CFP: Unfurling Unflattening (edited collection)

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    Janine M. Utell

    Call for Chapters—Edited Volume

    Unfurling Unflattening: Tracing Theoretical, Methodological, and Pedagogical Possibilities


    Janine Utell, Widener University, Amanda O. Latz, Ball State University, Andrea Kantrowitz, SUNY at New Paltz, Editors


    The publication of Nick Sousanis’s Unflattening (2015) created an unprecedented stir among scholars, teachers, and publishers. Even before its release by Harvard University Press, the book was hailed as a breakthrough in reimagining education, the study of creativity, and the power of visual thinking; and as an argument for the radical potential of comics for the transformation of scholarly work and communication.  From its origin as the first dissertation in comics submitted at Columbia University, Unflattening went on to garner some of the most prestigious accolades in both comics and academia.  Drawing on philosophical questions of education and epistemology; the past, present, and future of visual culture; and the aesthetic and critical processes and networks of comics, Sousanis argues for new ways of seeing the world.


    Part scholarship in comics, part visual manifesto for a new way of thinking and learning, part intellectual autobiography, the innovations of Unflattening have prompted many to use the work to inspire a broad tapestry of theoretical, methodological, and pedagogical possibilities. The edited volume “Unfurling Unflattening” will present a range of chapters that suggest new potential for the application of Sousanis’s work germane to re-envisioning theory, expanding methodology, and transforming pedagogy. Rather than provide answers to questions of practical utility, this book is meant to generate openings—to catalyze the unfurling of myriad possibilities—related to Sousanis’s work.  The volume will make a valuable contribution to the fields of graphic studies and visual culture, art and design, network and information theory, and philosophy, as well as interdisciplinary interventions into study and practice in and of teaching in education, particularly into the importance of innovation, creativity, and play.


    The editors aim to gather chapter authors from a wide variety of disciplines (e.g., science, English, education, philosophy, art and design, performance) and educational contexts (e.g., elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education). Authors are asked to write from a first-person perspective on the ways in which they are unfurling the possibilities of Unflattening within one of the three sections to be included within the book: theoretical, methodological, or pedagogical.  Prospective contributors should note that the editors have secured interest in this project from several university presses.


    Call. We are seeking abstracts of no more than 500 words from prospective chapter authors. Please include the following information within your abstract:

    Clear connection to the notion of unfurling.

    Clear espousal of the section within which your chapter would be placed (theoretical, methodological, or pedagogical).

    Clear evidence of thoughtful engagement with the contents of Sousanis’s book, Unflattening, upon which this edited volume is based (we seek particularly engagement with and analysis of both word and image).

    In addition to your abstract, please provide a working chapter title and the names, institutional affiliations, and contact information for all authors. Abstracts are due no later than August 30, 2019. Email abstracts to


    Questions. Please address any questions you may have to

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