Call for Papers
Conjuring a New Normal: Monstrous Routines and Mundane Horrors
in Pandemic Lives and Dreamscapes
A Special Collection for The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship
Deadline (full papers): 1 April 2022
Publication: Spring 2023
Special Collection Editors: Alexandra Alberda, Anna Feigenbaum, Julia Round (Bournemouth University, UK)
With support from the journal editorial team
This special collection will focus on the COVID-19 pandemic in contemporary comics and explore medium-specific potentials and limits in conveying these. The pandemic has revealed ominous and unnerving risks previously buried in our everyday events and lives. It has changed the ways we congregate for rituals like wedding and funerals and altered mundane routines from supermarket shopping to getting haircuts. A constant spectre of debt and fears of losing both loved ones and livelihoods – homes, jobs and social lives – lurk behind any attempt at building a new normal. Meanwhile, collective anxiety and living in constant states of uncertainty have led to the mass disruption of sleep patterns as we are haunted by future worries and the ghosts of past traumas.
We invite submissions that explore how comics and their creators have attempted to convey the strangeness and experience of these times. Suggested themes include (but are not limited to):
· old and new monsters: disease, politics
· masks, PPE, uniformity
· transgression and border-crossing: anti-maskers, protests
· othering: racism, blame, segregation
· technological overload, data surveillance
· medical contexts and treatments
· essential workers and nightmarish environments
· vulnerability (physical, mental, economic)
· paranoia, uncertainty, the unknown
· silence, exclusion, isolation
· sequentiality and repetition
· fragmentations, breakdowns, deconstructions
· hauntings (of loneliness, ghosts of old lives)
· excesses and absences (of time, consumption, socialisation)
· gaps and gutters: buried memories, hidden populations, silenced voices
· emergent platforms for comics creation and distribution
· intertextual metaphors (The Shining, The Stand, Groundhog Day)
· emergent signifiers and terminology, metonymy, synecdoche
· aftermath, legacies, echoes
In following the mission of the journal, we are looking for contributions that engage with the unique attributes of the comics medium. We are particularly keen on receiving research article submissions (rather than other formats such as reviews or interviews). We also invite creative and practitioner pieces in comics format that reflect on the pandemic.
We especially invite research on underrepresented comics, LGBTQ+ comics, women’s comics, and comics by BAME/BIPOC creators. Contributions may use any relevant methodology to address the topic and should follow the journal’s guidelines for submissions. For further information please see https://www.comicsgrid.com/
Peer review will be double blind and we aim to bring together review teams of comics studies scholars and experts from other disciplines relevant to submissions. We also welcome suggestions of experts we could invite as reviewers in your area of research.
Please note that The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship does not consider submissions on the basis of abstracts only; we only receive and consider full versions of submissions via our journal management system.
Licensing and Archiving
The Comics Grid provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. Authors of articles published in The Comics Grid remain the copyright holders and grant third parties the right to use, reproduce, and share the original contents of the article according to the Creative Commons-Attribution license agreement.
The Comics Grid is published by the Open Library of Humanities. Unlike many open-access publishers, the Open Library of Humanities does not charge any author fees. This does not mean that we do not have costs. Instead, our costs are paid by an international library consortium.
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For full submissions information, please go to https://www.comicsgrid.com/submissions/.
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