Call for Papers: Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Comics

Call for Papers: Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Comics


Online – University of Alberta
June 3 – 4, 2021

The Canadian Society for the Study of Comics invites proposals for presentations and pre-constituted roundtables on any and all aspects of comics, broadly conceived. This year’s conference will be held online on Thursday, June 3 and Friday, June 4 as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

Last year, our annual conference was cancelled due to COVID-19. For our 2021 conference, we will be carrying forward last year’s theme of Bridging Divides: Confronting Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism to ensure it receives the attention and focus it deserves. We are especially interested in proposals that examine comics through the lens of critical race theory to address the politics of representation and social justice. Potential topics for proposals include the following:

  • Representation of BIPOC individuals and communities in comics

  • Works by and for Indigenous and/ racialized communities

  • Comics engaging with Black Lives Matters and other social justice movements addressing racial oppression

  • Decolonizing comics studies in the classroom

  • Representations of race in Manga

  • The impact of coloring on depictions of racialized characters

  • Confrontations with colonial historical narratives

  • Representations of police in superhero comics (including depictions of the policing of BIPOC communities or comics that address the police abolition movement)

  • Social justice in the professional practices of the comics industry

Online Format

Due to travel restrictions and health concerns surrounding COVID-19, this year’s Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences will be held entirely online. The CSSC/SCEBD’s conference will take place online as well, hosted through the Federation’s video conferencing platform. Attendees will also have access to the many academic and career workshops being operated by the Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences, as well as by the University of Alberta.

In order to fully leverage the online platform, we invite proposals for presentations in a variety of formats. Participants will have the option to present their research as a traditional conference paper during their panel or to submit work for circulation to the membership prior to their panel. To this end, we will accept proposals for research presented in any of the following formats:

  • Live presentations (15 minutes)

  • Video presentations (10 – 15 minutes)

  • Written blog articles with images (2000 – 3000 words)

  • Annotated slides (10 – 15 slides)

  • Graphic essays (posters, comics, infographics, Instagram posts)

  • Twitter essays (10+ posts w/ images)

Returning Presenters

If you were accepted to our cancelled 2020 conference and have not participated in one of our online symposiums, you are invited to join us to present your research in June. Those who are interested in presenting the same paper that was proposed in 2020 will receive automatic acceptance to this year’s conference. Please fill out this form to confirm your participation and the details of your proposal.

If you have participated in one of our online symposiums and would like to return to present your paper at the 2021 conference, you will need to provide an updated abstract to indicate how your research has progressed. Your proposal should not be identical to the research presented at the symposium. Please be sure to fill out the updated abstract section when you complete the form.

If you were accepted in 2020 but are interested in submitting a brand-new proposal, we ask that you once again go through the formal submission process.

Submission process

To submit an application to present at the CSSC/SCEBD 2021 Conference, please fill out this form, including a 500 – 700-word proposal, as well as a 250-word abstract suitable for a general audience. Submissions are due by midnight on Friday, January 1.

All conference participants must be members in good standing of the CSSC/SCEBD and must register for the conference through the Congress website.

As a member of the Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences, the CSSC/SCEBD is able to nominate one graduate student presenter for the new Congress Graduate Merit Award. If you are enrolled in a Master’s or doctoral program at a Canadian post-secondary institution, please indicate you would like to be considered for this $500 prize on the form.

About Congress

The Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is an annual umbrella meeting for over seventy Canadian scholarly associations. Each year, it meets on the campus of a different host university. In addition to the individual association conferences, a series of lectures, workshops, and cultural events are organized by the host institution and the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. Information on the Congress and its constituent conferences may be found at



We are very excited to announce that the first in our new series of research symposiums will be taking place this Friday, October 9 at 3pm EST.

These symposiums will be a chance for our members to share research that was originally planned for the 2020 conference in an online roundtable. Attendance is open to CSSC/SCEBD members in good standing, so please log on and join us!

Our first symposium follows the theme of Challenging Narratives and will feature work from three of our members:

  • Kaarina Mikalson – Superheroes in the Chthulucene: Eric Kostiuk Williams’ Condo Heartbreak Disco

  • Brandi Estey-Burtt – “Transableism”: Comics and Anti-Oppressive Education for Professional Practice

  • Dallas Hunt – The Last of the Krees: Captain Marvel as Settler Replacement Narrative

If you would like to take part in the symposium as a spectator and receive access to the participants’ research documents, please fill out the form found here. If you have not purchased your membership for 2020, you can do so here.

We will be holding three more of these research symposiums in the months leading up to our 2021 conference. The next one will take place in late November focusing on the theme of Nation, Identity, and Belonging.

Congress 2020 is cancelled

Congress 2020 is cancelled

la version française suit

Dear CSSC/SCEBD members,

This probably doesn’t come as a big surprise, but the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences and Western University have just announced that Congress 2020 is cancelled due to the COVID-19 emergency. We are obviously disappointed that we won’t be able to gather to share research and catch up with friends and colleagues, but we believe this is the right choice to protect the health of our members and our communities.

The Federation is putting supports in place for member associations who wish to transition to an online conference, and once more information is available, our CSSC/SCEBD conference committee will be making some decisions about if and in what form we will proceed with our conference this year. Once that decision has been made, refunds for attendees who have already registered will be available.

So, this announcement still has a number of question marks around it, but we wanted to give you the information that we can now so you can begin cancelling any travel plans you may have already made. We will do our best to keep you informed in the coming days and weeks, but if you have any thoughts you’d like to share about how we move forward from here, we would welcome your input at


Benjamin Woo, PhD
CSSC/SCEBD President and Program Chair

Chères.chers membres de la SCEBD/CSSC,

Ceci n’est sans doute pas une surprise, mais la FSH et Western U. viennent d’annoncer que le Congrès 2020 est annulé dû au COVID-19. Nous sommes évidemment déçus qe nous ne pourrons pas nous retrouver pour partager notre recherche et revoir nos amis et collègues, mais nous croyons que c’est le bon choix  pour protéger la santé de nos membres et nos communautés.

La Fédération est en train de mettre en place des soutiens pour les associations membres qui voudraient transitionner vers une conférence en ligne, et une fois que la nouvelle sera disponible, notre comité pour la conférence de la SCEBD/CSSC prendra des décisions sur comment procéder pour la conférence de cette année. Une fois la décision prise, les remboursements aux participants qui ont déjà payé seront effectuables.

Cet annoncement laisse encore un certain nombre de questions ouvertes, mais nous voulions vous informer de ce que nous savons dès maintenant pour que vous puissiez annuler les plans de voyage que vous auriez déjà préparés. Nous ferons de notre mieux  pour vous informer dans les jours et semaines qui viennent. Si vous avez des idées que vous voulez partager sur comment procéder, nous les accueillerons avec plaisir sur


Benjamin Woo, PhD
CSSC/SCEBD Président et du  organisateur du Programme




Hi CSSC/SCEBD Members and dear readers!

I’ve got two exciting CFPs to pass along that I’m sure will be of interest to some of you.

The first CFP is for the Popular Culture Association of Canada Conference, which is being held May 7-9th, 2020, at Concordia University in Montreal. The theme is “Pop and Politics: State of the Field/State of the World.” Deadline for submissions is January 15th, and you can find the call here, on the UPenn CFP database.

The second CFP is for the 2020 Graphic Medicine Conference, which is being held July 16-19th, 2020, in Toronto. The conference theme is “Graphic Medicine in Troubled Times: Health, Social Justice and Human Rights.” Deadline for submissions is January 31st, and you can find the call here, on the organization’s website.

The text of both CFPs is also pasted below.

Any questions about either conference should be directed to the organizers of those conferences.

