Modernism's Graphic WomenIn her book Graphic Women: Life Narrative and Contemporary Comics, Hillary L. Chute argues that graphic narratives by women are invested in an âethics of testimonyâ and assume the ârisk of representation.â According to Chute, writers like Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Phoebe Gloeckner, Lynda Barry, Marjane Satrapi, and Alison Bechdel ârevisitâ and ârepictureâ life narratives not as a form of catharsis or didacticism but rather as âtextualâ and âmaterialâ testimonies thereby provoking us âto think about how women, as both looking and looked-at subjects are situated in particular times, spaces, and histories.â In addition, says Chute, they ask us to ârethink the dominant tropes of unspeakability, invisibility, and inaudibility that have tended to characterize trauma theory as well as our current censorship-driven culture in general."
Long before Chuteâs contemporary graphic women began âcomplexly visualizingâ their lives and experiences, Modernist women like Djuna Barnes (i.e. Ladies Almanack; Ryder; The Book of Repulsive Women), Stevie Smith (i.e. Collected Poems; Me Again: Illustrated by Herself), Leonora Carrington (i.e. The Hearing Trumpet) The Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (i.e. Body Sweats: The Uncensored Writings ofâ¦), Claude Cahun (i.e. Disavowals), and others had already written graphic narratives, thus themselves bravely and audaciously taking on the ârisk of representation.â
This panel seeks to examine the work of Modernismâs graphic women and will consider, but not be limited to, questions like the following: How are modernist women employing the graphic (broadly understood) in their work and to what end? How might we define the relationship between life narrative and the graphic (again considered broadly) in these womenâs texts? Do these womenâs graphic narratives, like those considered by Chute, also speak to dominant tropes associated with trauma and the theory thereof? Or, on a less serious note, are they relying on a comic interface between text and image that could be said to reconfigure scenes of domesticity and/or more conservative notions of gender, sexuality, and female subjectivity? How might graphic texts by these Modernist women offer up an earlier form of what Chute refers to as âfeminist graphic knowledgeâ? How do these texts define and articulate such knowledge and in what contexts? How do graphic texts by these women offer a new spin on the personal is political? What kind of visual intervention in their own historical, political, and cultural moments do these womenâs graphic narratives offer? And finally, borrowing on Rita Felskiâs notion of a âneo-phenomenologyâ as laid out in the Introduction to her book Uses of Literature (2008), how does the interface between text and image in Modernism's graphic womenâs texts offer a âthick description of experiential statesâ that induce moments of recognition in us as readers but also shock, enchant, and engage our sensibilities to the extent we are taken to what Felski, in more recent work, refers to as âthe limits of critiqueâ?
Please send a 250 to 300 word proposal with short bio to Kimberly Engdahl Coates (email@example.com) by April 3, 2018.
Conference Location: Columbus, United States
Conference Starts: November 08, 2018
Conference Ends: November 11, 2018
CFP Submission Deadline: April 03, 2018
For more information, contact: Kimberly Engdahl Coates