[KS] CFP Special issue of ImageTexT on North Korean comics and animation

ifenkl at aol.com ifenkl at aol.com
Fri Mar 26 17:26:51 EDT 2010

A special issue of ImageTexT 
North Korean Comics & Animation
Editors: Heinz Insu Fenkl &Stephanie Boluk

Thisis an important and timely special issue of ImageTexT,particularly given the current political and economic conditions in the DPRK. WithNorth Korea increasingly in the international spotlight and with news of theimminent opening of Kaesong, a major industrial zone designated forinternational trade, it is an important time to examine the cultural productionof 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 whena text is used for propaganda, but these same texts offer insight into culture,history, aesthetics, and worldview. Similarly, the reception of North Koreantexts by those living outside the country functions to shed light on our ownsubject position as much as it provides insight into the North Korean culturalimaginary. 

Withthe Japanese manga and anime style having become the dominant aesthetic mode inmuch of East Asia, it is valuable to look at the aesthetic approaches of acountry that has existed in a relativeself-imposed isolation for the past half century. North Korea has developed alanguage of comics and animation that is visually distinct and stands, bothideologically and aesthetically, apart from the work produced by the othermajor 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 closereadings, comparisons, deconstructions, and contextualizations. We welcomeessays from a variety of approaches from the historical to rhetorical analysesof the semiotic codes deployed  in NorthKorean popular visual culture.

ImageTexT is an ideal venue for scholarship on visual media because it is thepremier online scholarly journals on comics. Since it is not limited by theeconomics of print media, there are few limitations on the images and animationclips that can be included to illustrate essays. Since this will be a firstencounter with the DPRK’s comics and animation production for most readers, weplan to include a generous number of images and clips. We are also seeking toturn the contents of the special issue into a book collection. 

Aconcise 250-word description of your paper should be sent to fenkli at newpaltz.edu and sboluk at ufl.edu by July 1,2010.

 The main page of ImageTexT can be found here: http://www.english.ufl.edu/imagetext/

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