Also, don’t forget that the deadline for our own conference, which is being held as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, June 3-4th, at Western University in London, Ontario, is just one month away! You have until January 15th to submit proposals, and may find the call here in English, et ici en francais.

Happy holidays to all!
-Anna Peppard
VP Communications (English), Canadian Society for the Study of Comics

Pop and Politics:
State of the Field/State of the World

Annual Conference of the Popular Culture Association of Canada
Concordia University, Montreal, QC, May 7-9, 2020

After a one-year hiatus, the annual conference of the Popular Culture Association of Canada is back and looking forward—as well as up, left, right, down, and back. For our 9th annual conference, which will take place at Concordia University in Montreal, QC from May 7th-9th, 2020, we’re reflecting on the state of our field by inviting discussion on the relationship between popular culture and politics, broadly conceived.

Precisely because it’s popular, popular culture is often derided as politically conservative; for the same reason, it’s also critiqued as socially liberal. These disagreements are not, of course, surprising; popularity necessitates the inclusion and complex negotiation of myriad political beliefs, themes, and contexts. The rise of populist political movements around the world—and the reinvigoration of activism and progressive politics in response to these movements—has made the relationship between pop and politics especially obvious; now, more than ever, the state of popular culture is inseparable from the state of the world.

Our conference is global, interdisciplinary, and multidisciplinary; we welcome any and all perspectives on popular texts, industries, and reading practices. In addition, presentations can be historical or contemporary; we encourage reflections on the past that has shaped our present and the present that shapes our future.

Possible topics may include:

  • The depiction of political movements and controversies within popular texts (film, television, literature, fashion, comics, architecture, social media, sports, games, music, advertising, etc.)

  • Intersections of popular culture and populism

  • The politics of fandom

  • Campaigns for diversity and the backlashes against them

  • The effects of political movements and policy on media industries

  • The politics of teaching and studying popular culture

Proposals for 15 to 20-minute papers should be submitted by January 15th, 2020. Pre-constituted panels and roundtables are welcome; these should be submitted as a single package. Proposals should be a maximum of 300 words and must include a 50-word biography of the presenter(s). Panels should include individual proposals for each paper; roundtables only require a single proposal, in addition to biographies of the presenters. Proposals, and any questions about the conference, should be sent to:

All presenters will need to become members of the association in order to be featured in the program. Conference registration fees will automatically include 2020 membership. Each presenter may only present a single paper, but can participate in a roundtable in addition to presenting a paper.

Membership information and the conference program will be available on our website:

About PCAC:

The purpose of the Popular Culture Association of Canada is to promote scholarly understanding of popular culture, broadly conceived, in Canada and elsewhere.  It will serve to bring together academics, students and practitioners in the field of popular culture.

How we define the field of popular culture is open to some debate; for example, there are numerous definitions on the web.  Our conception of popular culture is deliberately broad, encompassing the communicative texts and practices of everyday life, past and present, mass-mediated and non-mass-mediated, Canadian and otherwise, local, regional, national and global in scope. At the same time, our existence as a national association is predicated in part on encouraging the study of Canadian popular culture and/or the study of popular culture interpreted from a Canadian perspective.

The Popular Culture Association of Canada is one of a number of  national or international popular culture associations: others include the Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand and new associations in Europe and south-east Asia, in addition to the long-established Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association and its regional chapters in the United States.

July 16-19, 2020

The 2020 Graphic Medicine conference aims to encourage critical dialogues and interventions in/during troubled times with a specific emphasis on social justice and human rights. This year’s theme seeks connections between health, equity, and justice in an era of rapid ecological and societal upheaval. We invite submissions that address the relationship between health and such upheavals, as revealed through comics in its many forms (e.g. graphic novels, memoir, comic strips, manga, mini comics, web comics). Presentations are invited that explore the following themes (as well as others that are not listed):

  • Social determinants of health

  • Environmental racism and slow violence

  • Institutional racism and other forms of structural violence

  • Queer health

  • Food insecurity

  • Securitization of borders

  • indigenous health and healing

  • Patriarchal medicine

  • Prison justice

  • Opioid crisis

  • Care work and disability justice

  • Migrant and refugee rights

  • Market capitalism

  • Health care access

Presentation Formats:

Lightning talks: These 5-minute presentations should provide an engaging and concentrated synopsis of new, ongoing, or completed scholarly, creative, or professional work in Graphic Medicine. This format is designed with the promotion of sustained conversation in mind.

