Dragon*Con Comics & Popular Arts Conference

Call for Participation / Call for Abstracts

Institute for Comics Studies

Comic Book Convention Conference Series


Atlanta, Georgia September 3-6, 2010

The Institute for Comic Studies and Dragon*Con present their third annual academic conference for the studies of comics and the popular arts.  The conference will take place at Dragon*Con, the largest multi-media, popular culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music, and film in the US. For more info on Dragon*Con, visit http://dragoncon.org/

Please submit a proposal abstract for a 15/20-minute presentation that engages in substantial scholarly examinations of comic books, manga, graphic novels, anime, science/speculative fiction, fantasy, or other parts of popular culture. A broad range of disciplinary and theoretical perspectives is being sought, including literary and art criticism, philosophy, linguistics, history, and communication. Proposals may range from discussions of the nature of the comics medium, analyses of particular works and authors, discussions of the visual language of comics, comics pedagogy, cross-cultural and cross-medium comparisons, and more.

This year, we're especially interested in proposals dealing with

  1. anime and manga

  2. RObert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series

  3. Stargate

  4. MMORPG’s

  5. Paranormal SF (e.g., Lost, X-Files, Fringe, etc.)

  6. Post-Apocalyptic Studies

though we're open to any topics relevant to the study of comics and the popular arts.

This conference at Dragon*Con represents the Institute for Comics Studies' mission to promote the study, understanding, and cultural legitimacy of comics and to support the discussion and dissemination of this study and understanding via public venues.

100 to 200 word proposals due: May 30, 2010

Please submit your proposals at:


Send any questions to: [email protected]

Participants must register for the convention.  Information can be found here:


Prospective participants are encouraged to submit a guest application in advance at the following address:


Acceptance to the academic conference is no guarantee of "guest" status at the convention (and indeed, it is very unlikely). 

2010 Call for Participation

Conf. Coordinator:
 Matthew J. brown 
     - UT-Dallas
 R. Scott Nokes 
     - Troy University
Programming Chair:
 Sabrina Starnaman 
     - UC-San Diego
Local Organizer:
 Damien Williams

Atlanta, Georgia

September 3-6

Labor Day Weekend

rd Annual
Comics and Popular Arts Conference

Our thanks to Thom Trainor (Comics), Jake Tarbox (Anime/Manga), Wayne Hutchinson (Whedon), RJ Lehnen (Trek), Kelly Brewer (Apocalypse), Kelley Harkins (Amer SF), Jennifer Breland-Dykes (Stargate)

Conference Program

(Printable Booklet Version)


Session 1: Roundtable: Losing My Religion

Friday at 11:30 AM in International D - Westin

Whedon Universe Track

  1. Damien Williams (Independent Scholar)

  2. Robin Zebrowski (Beloit College)

  3. Cassandra Vaughan (Ohio State University)

  4. Scott Allie (Dark Horse Comics)

    1. A discussion on how Captain Malcolm Reynolds loses his faith in war and Shepard Book discovers faith through strife

Session 2: Roundtable: Comics in the Classroom

Fri 07:00 pm in Hanover F - Hyatt

Comics and Pop Art Track

  1. Theresa Fine-Pawsey (Durham Technical Community College)
    How to Mark a Comic: A Plea to Comic Publishers

  2. Robin L. Zebrowski (Beloit College)
    Can Superman Universalize His Maxims?  Teaching Ethics Through Comic Books

  3. Commenter: Stephanie Noell (University of North Texas)

Session 3: Concurrent Sessions

Session 3A: Anime/Manga Fandom Studies

Friday 8:30pm in Courtland - Hyatt

Anime/Manga Track

  1. Racheline Maltese (Independent Scholar) - The Illustrated Dead: Fan Mourning in Response to Character Death in Comics and Manga

  2. Brent Allison (Gainesville State College) - Japanese Animation Fandom and Media Education: A Response to Media Education Literature and Classroom Practice

Session 3B: Psychology and Comics

Friday 08:30 pm in Hanover F - Hyatt

Comics and Pop Art Track

  1. Justy Engle (University of Louisville) - Shade, Madness, Dreams and Screams: the Realization of the Abstraction of the American Metanarrative

