8 February 2017

Announcement: Graphic Justice Discussions 2017

The GJRA is delighted to announce that on 4-5 July 2017 we will be hosting our first Graphic Justice conference at St Mary's University, Twickenham, London. Please see the poster here: and circulate as widely as possible. The CfP ends on 23 April 2017.

The full details are as follows:

The intersections of comics and legality represent a burgeoning area of concern within, without, and between legal, cultural, and comics communities. But what directions or distractions do comics bring to the project of justice? Are comics a valuable and important resource, or are they mere entertainment and intellectual amusement? Are comics for fun, rather than for rigorous analysis as part of the serious task of law and justice? Does visual storytelling inevitably distract us from the judicial project?

Engaging with these provocative questions, and the intersection of comics and law more generally, Graphic Justice Discussions 2017 seeks to explore the potential, possible, and plural value of comics for the understanding and practice of justice, morality, and the regulation of human life.

A limited, but in no way limiting, indication of relevant concerns follows:
·         representations and critiques of law, justice, and morality, or of institutions, actors, and processes, in comics and related visual media
·         comics and related visual media analysed in contexts such as power, meaning, politics, difference, violence, rights, justice, governance, sovereignty, morality, ethics, bioethics, judgment, or any other relevant field
·         visuality, aesthetics, or multimodality of knowledge, communication, and the popular presentation(s) of law and justice
·         the value or use of popular, visual, and ‘geek’ media in understanding law, justice, and related concerns
·         comics as an object of regulation, embroiled in e.g. free speech and copyright

Submission information:
·         Papers are welcomed for submission on any aspect of graphic justice. Papers concerned with the wider value of such endeavours, and the trajectories it might take, are particularly encouraged.
·         Submissions for a poster/comics competition are also invited.
·         Papers will be allocated 20 minutes by default (plus discussion/question time); submissions are welcome for alternative formats (workshops, interviews, etc).
·         Paper and poster/comic submissions require a 250 word abstract, 3 keywords, and a 50 word biography. Panel submissions require a 150 word panel abstract alongside paper abstracts etc. Other forms of session should be outlined in a 250 word abstract and include any relevant bios, information, or visual material.
·         Panels will be 90 minutes; posters/comics should be single-sided up to A2 size.
·         Email submissions to thomas.giddens@stmarys.ac.uk by 23 April 2017.
·         Please email to discuss potential submissions if you have any queries.


12 January 2017

GJRA Governance Squad Bios

Following on from my last post, which contained a snazzy and informative poster detailing the wonderful world of graphic justice, those interested in our project may want to glance at the below image. In amongst the bios of GJRA HQ Officers you will find some info about our research that may well pique your interest. And of course, if it does, please do send in an abstract for our stream at the Socio-Legal Studies Association (SLSA) Annual Conference. The deadline is Monday and the CfP is here: http://www.slsa2017.com/graphic-justice.

If you are having difficulty reading the poster, you can find the full-size pdf here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B4RhocJw4ETBaGxIT2c4d0J4a0U

15 December 2016

What is Graphic Justice?

Yesterday's post encouraged all interested parties to submit an abstract to the Graphic Justice theme at the upcoming SLSA 2017 conference. To find out more about the theme, please follow this link to see a handy poster produced by Thom for last year's conference explaining what Graphic Justice is all about:



14 December 2016

Join us at the SLSA 2017

The CFP for the 'Graphic Justice' stream at the 2017 SLSA conference is now live and will close at 6pm on Monday 16th January 2017.

This stream invites submissions exploring the intersections of law and justice with comics, graphic fiction, and related visual media.

Critical interest in the comics medium has exploded in recent decades, and is steadily growing within the legal academy. Indeed, comics and graphic fiction—and their related visual emanations, including film, video games, and wider ‘geek culture’—are of huge and on-going significance to law, justice, and legal studies.

On a socio-cultural level, comics are historically embroiled in debates of free speech whilst today they inspire countless pop culture adaptations—from television to cinema to video games, as well as performance activities such as cosplay—and can be seen to reflect and shape popular visions of justice, morality, politics, and law. On the level of content, from mainstream superhero narratives tackling overt issues of justice, governance and authority, to countless themes related to morality, justice, and humanity in stories within and far beyond the mainstream, comics are rich with legal material. On the level of form, the comics medium’s unique and restless blending of different media and types of representation (text, image, visuality, aesthetics, inter alia) radically opens up discourse beyond the confines of the word, enabling greater critical engagement amidst our increasingly visual age. On the level of production, comics are a complex art-form, with multiple creators working in individual, group, commercial, and industrial contexts, raising questions of ownership and exploitation—issues exacerbated by comics’ transmedia proliferation.

In short, comics and their related visual media bring rich cultural, practical, and aesthetic contexts and mediations to long-standing and emerging legal problems and settings. Broad questions framing this ‘graphic justice’ intersection might include:

  • What are the relationships between comics and related visual media, and law—culturally, socially, formally, theoretically, jurisprudentially...?
  • How can we use comics and related visual media in law—in practice, education, theory, research...?
  • Can we consider comics as objects of legal regulation in their own right—raising issues of definition, ownership, consumption, value...?

The crossover between law, comics, and related media is an expansive and open one. The examples above are merely indicative of possible issues and questions; the graphic justice stream welcomes submissions for papers that traverse any potential intersection between law and comics or related visual media—all broadly defined.

To submit an abstract please go here: http://www.slsa2017.com/graphic-justice.


Good news, everyone!

As Thom teased back in September, the secret GJRA-cave has been going through something of a makeover recently. Now that the menacing academic super-villian known only as 'Marking' has been vanquished, I would like to resolve this cliffhanger and present the new GJRA Governance Committee:
  • Lists Officer: Thomas Giddens (St Mary's University, Twickenham)
  • Web Officer (Social Media): Ashley Pearson (Griffith University)
  • Web Officer (Blog): David Yuratich (Royal Holloway, University of London)
  • Grid Officer: Thomas Giddens 
  • Events Officers: Golnar Nabizadeh (University of Western Australia) and Mitch Travis (University of Leeds)
  • Memo Officers: Simon Russell (boinggraphics.co.uk) and Dale Mitchell (Griffith University)
Of course, a list of names - even if we pretended that they were aliases for international diamond thieves (and please be reassured that they are not) - does not rank high on the list of 'exciting things to be read on the internet'. Fear not.

In the coming weeks, we will be updating the site with short bios of each officer. I hope to bring you some short posts about everyone's work, in addition to continuing our the GJRA's solemn quest to interrogate the intersections between comics and related media, law, justice, and much more. 

Would you like to write for this blog?

If you are interested in contributing anything to this blog within the GJRA's wide, and indeed widening, purview, please do not hesitate to get in touch. The best way is to contact the @LexComica twitter account, or alternatively my contact details are to be found halfway down the page here.