Oral presentations: These 15-20 minute presentations are largely for work that requires and engages a longer presentation format than a lightning talk.

Panel discussions: These 90-minute interviews or presentations by a panel of speakers are meant to be collaborative, interdisciplinary, or address a single topic from a variety of perspectives.

Posters: Proposals for posters should include a title and an abstract with accompanying images if necessary.

Workshops: These 90-minute, hands-on, activity-driven sessions are for participants who wish to obtain particular skills with regard to comics. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:

drawing for health

accessing personal stories

comics and storytelling

mini-comic tutorial

Submission Process:

Proposal abstracts should not exceed 300 words and may be submitted in Word or PDF format. Please include the following information in this order:

  • author(s)

  • affiliation

  • email address

  • phone number

  • title of abstract

  • body of abstract

  • sample images or web links to work being discussed (if applicable)

  • presentation format preference (see options above)

  • equipment needed (e.g. AV projection, whiteboard, easel, etc.)

Proposals should be submitted by January 31st, 2020 to:

Abstracts will be peer-reviewed by an interdisciplinary selection committee. Notification of acceptance or rejection will be completed by the week of March 15.

While we cannot guarantee that presenters will receive their first choice of presentation format, we will attempt to honour preferences, and we will acknowledge the receipt of all proposals.

Please note: Presenters are responsible for costs associated with their session (e.g. handouts and supplies) and personal expenses (travel, hotel, and registration fees). All presenters must register for the conference. Discounted rates and some limited scholarships will be available for students, artists, and others in need.

Proposals should be submitted no later than January 31st, 2020!

Call for Papers: Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Comics

Call for Papers: Annual Conference of the Canadian Society for the Study of Comics

Western University

June 3–4, 2020

The Canadian Society for the Study of Comics / Société canadienne pour l’étude de la bands dessinée invites proposals for papers on any and all aspects of comics, broadly conceived (including cartoons, comic strips, comic books, graphic novels, manga, webcomics, picture books, and visual poetry) to be presented at our 2020 annual conference, which will be held at Western University (London, Ontario) on June 3–4 as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

We welcome inter- and multi-disciplinary approaches to the study of comics from across the social sciences and humanities. In keeping with the theme of this year’s Congress, Bridging Divides: Confronting Colonialism and Anti-Black Racism, we are particularly interested in critical analyses of race and racism in comics or proposals that explore comics’ engagements with anti-oppression struggles. Potential topics include but are not limited to:

  • decolonizing comics criticism, teaching, and research

  • works by and for Indigenous and/or racialized communities

  • diversity in comics and graphic novels

  • the politics of representation in comics journalism and social movement comics

  • comics for social justice in professional practice (comics and education, graphic medicine, graphic justice, etc.)

Please submit a 500–750 word abstract, as well as a short summary of no more than 250 words suitable for a non-specialist or interdisciplinary audience, with contact information by January 15, 2020: click here to access the application form. All conference participants must be members of the CSSC/SCEBD and registered for both the CSSC/SCEBD conference and the Congress (see

As a member of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the CSSC/SCEBD is able to nominate one graduate student presenter for the new Congress Graduate Merit Award. If you are enrolled in a Master’s or doctoral program at a Canadian post-secondary institution, please indicate that you would like to be considered for this $500 prize on your submission.

