by Laura Oehme
After a short holiday break, the ComFor editorial team is back on track and it is my pleasure to fill you in on what happened since Lukas’ last update in July. Although, three months have passed, this update is rather brief as comics studies events were expectedly scarce over the summer. The new semester, however, promises to be packed with stimulating conferences, exhibitions, publications and festivals. As ComFor editorial team, we decided to kick off the season with a post that compiles all university classes in Germany that relate to comics in the upcoming winter semester 2017/18.
During the summer, we were able to share two reports of past conferences. Among them is the conference report for last year’s annual ComFor conference on comics in school (“Comics in der Schule – Schule im Comic”) in Duisburg. The extensive report was written by Jan-Niklas Meier and is available in German. The second conference report is from the summer school “Transnational Graphic Narratives” that Lukas announced in his last update. It took place in Siegen from July 31 to August 5, 2017 and, in accordance with the conference language, the report is in English.
At the end of October, this fall’s comics conference season will have started off with an international conference titled “Stories of Illness / Disability in Literature and Comics: Intersections of the Medical, the Personal, and the Cultural” that will take place in Hamburg from October 27 to 29. Our next update in December will then also cover this year’s annual ComFor conference, which addresses “Comics and the Popular” (“Der Comic und das Populäre”) on December 1–3 in Bonn. As usual, we cordially invite all comics studies scholars and comic lovers, as well as those who strive to become (either) one!
While academia might have been on (somewhat of a) summer break, there are numerous exhibitions that opened their doors, are still under way, or will start soon. Let me just mention one that features talks by ComFor members: the exhibition “The Nazi Era in Comics” (“Die NS-Zeit im Comic”) opened on September 6 and still runs until December 10, 2017. After two opening talks by Ralf Palandt in September, Martin Frenzel will speak about the genre of holocaust comics in general and the multiple fictional and autobiographical holocaust memories that exist beyond Spiegelman’s classic in particular. Frenzel’s talk “Beyond Maus?” (“Über Maus hinaus?”) takes place on October 24 at the concentration camp memorial site in Osthofen. Thanks to my colleague Alexandra Hentschel, you may always find past, current, and future comics exhibitions in Germany on the ComFor exhibitions website.
Call for Papers
Finally, I would like to draw your attention to a still ongoing Call for Papers for the English language winter school titled “Re/Decontextualizing Characters” in Tübingen, which will take place in February/March 2018. The deadline for abstracts, however, is November 30 and the organizer—none other than our very own Lukas Wilde, ComFor online editor-in-chief—is welcoming international contributions. So feel free to become part of a season full of stimulating comics studies events in Germany!
Laura Oehme is currently writing her dissertation on risk technologies and global catastrophe in contemporary American science fiction comics at the University of Bayreuth, where she works as a research assistant in the DFG-funded project “Contemporary American Risk Fiction.” She is a member of the German Society for Comics Studies (ComFor), as well as the AG Comicforschung, and is part of the editorial team of the ComFor website. Together with Jeanne Cortiel, she published an article titled “The Dark Knight’s Dystopian Vision: Batman, Risk, and American National Identity” in the open-access European Journal of American Studies.
Click here for previous editions of the Bi-Monthly ComFor Update.