The Thirteenth Annual INTERNATIONAL COMIC ARTS FORUM (ICAF)
October 9-11, 2008
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (http://www.saic.edu)
The International Comic Arts Forum invites scholarly paper presentations for its thirteenth annual meeting, to be held at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, from Thursday, October 9, through Saturday, October 11, 2008. The deadline to submit proposals is May 1, 2008 (see below for proposal guidelines and submission information). Proposals will be refereed via blind review.
We welcome original proposals from a variety of disciplines and theoretical perspectives on any aspect of comics or cartooning, including comic strips, comic books, albums, graphic novels, manga, webcomics, political cartoons, gag cartoons, and caricature. Studies of aesthetics, production, distribution, reception, and social, ideological, and historical significance are all equally welcome, as are studies that address larger theoretical issues linked to comics or cartooning, such as image/text relationships. In keeping with its mission, ICAF is particularly interested in studies that reflect an international perspective.
ICAF is proud to be hosted this year by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a leader in art education and a vital part of Chicago's arts community. In order to create a conference program that reaches out to that community and reflects Chicago's rich heritage of comic art, we particularly invite proposals which touch on cartoonists and publications from the city and surrounding region. Chicago is a major hub of American cartooning, the wellspring of a tremendous variety of work: from the political cartoons of John T. McCutcheon and Bill Mauldin, to the pioneering comic strips of the Chicago Tribune, to the seminal underground cartooning in the Chicago Mirror, Chicago Seed, and Bijou Funnies, to the "independent" comics boom of the 1980s, to contemporary alternative comics by Chris Ware and a host of others. In hopes of building a conference that responds to this important heritage, ICAF invites proposals with special interest in comics and cartoons from Chicago and the American Midwest.
PROPOSAL GUIDELINES: For its refereed presentations, ICAF prefers argumentative, thesis-driven papers that are clearly linked to larger critical, artistic, or cultural issues; we strive to avoid presentations that are merely summative or survey-like in character. We can accept only original papers that have not been presented or accepted for publication elsewhere. Presenters should assume an audience versed in comics and the fundamentals of comics studies. Where possible, papers should be illustrated by relevant images. In all cases, presentations should be timed to finish within the strict limit of twenty (20) minutes (that is, roughly eight to nine typed, double-spaced pages). Proposals should not exceed 300 words.
AUDIOVISUAL EQUIPMENT: ICAF's preferred format for the display of images is MS PowerPoint. Regretfully we cannot accommodate non-digital media such as transparencies, slides, or VHS tapes. Presenters should bring their PowerPoint or other electronic files on a USB key or CD, not just on the hard drive of a portable computer. We cannot guarantee the compatibility of our equipment with presenters' individual laptops.
REVIEW PROCESS: All proposals will be subject to blind review by the ICAF Executive Committee, with preference given to proposals that observe the above standards. The final number of papers accepted will depend on the needs of the conference program. Due to increasing interest in the conference, in recent years ICAF has typically been able to accept only one third to one half of the proposals it has received.
SEND ABSTRACTS (with COMPLETE contact information) by May 1, 2008, to Prof. Cécile Danehy, ICAF Academic Coordinator, via email at
Receipt of proposals will be acknowledged immediately; if you do not receive acknowledgment within three days of sending your proposal, please resubmit. Applicants should expect to receive confirmation of acceptance or rejection by May 16, 2008.