  2. Matthew J. Brown (UT-Dallas) - Wonder Woman: Marston’s Psychological Technology

Session 4: Aliens and the Other in Star Trek: Deep Space 9

NOTE: On the schedule as The History of Star Trek Studies

Friday at 10:00pm in Athens - Sheraton

Star Trek Track

  1. Michael Barba (University of California, Merced)
    Somewhere Out Beyond the Stars: Orientalism and
    Star Trek Deep Space Nine

  2. Commenter: James Rocha (Louisiana State University)


Session 5: Avatars and Identity in Caprica

Saturday 10:00 am in A704 - Marriott

American Sci-Fi Media Track

  1. Dennis LoRusso (Emory University)
    The Soul of Zoe Graystone: Mythology, Consumerism, and the Construction of Identity in 21st Century America

Session 6: Concurrent Sessions

Session 6A: Deliver Us From Evil: Rhetoric and Gender in Buffy

Saturday 2:30 PM in International D - Westin

Whedon Universe Track

  1. Vickie Willis (Georgia State University) -
    Deliver Us From Evil: The Demonization of Traditional Rhetoric in
    Buffy the Vampire Slayer

  2. Commenter: Mona Rocha (Louisiana State University)

Session 6B: Retcons and Continuity

Saturday 02:30 pm in Hanover F - Hyatt

Comics and Pop Art Track

  1. Landon W. Schurtz (University of Oklahoma)
    We Don't REALLY Have to Count "The Quickening," Do We?

Session 7: My Favorite Thunder God is 4’ Tall: Norse Mythology and Stargate

Saturday, 4:00pm in A706 - Marriott

Stargate Multiverse Track

  1. Richard Scott Nokes (Troy University)

  2. Commenter: Justy Engle (University of Louisville)

Session 8: Concurrent Sessions

Session 8A: Workshop: Comics and Manga in Libraries

Saturday 7:00pm in Courtland - Hyatt

Anime/Manga Track

  1. Stephanie Noell (University of North Texas) - Bringing KAPOW! to Libraries: The Need for Comics in Academic and Public Information Centers

Session 8B: Studies in Watchmen

Saturday 7:00pm in Hanover F - Hyatt

Comics and Pop Art Track

  1. James Rocha (Louisiana State University)
    Watchmen’s Critical Anarchist Message

  2. Commenter: Michael Barba (University of California, Merced)

Session 9: Post-apocalyptic Studies

Saturday at 8:30pm in L508 - Marriott

Apocalypse Rising Track

  1. Ben Bolling (UNC-Chapel Hill)
    The Liberation of the Post-Apocalyptic Narrative in Philip Pullman’s
    His Dark Materials

  2. Robin Smith (UNC-Chapel Hill)
    A New Species of Narrator in
    Never Let Me Go


Session 10: Scholars-meet-Fans: Evolution of Women in Stargate

Sunday, 1:00pm in Marriott A706

Stargate Multiverse Track

  1. Scholar: Mona Rocha (Louisiana State University)

  2. Scholar: Vickie Willis (Georgia State University)

  3. Fan: Melayne Seahawk

  4. Moderator: Jennifer M. Breland-Dykes

  5. Moderator: Jamie Poff

Session 11: Existential Philosophy and Self-Actualization in the Whedonverse

Sunday 2:30 PM in International D - Westin

Whedon Universe Track

  1. Damien Williams (Independent Scholar)
    Becoming Our Selves: Jungian Self-Actualisation in Joss Whedon's

  2. Mike Bailey (University of North Florida)
    Existentialism in the Works of Joss Whedon

Session 12: Comics, Gender, and the Body

Sunday 7:00 pm in Hanover F - Hyatt

Comics and Pop Art Track

  1. Christopher Bartel (Appalachian State University)
    Superpowers and Gender Roles

  2. Yael Sagiv (Ben Gurion University, Israel)
    Why is the Invisible Woman invisible?

  3. Eric Duffy (St. Vincent College)
    Sartre's Sadomasochism and Y the Last Man's Redemption

Session 13: Ethical and Religious Themes in Anime/Manga

Sunday 8:30pm in Courtland - Hyatt

Anime/Manga Track

  1. Johnathan Flowers and Michael Bugajski (Southern Illinois University-Carbondale)
    The Ethics of
    Code Geass

  2. Cassandra Vaughan (Ohio State University) -
    The Buddhist Worldview of
    Neon Genesis Evangelion

2010 Schedule