International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference returns to BU – Submission deadline on 1 February

In June 2018, the Annual International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference will be returning to Bournemouth University! After many previous successful conferences (Manchester Metropolitan University, Dundee University, Glasgow University, the British Library, the University of London in Paris, and Bournemouth University), we look forward to welcoming scholars from across the globe back to the beach to talk about comics.

The conference is organised under the aegis of two scholarly peer reviewed journals: Studies in Comics (Intellect Books) and the Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (Routledge). Selected papers will be published in a special issue or edited collection.

IGNCC welcomes scholars, practitioners and students alike – we particularly encourage outstanding work from doctoral candidates through our annual Sabin Award, which is given to the best paper given by a postgraduate student.

For more information on the conference itself and our previous events, please see our website

As we reach our ninth year, this year’s theme appropriately looks to the past, and we invite submissions on the theme of ‘Retro! Time, Memory, Nostalgia’ (deadline 1 February 2018).


How to apply:


Time, Memory, Nostalgia

The Ninth International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference

Bournemouth University, UK

Wednesday 27  – Friday 29 June 2018

Call for Papers

Retro – a looking to the past – is everywhere in contemporary culture. Cultural critics like Frederic Jameson argue that retro and nostalgia are symptoms of postmodernism – that we can pick and choose various items and cultural phenomena from different eras and place them together in a pastiche that means little and decontextualizes their historicity. However, as Henri Bergson argues in Memory and Matter, the senses evoke memories, and products of popular culture, like comics, can bring the past to life in many ways. The smell and feel of old paper can trigger memories just as easily as revisiting an old haunt or hearing a piece of music from one’s youth.

As fans and academics we often look to the past to tell us about the present. We may argue about the supposed “golden age” of comics. Our collecting habits may even define our lifestyles and who we are. But nostalgia has its dark side and this continuous looking to the past is regarded by some as a negative emotion in which we aim to restore a lost adolescence. In Mediated Nostalgia, Ryan Lizardi argues that the contemporary media fosters narcissistic nostalgia ‘to develop individualized pasts that are defined by idealized versions of beloved lost media texts’ (2). This argument suggests that fans are media dupes lost in a reverie of nostalgic melancholia; but is belied by the diverse responses of fandom to media texts. Moreover, ‘retro’ can be taken to imply an ironic appropriation. Whereas nostalgia suggests that we take comfort in an illusionary past, retro can suggest performance and an active use of the past to comment on the present. The Ninth International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference will investigate the complex relationship between time, memory, nostalgia and retro. We invite papers themed around, but not limited to, the following:

  • Preserving, restoring and reprinting old comics
  • The materiality of comics
  • The role of nostalgia in comics histories
  • Collecting and archiving comics
  • Comics exhibitions or museum exhibits
  • Recovered histories, forgotten voices (e.g. minority creators/audiences, overlooked roles)
  • Reboots and reworkings of old characters
  • Evoking older styles and printing methods
  • Envisaging characters in different eras (e.g. Marvel 1602, Elseworlds)
  • Biographies, autobiographies, histories
  • Uses of memory in comics genres (e.g. graphic medicine, dementia studies)
  • Playing with time, time travel themes, parallel universes,
  • Fan practices: collecting, creating, restoring
  • Lost or endangered spaces: comics studios, the newsstand, comics shops

We welcome proposals for themed panels (maximum three papers) or individual twenty-minute presentations relating to comics and graphic novels from practitioners and scholars of all fields. Please submit an abstract (300 words) and short biography (100 words) to by 1st February 2018.