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

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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 congress2021.ca.


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