Call for Comics:

Sequentials is accepting submissions of original visual scholarship for our third Call for Comics. In conjunction with and inspired by an ImageTexT special forum on the same topic, we are interested in works on comics and fine art which expand and pluralize our understanding of the relationships between these areas. In his introduction to the catalog for a 1967 exhibit on comic strips at the Musée Des Arts Décoratifs, Palais du Louvre, organized in part by the Société civile d'études et de recherches des littératures dessinées, Tarzan artist Brune Hogarth wrote of comics that, for want of an adequate definition of the form, “perhaps the art we are talking about is not art at all.” Hogarth asked “to what place shall we assign its formal codes of form and structure, depiction and abstraction, its artistic and aesthetic expression- its imagery, calligraphy, and iconography?” While the definition Hogarth said was then unwritten has been supplied many times over, many of these questions remain unresolved.

In pointing out how comics troubles the differences between painting, literature, and theater, in being “all of these, yet none,” Hogarth captured how comics have troubled definitions of, responded to, and at times opposed the “fine arts.” Appropriations of comics imagery by artists like Roy Lichtenstein and painterly work in comics, such as Kerascoët or Maggie Umber, are just the most obvious examples of how comics and fine art traditions inform and change one another. Even exclusion from “fine arts” institutions has impacted how comics and comics studies has created its own prizes, schools, and publications, a kind of counter tradition of art and art criticism. Rather than staging a debate about comics’ inclusion or exclusion from a theoretical canon of fine art mediums, we are interested in recognizing the ways comics and work traditionally considered the fine arts have been mutually influential and how the contestation of such inclusion or exclusion has affected comics and comics studies. Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

- Relationships between fine arts, ‘crafts’, commercial art and illustration, and cartooning or comics, including formal or economic comparisons between these areas or artists whose work spans these areas
- Formal relationships between cartooning or comics and fine arts which capture or manipulate time, like performance or dance
- Artists and critics in comics who have troubled, rejected, or contested definitions of ‘fine art’ itself
- Exceptional artists in comics whose work has been received as fine art, and reception contexts in which comics are treated as fine arts
- Comics and fine art in international and transnational contexts
- The reciprocal influence of any fine arts and comics on the technical production of each mode, or artists who particularly embody that reciprocity
- Artists’ books as comics and comics as artists’ books and handmade, one-of-a-kind, and conceptual comics
- Art comics publishers and the archival practices of comics collectors, and the influence of fandom cultures on comics and/as art
- Comics in art galleries, art museums, and arts archives, including museums of comic art and exhibits of comics art or original comic pages in traditional fine art museums
- Fine art or fine artists who make particular use of cartooning skills, such as Goya or Grosz and comics artists who make use of fine art techniques, like collage, such as Jack Kirby or Lynda Barry
- Art critical or theoretical readings of particular comics
- Readings of particular works of fine art informed by comics theory or theories of sequential art
- New theoretical approaches to or articulations of sequential art and/as fine art

To submit, please upload a submission title, cover letter, and high-resolution image(s) to the “Sequentials 3 – Comics And/As/Against Fine Art” category of the Submittable platform here by June 1, 2017. If you have any questions, please contact Fiona Stewart-Taylor at F.Stewarttaylor@UFL.Edu

New Material for Digital Culture

TRACE’s fourth issue, Writing New Material for Digital Culture, aims to explore new materialist approaches to the digital. For new materialist and object-oriented philosophies continue to play a prominent role in discourses on digital media. Theorists such as Bruno Latour (2005), Jane Bennett (2010), and Ian Bogost (2012)  prompt us to conceive of the material world as a “vibrant” network of objects endowed with agency, intention, and desire. Scholars in rhetoric and new media, such as Alexander Reid (2012), Jussi Parikka (2015), and David Rieder (2017)  have begun to extend new materialist philosophies into an examination of our historical and contemporary relationship to electronic media and digital culture. This emerging trend posits that digital artifacts not only enact material effects within diverse media ecologies but actively resist the strict binaries between “the digital” and “the physical” that often circulate in discussions of new media and inform ecological thought.

In Still Life with Rhetoric, Laurie Gries outlines her new materialist approach to rhetoric by claiming that “a thing’s rhetorical meaning is constituted by the consequences that emerge in its various material encounters, affects, and intra-actions” (29). Gries pursues her new materialist rhetoric by tracing the digital and material circulation of the famous Obama Hope image. In a similar vein, Nicole Starosielski takes a new materialist approach by bringing to surface the overlooked structures of undersea cable networks that physically support Internet services. Lastly, Lori Emerson’s work with the Media Archaeology Lab at UC-Boulder demonstrates the importance of engaging with the material traces of our digital histories, from magic lanterns and typewriters to early modems and video game systems. The diverse methods taken up by these scholars serve as just a few examples of how new materialism offers a productive framework for grounding the study of digital rhetoric and media.

Trace encourages submissions to this issue in a variety of media and formats about a variety of media and formats, including commercial technologies, new media art and electronic literature, games and game platforms, etc. Potential submission topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Rhetorics of specific digital or material texts and artifacts

  • Transmedia/multimodal writing pedagogies

  • Material effects of planned obsolescence and e-waste

  • Emerging ubiquitous computing technologies

  • Materialities of writing, narrative, and information design

  • Media archaeological approaches to old and new media

  • Embodied computing and posthuman rhetorics

  • Augmented reality and locative media

  • Ambient rhetorics and literatures

Multimedia submissions are accepted and encouraged - Trace can support text, video, image, sound, game, and other file formats. Completed articles will be peer-reviewed and should be between 4000-8000 words in length. Please use MLA 8 formatting. If you are interested in contributing to the TRACE Innovation Initiative’s fourth issue, please submit your finalized project to by May 1, 2018.

If you would like to propose topics or discuss ideas, feel free to email questions to the issue co-editors: Caleb Milligan ( and Jacob Greene (

For more information about Trace, please visit

For information about peer-review or if you would like to participate in the review process, please email

Call for Comics:

The TRACE Innovation Initiative, a research endeavor maintained through the University of Florida’s Department of English, is proud to introduce Sequentials, a new hub for scholarship drawn in comics form. Following Scott McCloud’s 1993 publication Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, as well as other visual comics scholarship from authors such as Nick Sousanis and Neil Cohn, Sequentials solicits and publishes interpretations of various academic subjects or themes drawn and explained through the comics medium. As a TRACE Initiative project, Sequentials contributes to the flourishing field of comics scholarship and seeks to expand the production and circulation of knowledge.

This long-term project asks contributors to (re)imagine the meanings of both the subject they are drawing about and the form that their interpretation takes. By encouraging contributors to conceptualize their work in a distinctly visual way, this project highlights the unique creative capabilities of the comics medium and reflects TRACE’s overall focus on innovative research, writing, and knowledge production.

The Sequentials team invites scholars, artists, and critics to submit original visual scholarship on any academic, social, or artistic subject. Submissions may be of any length and may be either a large, single image or a series of “pages” to be displayed sequentially. All submissions will be blind reviewed by the Sequentials editorial team and accepted comics will be published online on a rolling basis.

We strongly encourage contributors to consider how the comics form can interpret, envision, or reflect meanings associated with the given topic. To submit, please follow the directions outlined by Submittable. Any questions or comments can be referred to Ashley Manchester at or Sid Dobrin at

Call for Comics:

In the complex and rich history of queer theories, activisms, and practices, the term “queer” has been deployed in a variety of ways. In “Sex in Public,” Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner look at queerness and queer culture as “a world-making project,” a process of continual action with subversive potential (Berlant and Warner 558). José Esteban Muñoz, too, considers queerness to be a sort of horizontal (rather than teleological) temporality that comprises a utopian futurity and potentiality. In Time Binds, Elizabeth Freeman discusses “queer” as simultaneously a way of being and a mode of action, positioning queers as “denizens of time out of joint,” and queerness as “rhythmic improvisations of the social” (Freeman 19, 172). Judith Butler, in Bodies That Matter, looks at queerness’ relations to discourse and performativity, arguing that “queering” is a “sudden gap in the surface of language” (Butler 130).

For Sequentials’ second Call For Comics, we seek visual interpretations of the complexity of queer existence, discourse, and theoretical concepts. We are particularly interested in submissions that comment on the relationship between various deployments of the term “queer” and concepts of visibility, visuality, and art-as-activism. Submissions must be illustrated in comics form and can visualize a particular interpretation of a given theorist’s concept(s), a unique contribution to the field of queer theory, or the possible connection between comics and queer theory. 

Possible topics may include, but are not limited to:

·      “Queer” as noun, adjective, and/or verb

·      Queer performativity

·      Intersectionality (queerness as co-constitutive with race, class, gender, etc.)

·      Queer futurity

·      Queer utopias

·      Theories of negativity and anti-relationality

·      Queer time and/or space

·      Queer history

·      LGBTQ+ activisms

By “comics,” we loosely mean illustrated, sequential images that may or may not incorporate words and may or may not be bounded within panels or other boundary markers. We invite submissions from individuals in all academic disciplines, regardless of their level of experience with comics or illustration “skills.” Further, submissions will be welcomed from non-academics, as well, and the editorial team at Sequentials will consider all submissions equally. Submissions may be of any length and may be either a large, single image or a series of pages to be displayed sequentially. All submissions will be blind reviewed by the Sequentials editorial team. 

We strongly encourage contributors to consider how the comics form can interpret, envision, or reflect meanings associated with the given topic. To submit, please upload a submission title, cover letter, and high-resolution image(s) to the “Sequentials 2 – ‘Queer’ as Noun, Adjective, and/or Verb” category of the Submittable platform here: by January 20, 2018. If you have any questions, please contact Ashley Manchester at or Sid Dobrin at