In the last couple of decades, comic books and graphic novels have become a part of academic discourse—either as university curricula, or emergent areas for research in humanities and social sciences; or as production sites of multiple art practices. As a result, we have seen several mainstream publishers coming to the fray, comics’ collectives being born, and graphic novels sharing shelf-space with bestsellers and popular titles. This symposium aims to take stock of the state of graphic storytelling in India. While debating on the tradition and history of storytelling through the graphic form in the Indian context, this symposium will explore the politics of graphic narratives in India, and try to understand the continuities and breaks that newer forms of visual storytelling have sought to bring to the fore. While doing so, it hopes to throw light on the possible futures of the form(s). 

The symposium is organised by Ambedkar University Delhi (AUD) in association with the Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, New Delhi and the Longform Collective. The dates for the symposium are November 22-24 2018.

Students can send their proposal under any 1 of the 4 themes of the symposium.

  • History or anthropology of graphic narrative forms in the Indian subcontinent
  • The arrival of the comic form in India, including production and circulation of local and imported comic and the politics of localization/ vernacularization of comic genres and their visualization
  • The emergence of the graphic novel form in the Indian subcontinent
  • Newer contexts and forms in the the graphic novel, including its growing relationship with animation and illustrated filmmaking

Submission details 

Senior students pursuing research in this field (or associated ones) are invited to submit a proposal. The application must include a title, an abstract of 300 words and a more detailed proposal of 1000 words. A 150-word bio including institutional affiliation, title of M.Phil/PhD research and publications (if any) must be included too. The application (as a single word document) must be mailed to graphicstorytelling2018@gmail.com by Sunday, October 14, 2018. Please mention in the subject line that it is an application for the said symposium. Since only a handful of seats are available, the selection process will be based on the quality of the proposal and its relevance to the themes and broader concerns of the symposium. The selected candidates will be notified within a fortnight of the deadline. The details of the conference will be mailed after the completion of selection process.

There is no registration fee. Unfortunately, we will not be able to provide travel funding to outstation  candidates. However, if a selected outstation candidate is absolutely unable to arrange for funds to travel to Delhi, the organisers would try their best to make some funds available.

For any preliminary queries, please write to graphicstorytelling2018@gmail.com.

On behalf of the organisers:

  • Sayandeb Chowdhury, School of Letters, Ambedkar University Delhi
  • Vebhuti Duggal, School of Culture and Creative Expressions, Ambedkar University Delhi

Contact Info: 

  • Sayandeb Chowdhury, School of Letters, Ambedkar University Delhi
  • Vebhuti Duggal, School of Culture and Creative Expressions, Ambedkar University Delhi
  • Sonali Dutta Roy, School of Letters, Ambedkar University Delhi