18 December 2015

Graphic Justice @ SLSA 2016


Call for papers: Graphic Justice Theme for SLSA 2016

Convenor: Thomas Giddens

This stream invites submissions exploring the crossover between law and justice and comics of all kinds.

A growing area of research, comics and graphic fiction are of huge significance to law, justice and legal studies. On the level of production, comics are a complex art-form, with multiple creators working in individual, group, commercial and industrial contexts, raising questions of ownership and exploitation. On the level of culture, comics are historically embroiled in debates of free speech whilst today inspire countless pop culture adaptations to television and cinema, and can be seen to reflect and shape popular visions of justice, morality and law. On the level of content, from mainstream superhero narratives tackling overt issues of justice, governance and authority, to countless themes related to morality, justice and humanity in stories beyond the mainstream, comics are replete with legal material. On the level of form, the comics medium’s unique and restless blending of different media and types of representation (text, image, visuality, aesthetics, inter alia) radically opens up discourse beyond the confines of the word, enabling greater critical engagement amidst our increasingly visual age. In short, comics bring rich cultural, practical and aesthetic contexts and mediations to long-standing and emerging legal problems and settings. Broad questions framing this ‘graphic justice’ intersection might include:

  • What are the relationships between comics and law—culturally, socially, theoretically, jurisprudentially...?
  • How can we use comics in law—in practice, education, theory, research...?
  • Can we consider comics as an object of legal regulation in their own right—raising issues of definition, ownership, consumption, value...?
The crossover between law and comics is an expansive and open one. The examples above are merely indicative of possible issues and questions; submissions are welcome for papers that traverse any potential intersection between law and comics—both broadly defined.

Abstracts may only be submitted via the Easy Chair Platform. They must be no longer than 300 words and should include your title, name and institutional affiliation and your email address for correspondence.

The deadline for submissions is Monday 18th January 2016.

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