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Elizabeth Nijdam
PhD Candidate, Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

*German Studies Association Conference*, October 1-4, 2015, Washington, DC

*Panel Series**: The German Graphic Novel*

This Announcement contains Calls for Papers for the Three Panels in the

·      The German Graphic Novel I: History  ([log in to unmask])

·      The German Graphic Novel II: Adaptations ([log in to unmask])

·      The German Graphic Novel III: Pedagogy ([log in to unmask])

*The German Graphic Novel I: History*

The medium of comics provides unique opportunities for exploring the
concepts of time and history. Within comics, history can be a central
concern of the narrative or serve as background to more personal stories;
it can be investigated, augmented, challenged, or reimagined both visually
and textually. Historical comics approach and represent history in a number
of modes – from non-fiction to fantastical – and across genres –
(auto)biography, comedy, historical fiction, alternative history, crime and
war fiction, science fiction, etc.. In recent years, historical comics have
grown to constitute a large subset of German comics production, most
notably in conjunction with major anniversaries of the Fall of the Berlin
Wall (2009, 2014). The flood of largely critical works on the GDR, but also
the near absence of German comics on the Holocaust, raises questions about
the function of history for the German comics scene and individual artists.
This panel invites submissions on a range of topics related to the role of
history in German comics today. The panel will focus primarily on recent
production, but papers that address history as a concept in earlier works
will also be considered.

*Possible topics include **but are not limited to:*

·      Representations of Germany/Austria/Switzerland’s history in comics

·      Interpretations of key historical events (World Wars I and II, the
Holocaust, 1968, the Wende, etc.)

·      Depictions of historical figures

·      The importance of perspective/ Alternative perspectives (feminist,
queer, multicultural)

·      Reimagining/Reframing/Retelling/Reinventing history

·      History as a construction

·      Time in comics

·      Nostalgia

·      Memory (falllibity and /or reliability), accuracy, accountability,
honesty, truth

·      Myth

Please send abstract submissions of 350 words as well as a short bio to
Brett Sterling ([log in to unmask]) by January 19th, 2015.

*The German Graphic Novel II: Adaptations*

Over the past decade in Germany, several independent, and more recently
larger publishing houses, have produced an astonishing number of graphic
novel titles, as is evident from their increasing presence at venues like
the *Frankfurter Buchmesse*. In fact, comic adaptations of literary works
have comprised an impressively diverse sub-genre, encompassing works by ETA
Hoffmann, Franz Kafka, Thomas Bernhard and Arthur Schnitzler, to name a few.

Various angles of debate have often accompanied adaptations of classic or
literary works, including their fidelity to the source text, the artistic
liberties that the new authors take, and the aesthetic implications of
these creative decisions. However, these arguments have largely structured
the study of film adaptation; and only a minimal amount of scholarship has
appeared to date on graphic or comic adaptation.

Research in the field of German-language comic adaptation is even more
limited, yet the increasing prevalence of these adaptations on the German
comics scene and their aesthetic innovations merit serious critical
inquiry. This panel seeks to establish an analytical framework for
discussing comic adaptations and to strengthen and expand this field of

*Possible topics may include **but are not limited to:*

·      Literary Criticism and the Comic Adaptation

·      Illustration versus Adaptation

·      The artistic merits of graphic adaptations of classic or literary
German-language texts

·      The artistic challenges of graphic adaptations of classic or
literary German-language texts

·      The role of interpretation in creating adaptations

·      Comic adaptation as a form of literary translation

·      Reevaluating the German-language literary canon

·      Graphic adaptations of German film

·      The role of graphic novel adaptations in German visual culture

Please send abstract submissions of 350 words as well as a short bio to
Lynn M. Kutch ([log in to unmask]) by January 19, 2015.

*The German Graphic Novel III: Pedagogy*

While commenting on the sequential art of Rodolphe Töpffer, the Swiss
father of modern comics, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe made an insightful
observation on the potential of the medium. He reflected that“[i]f Töpffer
did not have such an insignificant text before him, he would invent things
which would surpass all our expectations”. Since that fateful remark in
1830, Goethe’s prediction has become a reality, and comics have developed
into a well-respected medium that is becoming established within the Academy
. However, while scholarship continues to illustrate the pedagogical value
of integrating comics in literature, history and language syllabi, the role
of graphic narrative in the contemporary university classroom is still
contested, and German Studies is slow to adopt pedagogical trends in Comics
Studies. This panel seeks to incite conversation on this lacuna in our
discipline and interrogate the emergent role of Comics Studies in teaching
German history, culture, literature and language. With a specific emphasis
on pedagogy, we are soliciting papers that engage debates on the merits and
challenges of integrating comics into the German Studies classroom.

*Possible topics may include but are not limited to:*

·      Comics Studies in German Studies: interrogating the position of
Comics Studies in the Academy and advocating for its place in German Studies

·      Methods of Reading: strategies for reading and analyzing graphic

·      The past, present and future of graphic novel scholarship

·      Teaching Language with Comics: integrating comics into the language
classroom, L2 success stories and syllabus suggestions

·      Teaching History with Comics: using graphic novels to teach German

·      Using Comics to Teach German Classics (*Faust*, *Im Westen nichts
neues*, *Flughunde*)

·      Teaching Medium Specificity: cross-comparisons with comics,
literature and film (*Die Welle*, *Die Wolke*)

Please send abstract submissions of 350 words as well as a short bio to
Elizabeth (Biz) Nijdam ([log in to unmask]) by January 19, 2015.

Please note that presenters must be members of the German Studies
Association (see for membership information), and no one
individual may give more than one paper or participate in more than two
public roles.

The German Studies Call for Papers List
Editor: Stefani Engelstein
Assistant Editor:  Olaf Schmidt
Sponsored by the University of Missouri
Info available at: