Ayesha Ahmad: CFP: Comics and Medicine: Navigating the Margins, 22-24 July 2012, Toronto, Canada

The third international interdisciplinary conference* on comics and
medicine will continue to explore the intersection of sequential
visual arts and medicine. This year we will highlight perspectives
that are often under-represented in graphic narratives, such as
depictions of the Outsider or Other in the context of issues such as
barriers to healthcare, the stigma of mental illness and disability,
and the silent burden of caretaking.

The conference will feature keynote presentations by comics creators
Joyce Brabner and Joyce Farmer. Brabner, a comics artist and social
activist, collaborated with her late husband Harvey Pekar on the
graphic novel Our Cancer Year (1994), which won a Harvey Award for
best graphic novel. Farmer is a veteran of the underground comics
scene who nursed her elderly parents through dementia and decline as
shown in her graphic memoir Special Exits (2010), which won the
National Cartoonists Society award for graphic novels.

We invite proposals for scholarly papers (20 minutes) or panel
discussions (60 minutes) focusing on medicine and comics in any form
(e.g., graphic novels, comic strips, graphic pathographies, manga,
or web comics). In particular, we seek presentations on the following—
and related—topics:

• Graphic pathographies of illness and disability
• The use of comics in medical education
• The use of comics in patient care
• Depictions of the illness experience from the perspective of loved
ones and family caregivers
• The interface of graphic medicine and other visual arts in popular
• Ethical implications of using comics to educate the public
• Ethical implications of patient representation in comics by
healthcare providers
• Trends in international use of comics in healthcare settings
• The role of comics in provider/patient communication
• Comics as virtual support groups for patients and caregivers
• The use of comics in bioethics discussions and education

We also welcome workshops (120 minutes) by creators of comics on the
process, rationale, methods, and general theories behind the use of
comics to explore medical themes. These are intended to be “hands-on”
interactive workshops for participants who wish to obtain particular
skills with regard to the creation or teaching about comics in the
medical context.

We envision this gathering as a collaboration among humanities
scholars, comics scholars, comics creators, healthcare professionals,
and comics enthusiasts.

300-word proposals should be submitted by Friday, 28 February 2012 to

Proposals may be in Word, PDF, or RTF formats with the following
information in this order:
• author(s)
• affiliation
• email address
• title of abstract
• body of abstract

Please identify your presentation preference:
• oral presentation
• panel discussion
• workshop

While we cannot guarantee that presenters will receive their first
choice of presentation format, we will attempt to honor people’s
preferences, and we will acknowledge the receipt of all proposals
submitted. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed by an interdisciplinary
selection committee. Notification of acceptance or rejection will be
completed by 14 March 2012.

Please note: Presenters are responsible for session expenses (e.g.
handouts) and personal expenses (travel, hotel, and meeting
registration fees). All presenters must register for at least the day
on which they are scheduled to present.

More info & updates at graphicmedicine.wordpress.com

*Information about the 2010 conference, “Comics and Medicine: Medical
Narrative in Graphic Novels,” in London, England, and the 2011
conference, “Comics and Medicine: The Sequential Art of Illness,” in
Chicago, Illinois, USA, can be found at www.graphicmedicine.org.

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