Conference: Better Living Through Comics (July 2023)

The 2023 Joint Conference of the International Graphic Novel & Comics and the International Bande Dessinée Society

3-7 July 2023
Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge

   Do comics have a role to play in wellbeing?
   We find ourselves reeling from a prolonged global period of illness and nervous about a future threatened by climate change. In this moment, we find ourselves prioritizing that which makes us happy, healthy, strong, and connected to one another—and reflecting on those phenomena that can impede these goals.
   What role do comics play in literacy, science education, joy, community building, sexual discovery, hobbies, entrepreneurship, religion, citizenship, self-expression, and all the other aspects of good living around the world? What role do they play in the prevention of these same vital aspects of living well?
   We invite proposals on all aspects of comics and wellbeing, including…

• Debates about the destructive potential of comics’ influence on youth
• How communities (scholarly and otherwise) built around comics have a role to play in wellbeing
• The pleasures and acrimonies of collaboration in comics
• Lifewriting as a form of self-care
• Exploitation of talent by publishers
• Coloniality, anticoloniality, and/or postcolonialism
• Creation of talent-friendly publishing innovations
• Speculation as opposed to or part of pleasure in collecting comics
• Diaspora and community healing, formation, and memory
• The Anthropocene and environmental justice
• Establishing an ethics of care and shaping solidarity
• Exhibits as spaces for private and public pleasure and connection
• Representations that challenge, strengthen, or complicate stereotypes
• Interdisciplinary approaches that build connections between researchers…or that fail to do so.
• Cross-cultural or glocal perspectives on authorship, collaboration, and readership
• Adaptation, appropriation, and who owns comics
• Creative practices of therapy

We will also have room within our programme, as always, for papers, workshops, and roundtables that do not fit this specific theme.

Deadline for proposals 

Deadline for 200-word proposals to <> : 31 December 2022

Please be sure to state in your proposal whether you would prefer to give your paper online or in-person. The conference will be hybrid, with in-person sessions streamed for registered delegates to hear and participate remotely. Online sessions will also be shown live on screens in the Faculty building for in-person delegates to engage with simultaneously.

Further information

Questions? Reach out to us at <>.