About the CSSC/SCEBD

The CSSC/SCEBD is a national, bilingual scholarly association that promotes the academic study of comics. Founded in 2010, the CSSC/SCEBD is a venue for Canadian and international scholars to discuss all aspects of comics as an art form and cultural phenomenon.

Call for Papers: The Middle Spaces Academic Round Table

Call for Papers: The Middle Spaces Academic Round Table

The Middle Spaces, an award-winning blog that covers comics, music, and culture, invites submissions for an academic roundtable on the subject of letter columns and other comics book paratexts to be co-edited by Osvaldo Oyola and Leah Misemer and published in early 2020.

Those interested in contributing should email a clearly articulated question they seek to explore in their essay, an abstract of no more than 200 words describing their approach to the question, and the title of a comics text they plan to use as an example or subject for their contribution. In addition, please include a brief bio. Send contributions to

Possible Topics Include:

    • Letter columns: columns that extend the fictional world of the comic, extended conversations, letter hacks, planted letters, community building

    • Advertisements: perceived audience, incorporation of comic characters into ads, selling ad space, fake or mock ads

    • Circulation Info: copyright, sales numbers

    • Editorial: creator credits, political responses, bullpen as virtual space, summaries, continuity and footnotes

    • Covers: various cover elements (e.g. Code symbol, pricing, issue labeling), cover narratives and connection (or lack thereof) to inner content

Please submit proposals by Monday, November 18, and submitters will be notified by or on Monday, December 16. We hope to publish the roundtable in the first quarter of 2020.

You can download a Word document version of this CFP for sharing, here.

CFP for Edmonton Comics and Entertainment Expo’s Academic Track 2019

CFP for Edmonton Comics and Entertainment Expo’s Academic Track 2019

Submission deadline: August 10, 2019

The 2019 Edmonton Comics and Entertainment Expo will be held on September 20-22, 2019 at the Edmonton Expo Centre. The Expo’s academic track is a unique opportunity to engage the public with scientific research and scholarly work in a culturally and academically accessible way. The academic track talks are 45 minutes long (30 minutes for the presentation plus 15 minutes for Q&A) and are dedicated to cutting edge research and the linkages between it and pop-culture.

A non-exhaustive list of possible topics includes:

Epidemiological outbreaks in sci-fi and real life
Exobiology and non-carbon based life forms
Aspects of Space exploration (engineering and mining, astronomy, kinesiology, etc.)
Technology and new media’s representation in pop-culture
Reflections of socio-political issues in pop-culture contents
History of pop-culture contents and products
Fan communities and fan practices
Pop-culture creators and their work
and many more.

The academic track has four sub-streams. Please review these carefully and consider applying for the one most fitting your topic:

Cutting-Edge Research Talk – talk that is directly linked to your academic work to date and a specific genre, pop-culture content, or phenomenon. Past examples include: the representation of revenge in Hollywood films and real-life, the brain functions of competitive scrabble players, the gender assignment of Molluscs and Hutts (from the Star Wars Universe), Feminist thought and witchcraft, and the likes of it.

The Social Labconducting research that has to do with pop-culture or with the Expo’s patrons? Need participants for your research? The Edmonton Comics and Entertainment Expo also accept requests to reserve space for research purposes with the convention’s patrons (subject to the researchers obtaining ethical approval by their university’s board of ethics and an internal Expo review process). Past examples for research conducted at the expo include Surveying gamers about their news sources, media reception studies, fan-culture focus groups, gamification experiments, ESL acquisition research, etc. Requests for sessions of between 45 minutes to 2 hours can be submitted using the same web-form. Successful applicants will be contacted with further information by the coordinators as early as possible to set up the required logistics in advance.

Scholarly Talktalks that are related to your discipline but not directly to your research. Past examples include Professional wrestling as a media product, Comic-books circulation studies, Zombie genre content and the human condition, philosophy of authenticity and alien food, global warming in sci-fi novels, and so on.

