Comics as Scholarship: Digital Humanities Quarterly Special Issue

Edited by Anastasia Salter and Roger Whitson

Comic Version of the CFP

While the coexistence of images and text towards a shared purpose is now an established part of our digital landscape, often in conjunction with animation, interaction and sound, scholarly forms are still dominated by the textual. But meaningful juxtapositions of media as sequential art offer an opportunity for scholarly reflection, as works such as Bryan Talbot's Alice in Sunderland and Robert Berry's Ulysses Seen remind us. Often, the comic form is still associated with simplicity or beginners. Series of graphic scholarship spawn titles like McLuhan for Beginners that suggest comics are only a tool for transitioning to "real" monographs. But of course, McLuhan himself used experimental forms in his scholarship: The Medium is the Massage has more in common with graphic novels than it does with his text-heavier volumes.

Taking the graphic novel as a scholarly text and transforming it into digital can make things even more interesting. The digital editions of graphic novels, including the CD version (with animations, billed as "interactive literature") of Larry Gonick's Cartoon History of the Universe, the many layers of Art Spiegelman's Meta Maus, and the work of Scott McCloud in his Understanding Comics trilogy add another dimension to the form. Comic books evolving online are already texts of study for the digitally-minded humanities, but can they also offer inspiration for rethinking our own forms of communication? We seek a series of articles in the form of sequential art (digital, interactive or traditional) from a variety of critical and disciplinary perspectives that may address one or more of the following questions:

Timeline and Submission Guidelines

January 1st, 2013 -- Abstracts due! Submit a 300-500 words abstract to asalter - at - and roger.whitson - at - Your summary should include your intended medium and any technical requirements to display your work (server-side technology, HTML5 or Javascript, Flash, etc.). Feel free to contact us in advance with ideas and review the guidelines for interactive submissions at Digital Humanities Quarterly.

May 1st, 2013 -- Peer review ready submissions due, including:

Finished versions of accepted works will be requested based on the peer review timeline for DHQ

About the Editors

Anastasia Salter is an assistant professor of Science, Information Arts and Technologies at the University of Baltimore. Her primary research focuses on digital narratives and electronic literature as storytelling is transformed and remediated by emerging technologies. She holds a Doctorate in Communications Design from the University of Baltimore and a MFA in Children's Literature from Hollins University. She writes about technology and pedagogy for ProfHacker, a group blog hosted by the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Roger Whitson is an assistant professor of 19th Century British and Anglophone Literature at Washington State University. He is coauthor of William Blake and the Digital Humanities: Collaboration, Creativity, and Social Media, forthcoming from Routledge at the end of 2012. He graduated in 2008 with a Ph.D. in English at the University of Florida and held a Brittain Fellowship at the Georgia Institute of Technology and an Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at Emory University's Digital Scholarship Commons (DiSC).

Illustrated CFP by Anastasia Salter; Banner by Roger Whitson. Please redistribute freely!