Call for Papers: Transitions 8 – New Directions in Comics Studies 2018

After a year’s hiatus, academics have announced a call for papers for the interdisciplinary Transitions 2018 symposium, taking place at Birkbeck College, London, on Saturday 10th November 2018.

Originally convened by PhD students in 2010, Transitions at Birkbeck College is a platform for emerging research that is free to attend and participate in.

This event is focused towards postgraduate and early career speakers, and usually draws a diverse crowd of both new and more established researchers, as well as creators, aficionados and other interested parties. The team’s aim is to build connections between comics scholars working in diverse academic departments and contexts, to provide a platform for productive debate, and to create a space from which further collaborations can emerge.

The key note speaker will be Dr Maggie Gray of Kingston University, London, author of Alan Moore, Out from the Underground: Cartooning, Performance, and Dissent (Palgrave 2017), with
Professor Roger Sabin of the University of the Arts London as Respondent.

Rather than adopting a narrow theme, the shape and identity of the programme will emerge from the submitted papers. We thus welcome abstracts for 20 minute papers, or pre-constituted panels of three, on topics including (but not limited to):

– Comics, comix, comic strips, graphic novels, manga, manhwa, bande dessinée

– superheroes, adventure, war, horror, fantasy, crime, romance, humour & other genres; documentary/historical/journalistic comics, autobiographical/biographical modes, graphic medicine

– politics of representation in comics, formal approaches, transgressive comics, educational and didactic comics, comics for young adults & children

– readers and fandoms, creators, comics & the law, publishing histories, web-comics & comics exhibitions, transnational circulation, political economy of comics

You can apply by email to Please attach your abstract of 250-300 words plus a short biographical note (preferably as a Word document), indicating ‘abstract’ in the email subject line and your name in the file’s title.

• The deadline for submissions is Friday August 24th 2018. We aim to notify applicants by Monday 17th September 2018


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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