, one that encourages cross-disciplinary pollination and a convergence of distinct knowledges: literary and cultural studies, visual arts and media, modern languages, sociology, geography and more.

Transitions is intended as a platform where different perspectives and methodologies; cultural, historical, or formal, can be brought together and shared, an event devoted to promoting new research into comics in all their forms. Rather than restricting itself to a specific theme, the symposium will highlight research from postgraduate students and early career lecturers.

By thinking about comics across different disciplines, the intention is to stimulate and provoke debate and to address a wide spectrum of questions, to map new trends and provide a space for dialogue and further collaboration to emerge.

The first Transitions symposium was the successful opening event of Comica 2010 and in November 2011 Birkbeck hosted Transitions 2, testifying to a thriving UK comics scholarship emerging from a diverse range of disciplinary settings.

Transitions 3 is part of Comica 2012: the London International Comics Festival, and is organised in association with Birkbeck, University of London, the School of Film and Television Studies and the School of American Studies at the University of East Anglia, Studies in Comics, European Comic Art, the Contemporary Fiction Seminar and The Comics Grid.

Dr. Roger Sabin, Reader in Popular Culture at Central St. Martins, will once again act as respondent.

Organisers welcome abstracts for twenty minute papers of 250 – 300 words. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

International iterations: manga, bande dessinée , fumetti etc. – children’s comics – superheroes – non-fiction comics – the (im)materiality of comics – formalist approaches – cultural histories –adaptation/ remediation – autographics – early comics – comic strips – small press –alternative comics/ underground commix – comics narratologies – political comics – comics and cultural theory – contexts of production and circulation – audiences – comics and the archive – subjectivity in comics – graphic medicine – fan subcultures – comics as historiography – key creators…

– Abstracts should be submitted by 30th July 2012 to Hallvard, Nina and Ed at

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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