Undergrads trackDo you have a student who’s not a professional scholar (yet), but had a great term paper about pop culture that got an A+? Help them Start their public speaking career here and let them know of the Expo’s academic track. In the past undergraduate students discussed gaming ethics, Gender issues in TV dramas, Retconning, and continuity in comic book narratives, classic drama and its modern adaptations and more.

To submit your proposals, please go to


Send an up to 500 words abstract to

Submission deadline: August 10, 2019

Accepted presenters will receive a free day pass to the convention for the day of their talk valued.

Please contact Ofer Berenstein (, the academic track coordinator, with any question you might have.

Call for Chapters: “Polyptych: Adaptation, Television, and Comics”

Call for Chapters: “Polyptych: Adaptation, Television, and Comics”

Vernon Press invites chapter proposals on Adaptation in Comics and Television for an edited collection Polyptych: Adaptation, Television, and Comics, edited by Reginald Wiebe (Concordia University of Edmonton).

All areas of study, with a common goal of engaging the cultural, social, philosophical, and material significance of the reciprocal adaptation of television and comicbooks are invited to participate.

Comicbooks and television have been adapting almost as long as either has existed, yet scant work has been done on the relationship between these two mass media. Adaptation theory helps us navigate a world of transmedia properties and media conglomerates where models of stable text and singular author have little useful purchase. The creative collaboration and corporate origin of these projects demands more than a reading for theme; rather, the nature of the relationship between comicbooks and television requires a range of interpretive strategies.

The scope of the present call is broad. All topics regarding the intersection of adaptation, television, and comics will be considered. Possible topics include:

television adaptations of comicbooks
comicbook adaptations of television shows
comicbooks adapted from television shows that were themselves adapted from comicbooks (e.g. DuckTales, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Superboy, Batman ’66, Smallville, the comics based on the CW’s “Arrow-verse” suite of shows)
parallel development of brands within comicbooks and television (e.g. Transformers, GI Joe, The Walking Dead)
Television series that continued as comicbooks after ending (e.g. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Jericho, The Legend of Korra)
the parallel material history of comicbooks and television
serialization and narrative strategies on comicbooks and television
the role of comicbook adaptations before the advent of the VCR and home entertainment
the role of comicbook adaptations after the advent of the VCR and home entertainment
popular but critically neglected adaptations such as Archie, Tintin, Casper the Friendly Ghost, The Addams Family, and Adventure Time

Deadline for proposals: January 1, 2020

Deadline for first drafts: July 1, 2020

How to submit your proposal

Please submit one-page proposals (200 words approx.) including an annotated summary and a short biographical note.

For further questions or to submit your proposal, you can email Reginald Wiebe (

A paper that has been published previously may not be included.

Selected abstracts will be notified by the end of January 2020, and full chapters should be submitted by July 1, 2020. Complete chapter lengths should be between 6000-7000 words.

About the publisher

Vernon Press is an independent publisher of scholarly books in the social sciences and humanities. We work closely with authors, academic associations, distributors, and library information specialists to identify and develop high quality, high impact titles.

More information on




Our first conference as part of the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences was a great success. Over two days, we gathered for forty papers representing the breadth of contemporary comics scholarship, two great roundtables, including our joint session with the Canadian Society for the Study of Education, and of course our keynote lecture from Prof. Frederick Luis Aldama.

Thank you to the presenters and session chairs, Program Chair Benjamin Woo, Local Area Coordinator Kevin McNeilly, and the volunteers who reviewed abstracts: Peter Bryan, Keith Friedlander, Orion Ussner Kidder, Frederik Byrn Køhlert, Natalie Garceau, Paul Malone, Anna Peppard, Chris Reyns-Chikuma, and Sylvain Rheault.

We’re looking forward to taking the CSSC/SCEBD conference to Western University next year for Congress 2020—watch for our CFP in the fall.

-Benjamin Woo, CSSC/SCEBD President