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ImageText in Motion: Animation and Comics
April 12, 2019 - April 14, 2019
The Graduate Comics Organization at the University of Florida invites applicants from all stages of their careers, including independent scholars and imagetext creators, to submit proposals to their 16th annual conference, “ImageText in Motion: Animation and Comics.” The conference will be held from Friday, April 12 through Sunday, April 14, 2019.
Animation and comics are two tangled pictorial mediums that stem from the same modernist concerns with the possibilities of the image. Animation and the cartooned bodies it brings into being are omnipresent on the screens that surround us, the advertisements that beg our attention, and the popcorn fare that draws out our inner escapists. But what are the politics of these images that simultaneously claim to be real, but constantly telegraph their artificiality? What do we gain by analyzing this medium that spans from the trashiest of visual gags to the trippiest of experimental visuals?
This conference hopes to begin answering these questions, and it aims to color those answers with concern for the politics of race, gender, ability, sexuality, and other matrices of power. Like any popular medium, animation has become an important site of conflict in cultural warfare, generating controversy as fans, critics, creators, and trolls clash over the politics of the polymorphous image as it appears on our pocket-sized slates and cinematic screens. And yet, the conflict goes beyond narrative content. As a crucial site of education and conditioning for children, a dramatization of performativity, and a method for visualizing the absent and the impossible, animation is a diverse tool that envisions (for better or worse) mediated imaginaries ripe for political intervention.