Archive for May 2019

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[Commlist] CFP: participation and communities in comics symposium

Thu May 02 21:41:19 GMT 2019

Please see below the EXTENDED CFP DEADLINE for the symposium Participation and Communities in Comics. DL for the proposals is on 8 May.

Best regards,
Anna Vuorinne & Laura Antola
Coordinators of the network Comics and Society: Research, Art, and Cultural Politics


28 July – 4 August 2019
Roosta, Estonia

We invite scholars, students, artists, and other professionals working with comics to the second symposium of the network Comics and Society: Research, Art, and Cultural Politics (2019-2021). Comics and Society is an interdisciplinary three-year initiative that aims to cultivate our understanding of comics as a social and socially defined phenomenon and to strengthen the status of comic art and comics scholarship in the Nordic-Baltic region. Through academic discussion, artistic work, and social engagement we explore how comics take part in making sense of societies, social phenomena, and societal changes especially, but not exclusively, in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

In our second symposium Participation and Communities in Comics we will explore comics and comics cultures as a form of participation and building of communities. Throughout their history comics have taken part in making of, for example, national and cultural communities by establishing communal identities and communicating generally accepted values. On the other hand, comics have always been used for critical social commentary and building of subcultures and alternative communities.

People engage with comics in many different ways. Reading, making fan art and fan fiction, blogging, cosplaying, writing on forums and message boards are all parts of today’s participatory cultures around comics. Participation and cooperation are important to not only fans and readers of comics, but to the creators as well. Comics associations, societies and other initiatives help creators with networking, publishing, and promoting. Similarly, comics are often made by teams of two or more people. Communities around comics can be inclusive and exclusive at the same time. A fan community can feel very welcoming to certain people, while others are marginalized. The aim of the symposium is to investigate how comics as well as reading and creating them establish communities, create sense of belonging, and support social empowerment especially, but not exclusively, in the Nordic-Baltic region.

Some of the questions we would like to address in the summer symposium include: – What is the significance of gaining support from a network and working together? – Are comics still building communities based on nationality or are we living in the times of transnational comics cultures? – What is the relationship between comics and social activism? How have comics been used and what makes comics useful for the purposes of activism? – Can comics and comics workshops support social empowerment? What kind of communities are built around comics workshops and what is the role of the community in the process? – How are fan communities built and what kinds of meaning do they carry for those who engage in them? What is the role of comic cons and festivals in participatory comics cultures? – How do comics tackle the questions of inclusion and exclusion in communities and in society? How can these questions be addressed by scholars, artists, fans etc?

We welcome proposals from scholars, students, artists as well as other practitioners working with comics. The basic length of a presentation will be 20 minutes followed by 10 minutes discussion. We also welcome proposals for longer participatory workshops. If you would like to organize a workshop, please discuss the details individually with the coordinators. Please send a proposal (max. 300 words) and a short biographical statement to Laura Antola ((lahean /at/ and Anna Vuorinne ((ahvuor /at/ by 1 May 2019. This is also the deadline for the application of scholarships and grants (for details, see below). If you would like to attend the symposium without presenting your work, please send us a biographical statement and briefly explain your interest in participating. However, priority is given to applicants who will present their work. The preliminary programme will be announced in mid-May at There you will also find more information about NSU and c!
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See the full CFP for more information on our website:

Practical information about the Nordic Summer University Summer Session, including registration, the NSU scholarship program, and transportation can be found on the NSU newsletter:

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