CFP for Edited Collection


"Drawing Protest: Graphic Narratives for Youth and Social Justice"

Co-edited by Michelle Ann Abate and Frederick Luis Aldama

Graphic narratives have emerged as one of the most popular and rapidly growing genres of books for young readers. They have also become a rich and vibrant platform for authors to engage with issues of social justice. Many of the most critically acclaimed as well as commercially popular graphic texts over the past decade—March, El Deafo, American Born Chinese, to name just a few—address issues of prejudice and discrimination.

This edited collection will examine how graphic narratives for young people engage with socio-political issues related to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. To that end, we invite chapter proposals about texts that address a broad range of topics and concerns within social justice, including racism, disability, homophobia, displacement, refugees, transphobia, classism, mental health, xenophobia, addiction, war, poverty, and climate change. Essays may consider a wide array of literary schools and narrative styles, including fiction, nonfiction, and memoir. Additionally, focal texts are not limited to any specific grade level, age range, or youth audience; considerations of narratives intended for elementary-grade readers through young adults are welcome. Finally, discussions that consider the cultural pushback that most (if not all) of these graphic narratives have experienced—both because of their use of a comics mode of storytelling and because of their focus on social justice—are also encouraged.


Chapters might explore broad theoretical questions, which include—but are not limited to—the following:

  • In what ways can such texts serve as tools for raising awareness, fostering empathy, and enacting social change?
  • How have these books been inspired by existing social justice movements—and in what ways can they be regarded as inspiring such efforts?
  • What role have graphic narratives that engage with issues of social justice played in the evolution of children’s and young adult literature as well as that of sequential art?
  • How do we reconcile the use of graphic narratives as an engine for social change in the twenty-first century with the fact that comics were, for much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a platform for racist caricature, homophobic humor, sexist imagery, ableist ideology, and xenophobic stereotypes?


Additionally, chapters might also focus on specific title(s). A list of possibilities is below:

  • John Lewis, Andrew Ayden, and Nate Powell, March (2013)
  • Gene Luen Yang, American Born Chinese (2006)
  • Cece Bell, El Deafo (2014)
  • Rachel Hope Allison, I’m Not a Plastic Bag (2012)
  • Thi Bui, The Best We Could Do (2017)
  • Jerry Craft, New Kid (2019)
  • George Takei, They Called Us Enemy (2019)
  • Maia Kobabe, Gender Queer (2019)
  • Jarrett Krosoczka, Hey, Kiddo (2018)
  • Raina Telgemeier, Drama (2012)
  • Frank Abe, Tamiko Nimura, and Ross Ishikawa, We Hereby Refuse (2021)
  • Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes, and Dawud Anyabwile, Victory Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice (2022)
  • Malaka Gharib, I Was Their American Dream (2019)
  • G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona, Ms. Marvel (2014)
  • Olivier Kugler, Escaping Wars and Waves: Encounters with Syrian Refugees (2018)
  • Art Spiegelman, Maus (1980)
  • Jason Reynolds, Miles Morales: Spider-Man (2017)
  • Marjane Satrapi, Persepolis (2000)

Please send chapter proposals of 300 words maximum by January 28th, 2024 to

Editorial decisions will be conveyed by March 1, 2024.
Full-length essays of 6,000 to 8,000 words will be due by August 1st, 2024.

The co-editors have received an advanced contract for the collection from the University Press of Mississippi. A formal book proposal will be submitted after proposals have been accepted and a Table of Contents has been constructed. The co-editors will convey feedback from the outside evaluators while contributors are working on the initial drafts of their essays.


(Quelle: IRSCL International Research Society for Children's Literature - Facebook)