CFP: Comics and Medicine: The Ways We Work (August 16-18, 2018, Vermont)

Call for Papers: Comics and Medicine: The Ways We Work

August 16-18, 2018; White River Junction, Vermont

Via Dr Ian Williams, Graphic Medicine


This year’s Comics and Medicine Conference invites participants to share and reflect upon how graphic medicine works.

In the context of health and its relationship to comics, “work” can refer to a number of activities: the work of medical and related professionals; the functioning of our bodies and minds; the creation or study of artistic and educational materials; the study of the archive or images/texts; work with reader communities; and the organization of collaborative community health efforts. The spaces in which “work” takes place provide another point of reflection: public healthcare centers, classrooms, home studios, private clinics, libraries, and bedsides.

In this relatively new interdisciplinary field, we hope to document and refine—from our various perspectives and experiences—the territory where cartooning and health care intersect.

We invite the submission of a wide variety of abstracts focusing on health, medicine, and comics in any form (e.g. graphic novels and memoir, comic strips, manga, mini comics, webcomics) that examine or showcase topics including, but not limited to:

 • the use of comics and cartooning for clinical interventions and teaching

• navigating institutional headwinds

• addressing time constraints to creative work

• professional development and engagement with graphic medicine

• access to funding sources

• establishing productive collaborative relationships

• planning and completing graphic medicine projects

• engaging communities of care

• work in the context of disability justice and advocacy

• representing the ‘work’ of bodies with relation to diagnosis and treatment

• unseen labor in treatment and care

• spaces of creative production

• creative labor and the tools of graphic medicine

• outcome and efficacy research


Presentation Formats – please read closely as these descriptions have changed.

  • Lightning talks: These 5-minute presentations should provide an engaging and concentrated synopsis of new, ongoing, or completed scholarly, creative, or professional work in Graphic Medicine. This format is designed with the promotion of sustained conversation in mind. 
  • Oral presentations: These 15-20 minute presentations are largely for collaborative,interdisciplinary, or other work that requires and engages a longer presentation format.
  • Panel discussions: These 90-minute interviews or presentations by a panel of speakers are meant to address a single topic from a variety of perspectives.
  • Workshops: These 90-minute, hands-on, activity-driven sessions are for participants who wish to obtain particular skills with regard to comics. Suggested topics include, but are not limited to:
  • drawing for health 101
  • accessing personal stories
  • comics and storytelling
  • mini-comic tutorial

Proposal abstracts should not exceed 300 words and may be submitted in Word or PDF format. Please include the following information in this order:

• author(s)
• affiliation
• email address
• phone number
• title of abstract
• body of abstract
• sample images or web links to work being discussed (if applicable)
• presentation format preference (see options above)
• equipment needed (e.g. AV projection, whiteboard, easel, etc.)

Proposals should be submitted by January 30, 2018 to:

Abstracts will be peer-reviewed by an interdisciplinary selection committee. Notification of acceptance or rejection will be completed by the week of March 15. While we cannot guarantee that presenters will receive their first choice of presentation format, we will attempt to honor preferences, and we will acknowledge the receipt of all proposals.

Please note: Presenters are responsible for costs associated with their session (e.g. handouts and supplies) and personal expenses (travel, hotel, and registration fees). All presenters must register for the conference. Discounted rates and some limited scholarships will be available for students, artists, and others in need.

Via Dr Ian Williams, Graphic Medicine

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