Call for Papers: Transitions 2020, Sketchnote Artist also sought

A call for papers for the Transitions 2020 symposium has been announced, the event taking place at Birkbeck, University of London on Saturday 21st March.

Transitions 9 - 2020

Transitions is a platform for emerging research in comics 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.

Transitions organisers aim 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.

Keynote speakers for Transitions 2020Keynote speakers for Transitions 2020 are Professor Sylvia Kesper-Biermann, Professor of Historical Education Research at the Universität Hamburg (University of Hamburg) since 2017, whose interests include comics and history, comics as educational media, comics and visual literacy; and Dr Nick Sousanis (San Francisco State University), scholar, art critic, and cartoonist. A co-founder of the, he was also the first person at Columbia University to write a dissertation entirely in a comic book format.

The Respondent is Professor Roger Sabin (University of the Arts London), one of a small group of scholars who established Comics Studies in the UK. His book Adult Comics (Routledge) is published in the ‘Major Works’ series, and the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, which he founded, is Routledge’s “most successful journal in the Humanities”. His other comics-related books include Comics, Comix and Graphic Novels (Phaidon) and Marie Duval (co-authored, Myriad); and he is part of the team that put together the Marie Duval Archive.

Rather than adopting a narrow theme, the shape and identity of the Transitions programme will emerge from the submitted papers. Welcomed are 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 and 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 and children, readers and fandoms, creators, comics and the law, publishing histories, web-comics and comics exhibitions, transnational circulation, political economy of comics

Please send your proposal to, attaching 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.

This year the team are also seeking volunteers to sketchnote / visually record each panel, in order to compile a visual record of the day. If you’d be interested in recording a panel, please email a couple of (low-res) images or a link to an online portfolio at the above address with ‘sketchnoting’ in the subject line. You do not need to be submitting a paper to take part in this.

• The deadline for submissions is 1st January 2020. The team aim to notify applicants by Friday 17th January

Click here to view the call for papers as a PDF

Follow Transitions on Twitter @transitionssymp

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