CALL FOR PAPERS: TRANSITIONS 8 –new directions in comics studies 2018

BIRKBECK COLLEGE LONDON Saturday 10th November 2018


After a year’s hiatus we are delighted to announce this call for papers for the interdisciplinary Transitions 2018 symposium. Originally convened by PhD students in 2010, Transitions at Birkbeck College is a platform for emerging research that is free to attend and participate in.

This event is focused towards postgraduate and early career speakers, and usually draws a diverse crowd of both new and more established researchers, as well as creators, aficionados and other interested parties. Our aim is to build connections between comics scholars working in diverse academic departments and contexts, to provide a platform for productive debate, and to create a space from which further collaborations can emerge.

Key note speaker: Dr Maggie Gray (Kingston University, London), author of Alan Moore, Out from the Underground: Cartooning, Performance, and Dissent (Palgrave 2017)

Respondent: Professor Roger Sabin (University of the Arts London)


Rather than adopting a narrow theme, the shape and identity of the programme will emerge from the submitted papers. We thus welcome abstracts for 20 minute papers, or pre-constituted panels of three, on topics including (but not limited to):

  • Comics, comix, comic strips, graphic novels, manga, manhwa, bande dessinée
  • superheroes, adventure, war, horror, fantasy, crime, romance, humour & other genres; documentary/historical/journalistic comics, autobiographical/biographical modes, graphic medicine
  • politics of representation in comics, formal approaches, transgressive comics, educational and didactic comics, comics for young adults & children
  • readers and fandoms, creators, comics & the law, publishing histories, web-comics & comics exhibitions, transnational circulation, political economy of comics

You can apply by email to

Please attach your abstract of 250-300 words plus a short biographical note (preferably as a Word document), indicating ‘abstract’ in the email subject line and your name in the file’s title.

The deadline for submissions is Friday August 24th 2018. We aim to notify applicants by Monday September 17th.

Also make sure to check Birkbeck’s Centre for Contemporary Literature conference call website:

With best wishes,

The Transition Team