Call for Proposals:
A special issue of ImageTexT
North Korean Comics & Animation
Editors: Heinz Insu Fenkl & Stephanie Boluk
This is an important and timely special issue of ImageTexT, particularly given the current political and economic conditions in the DPRK. With North Korea increasingly in the international spotlight and with news of the imminent opening of Kaesong, a major industrial zone designated for international trade, it is an important time to examine the cultural production of the DPRK. Comics and animation, particularly when aimed at young readers, offer a more transparent surface than cultural production aimed at adults. Pedagogical and ideological content tend to be rather explicit, especially when a text is used for propaganda, but these same texts offer insight into culture, history, aesthetics, and worldview. Similarly, the reception of North Korean texts by those living outside the country functions to shed light on our own subject position as much as it provides insight into the North Korean cultural imaginary.
With the Japanese manga and anime style having become the dominant aesthetic mode in much of East Asia, it is valuable to look at the aesthetic approaches of a country that has existed in a relative self-imposed isolation for the past half century. North Korea has developed a language of comics and animation that is visually distinct and stands, both ideologically and aesthetically, apart from the work produced by the other major cultural centers of East Asia.
For this special issue of ImageTexT we are looking for essays on topics such as adaptation, translation, pedagogy, politics, aesthetics, appropriation, and inter-cultural exchange. We are interested in close readings, comparisons, deconstructions, and contextualizations. We welcome essays from a variety of approaches from the historical to rhetorical analyses of the semiotic codes deployed in North Korean popular visual culture.
ImageTexT is an ideal venue for scholarship on visual media because it is the premier online scholarly journals on comics. Since it is not limited by the economics of print media, there are few limitations on the images and animation clips that can be included to illustrate essays. Since this will be a first encounter with the DPRK’s comics and animation production for most readers, we plan to include a generous number of images and clips. We are also seeking to turn the contents of the special issue into a book collection.
A concise 250-word description of your paper should be sent to email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org by July 1, 2010.
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