Call For Papers
This year’s Comics and Medicine Conference invites participants to share and reflect upon how graphic medicine works. In the context of health and its relationship to comics, “work” can refer to a number of activities: the work of medical and related professionals; the functioning of our bodies and minds; the creation or study of artistic and educational materials; the study of the archive or images/texts; work with reader communities; and the organization of collaborative community health efforts. The spaces in which “work” takes place provide another point of reflection: public healthcare centers, classrooms, home studios, private clinics, libraries, and bedsides. In this relatively new interdisciplinary field, we hope to document and refine—from our various perspectives and experiences—the territory where cartooning and health care intersect.
We invite the submission of a wide variety of abstracts focusing on health, medicine, and comics in any form (e.g. graphic novels and memoir, comic strips, manga, mini comics, web comics) that examine or showcase topics including, but not limited to:
• the use of comics and cartooning for clinical interventions and teaching • navigating institutional headwinds
• addressing time constraints to creative work
• professional development and engagement with graphic medicine • access to funding sources
• establishing productive collaborative relationships
• planning and completing graphic medicine projects
• engaging communities of care
• work in the context of disability justice and advocacy
• representing the ‘work’ of bodies with relation to diagnosis and treatment • unseen labor in treatment and care
• spaces of creative production
• creative labor and the tools of graphic medicine
• outcome and efficacy research
Presentation Formats – please read closely as these descriptions have changed
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 collaborative, interdisciplinary, or other work that requires and engages a longer presentation format.
Panel discussions: These 90-minute interviews or presentations by a panel of speakers are meant to address a single topic from a variety of perspectives.
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:
o drawing for health 101
o accessing personal stories o comics and storytelling
o mini-comic tutorial
Proposal abstracts should not exceed 300 words and may be submitted in Word or PDF format. Please include the following information in this order:
• 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 30, 2018 to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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 honor 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 30, 2018.
Confirmed Keynote Speakers:
David Macaulay is perhaps best known for the award-winning international bestseller The Way Things Work. This brilliant and highly accessible guide to the workings of machines was dubbed “a superb achievement” by the New York Times and became a New York Times bestseller. Using a humorous woolly mammoth to illustrate principles, Macaulay offers even the least technically minded reader a window of understanding into the complexities of today’s technology. He uses this same humorous approach and uncanny ability to explain complicated systems in The Way We Work, which tackles the most intricate machine of all: the human body. His books have sold more than three million copies in the United States alone, and his work has been translated into a dozen languages. His many awards include the Caldecott Medal and Honor Awards, the Boston Globe Horn Book Award, the Christopher Award, and the Washington Post Children’s Book Guild Nonfiction Award. He was a two-time nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award and received the Bradford Washburn Award, presented by the Museum of Science in Boston to an outstanding contributor to science. In 2006 he was awarded the prestigious MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, given “to encourage people of outstanding talent to pursue their own creative, intellectual, and professional inclinations.”
Susan Merrill Squier is Brill Professor Emerita of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and
English at Pennsylvania State University and Einstein Visiting Fellow, Freie Universität, Berlin,
where she is part of the PathoGraphics Project examining the relationship between illness
narratives and works of graphic medicine. Squier’s many books include Epigenetic Landscapes:
Drawing as Metaphor (Duke, 2017), Graphic Medicine Manifesto (2015), Liminal Lives:
Imagining the Human at the Frontiers of Biomedicine (2004), Babies in Bottles: Twentieth-
Century Visions of Reproductive Technology, and Poultry Science, Chicken Culture: A Partial
Alphabet. She has been scholar in residence at the Max Planck Institute for the History of
Science, Berlin; the Zentrum für Literatur-und Kulturforschung, Berlin; The Bellagio Study and
Conference Center, Italy; Visiting Distinguished Fellow, LaTrobe University, Melbourne,
Australia; and Fulbright Senior Research Scholar, Melbourne, Australia. She is a section editor
of Reproductive BioMedicine and Society and a member of the editorial boards of
Configurations, Literature and Medicine, and Journal of Medical Humanities. Her co-edited
special issue of Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science and Technology on “Graphic
Medicine” was published by Johns Hopkins University Press in 2014, and with Dr. Ian Williams
she co-edits the book series Graphic Medicine at Penn State University Press.
For more conference information, check out the Center for Cartoon Studies site.