Call for Papers: From Akira to Žižek: Comics and Contemporary Cultural Theory

Papers are now being invited for the academic comics tome Studies in Comics (volume 3.2).  

Guest editor Tony Venezia tell us this special issue – sub-titled From Akira to Žižek: Comics and Contemporary Cultural Theory –  seeks to provide a forum for new articulations between comics studies and contemporary cultural theory. 

Be warned, it’s heady stuff for those of us with low attention spans, perhaps. “The importance and continued relevance of post-structuralist/postmodernist thought, the Frankfurt school’s studies of mass culture, McLuhan’s media theory and Bourdieu’s critical sociology are rightly acknowledged,” notes Tony.  

“Such figures dominate theoretical academic discourse on comics, as in other areas of cultural studies, often at the expense of engagement with alternative strands of critical thinking. 

Rather than risking stagnation, Tony argues comics studies needs to “critically engage with theoretical paradigms not yet sourced”.  And that’s the brief for this volume.

Submissions are welcome from scholars and enthusiasts that explore the conjunctions of comics and cultural theory.  These could be engagements with the work of specific thinkers or emergent schools including, but not limited to: 

Bruno Latour and ANT – Michel Serres – Paul Virilio – eco-criticism – thing theory – N. Katherine Hayles – Teresa de Lauretis – Franco Moretti – Manuel De Landa – Manuel Castells – cognitive capitalism – transmedia narratives – Giorgio Agamben – Édouard Gissant – Jacques Rancière – Friedrich Kittler – non-representational theory – speculative realism/materialism – Alain Badiou – Zygmunt Bauman – Rosi Braidotti – Antonio Negri – Jan van Dijk – affect theory – Lev Manovitch – Kojin Karatani – visual culture studies – and Slavoj Žižek…

Articles should be 4,000-8,000 words from any discipline with a strong critical focus.  Abstracts should be received by 1st May 2012 in the first instance.  Please send 300 word abstracts to and include the word ARTICLE in the subject heading.  Please indicate the intended word count of the article.  

Completed papers will be required by 15th August 2012.  All submissions are peer reviewed and papers must be in English.  Reviews of publications and exhibitions are also welcome, as are creative submissions, by the same deadlines indicated above.

– More info:,id=168/view,page=2/

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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