Conferences and Journals

Andrew Edwards here.

I’ve been thinking about conferences and journals recently, and the important role that they play in promoting and advancing the study of comics.

On 21st November I’ll be attending the Thought Bubble festival in Leeds, specifically the Possibilities and Perspectives Conference. I’m there as ICS Assistant Director for Great Britain. I’ll be talking about ICS and my own scholarship and criticism in the morning, and chairing a panel in the afternoon.

One of the great things about events like this is that they spread Comics Studies into fandom and this raises the awareness of the range of possibilities open to potential scholars. It’s a fine mix of academics, professionals, critics and enthusiasts that will be involved and it really highlights how open Comics Studies can be to everyone, from whatever educational or vocational background.

This sense of openness is also evident in a new journal which is forthcoming in 2010 from Intellect – Studies in Comics. You’ll find more details at

http://www.intellectbooks.co.uk/journals/view-Journal,id=168/view,page=2/

My favourite part is this –

“Submissions are welcome from both scholars and enthusiasts. Contributors are encouraged to approach comics from any discipline and to turn their attention to comics from all countries and in all languages. So whether you’re a semiotician, philosopher, scientist, historian, enthusiast, cultural, literary or film critic, Studies in Comics welcomes you! Please send all submissions to studiesincomics@googlemail.com.”

It’s so inviting, open, inclusive – and I was so impressed when I read it. There is also a call for creative comics work too. This is surely the way to extend and develop comic studies!

Unlike many academic journals, there’s no sense here that not having a suitable degree or qualifications will bar you from submitting. It think this is great, and it confirms something I feel strongly about – good swritten cholarship should be judged on its own merits, not on the merits of an author’s qualifications (or lack of them).

I have strong hopes for both the Thought Bubble conference and Studies in Comics to be figureheads in including scholarship from all quarters.

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