Comics on the Couch
A Special issue of American Imago
Edited by Vera J. Camden
Professor English Kent State University,
Training and Supervising Analyst, Cleveland Psychoanalytic Center
Psychoanalysis has from its origins been imbricated in culture, both high and low. As we all know, Sigmund Freud defined and illustrated his pivotal discoveries through explications of folklore and fairy tales as well as Sophocles, Shakespeare and other venerable texts. Mental health practitioners have long been invested in comics for better and worse: from psychologist, William Moulton Marston’s creation of Wonder Woman to psychiatrist, Fredric Wertham’s infamous attack on comics as a corrupter of youth. Recent decades have witnessed a burgeoning of creative and critical productivity in the intersection of comics, graphic novels and psychoanalysis, as evidenced, for instance, in Alison Bechdel’s memoir, Are You My Mother?
This special issue of American Imago takes as its central touchstone the words of French psychoanalyst Didier Anzieu, who wrote that “psychoanalysis has a greater need of people who think in images than of scholars, scholiasts, abstract or formalistic thinkers.” Contributors should explore how psychoanalysis may understand the power of drawn images, their relationship to time, and the affective states that are evoked by these images. How can psychoanalysis both as a clinical practice and as a theoretical discourse illuminate the history of comics and the co-mixing of visual and verbal forms? What are the intersections with other areas of comics studies including graphic medicine or graphic journalism? What does the comics medium allow psychoanalysis as a methodology to see and find meaningful? What do comics show us about the unconscious?
Please send abstracts of no more than 300 words and a one-page c.v. to Vcamden@kent.edu by December 15, 2018.
Contributors will be notified by January 15, 2019 and first drafts of articles will be due by June 15, 2019. Articles should be no more than 8000 words.
The issue will be printed in 2020.