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[Commlist] CFP Sugar and Spice and the Not So Nice: Comics Picturing Girlhood. International Symposium
Tue Jul 21 11:07:13 GMT 2020
International Symposium 22- 23 April 2021
*Sugar and Spice and the Not So Nice: Comics Picturing Girlhood *
Comics have long relied on reinforcing reader identity formation whether
through interest, age group or hobbies. Constructed and largely mythical
notions of gendered readership consequently became one of the most
defining aspects of many of these comics. As gendered products, comics
have constructed feminine role models and identities to which girls have
replied with both rebellion and conformity. The aim of this symposium is
to inspire and promote discourse around comparative constructions of
girlhood. This exploration will consider relationships between and
influences on European comics on girls in the twentieth and twenty-first
century. We invite paper proposals under four key areas which can
include, but are by no means limited to, the following:
- *Genre and Categorisation*. What (un)acceptable genres for what girls?
We seek further understanding of the historical, social and economic
preferences for and divisions between gendering of different genres
through discussion of more familiar genres such as romance, as well as
girls’ relationships with less frequently studied genres such as gothic
- *Representations of Girlhood. *What does the representation and
embodiment of girlhood look like in comics? How do comics depict girls’
physicality? We want to examine different kinds of protagonists,
alternative identities of girlhood and the impact of female role models
and feminine role play. We are especially interested in papers that deal
with marginalised identity categories, making explicit room for work on
disabled, black, and trans girls, both diegetic (the characters in the
texts) and real (the writers, illustrators, editors, researchers).
- *Emotional Impact and Response. *How do emotionally loaded
representations of girls such as the coquettish, nymphetic, cute or
grotesque impact readers? We invite a re-consideration of both
conventional and radical aesthetic notions associated with girlishness
which are perpetuated by comics. We additionally strive to illuminate
models of good practice in girlhood comics studies by engaging with the
problematic ethical and emotional questions of how personal identity,
readership and scholarship impact upon one another, and what
implications this has.
- *Practices and Interactivity. *How do girls play with their comics?
Papers could contemplate the differing ways in which children are
encouraged to act as more than just readers. Does gender play a role in
interactions, whether through scrapbooks or paper doll construction,
comics collecting, fandom or letters to the editor?
Please submit a proposal of approximately 400 words for a 20-minute
paper together with a biographical note (100-200 words), to
*(comics /at/ ugent.be) *by 15 September 2020. The conference language is
English. For any questions, please contact us on the above email address.
The *keynote lectures *will be delivered by Associate Prof. Mel Gibson
(Department of Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing,
Northumbria University), Dr. Julia Round (Faculty of Media and
Communication, Bournemouth University) and Dr. Joe Sutliff Sanders
(Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge). The conference will
also involve a book presentation by comic artists Valentine Gallardo and
Martha Van Gheluwe.
This symposium will be organised by Eva Van de Wiele and Dona Pursall,
PhD Students of the COMICS project: An Intercultural History of Children
in Comics from 1865 to Today. The conference will be based at *Ghent
University*, Belgium if health conditions allow, and arrangements for an
online venue will be made if conditions do not allow for an in-person
/This symposium is part of the COMICS project funded by the European
Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research
and innovation programme (grant agreement no. 758502) /
Cross, G. S. (2004). /The Cute and the Cool: Wondrous innocence and
modern American children’s culture/. Oxford University Press.
D’haeyere, H. (2012). /Stopping The Show Film Photography in Mack
Sennett Slapstick Comedies (1917-1933)/.
Gibson, M. (2015). /Remembered reading: Memory, comics and post-war
constructions of British girlhood/. Leuven: Leuven University Press.
Gordon, I. (2016). /Kid Comic Strips: A genre across four countries/.
New York: Palgrave Pivot.
Heimermann, M., & Tullis, B. (Eds.). (2017). /Picturing childhood: youth
in transnational comics /(First edition). University of Texas Press.
Ngai, S. (2015). /Our aesthetic categories: zany, cute, interesting/.
Round, J., (2019). /Gothic for girls: Misty and British comics.
/Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
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