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Category Archives: ComFor Updates

The Bi-Monthly ComFor Update for November 2018

by Stephan Packard

After the traditional summer break, the winter semester has begun at German, Swiss and Austrian universities. A few weeks in, at least 15 courses and lecture series in those regions have begun work related to comics studies: the ComFor website’s staff has edited a useful and fascinating list. In addition to all of these courses, the Comic-Kolloquium in Berlin has started up again as well, boasting no less than ten announced talks from guests and regulars throughout the season. Topics range from Art Spiegelman to Preacher, from Eastern German history to 19th century sequential art, and from literary criticism to quantitative and network analysis. Back in June, the Comic-Kolloquium had contributed a dense series of talks packed with presentations that opened up comics studies for a popular audience at the Comic Invasion Berlin. The Kolloquium is organized by Matthias Harbeck, Linda-Rabea Heyden and Marie Schröer.

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The Bi-Monthly ComFor Update for June 2018

by Laura Oehme

The summer term has started and the past two months since Julia’s update were rich in comics-related events in academia (and beyond) all over Germany. With regard to the ComFor itself, the biggest news is the new board of the society that was elected at the end of April. As part of the ComFor’s current online editorial team, I am particularly happy to see that Lukas R.A. Wilde – the longest-serving member and absolutely vital coordinator of the editorial team – has been chosen for the position of treasurer, but I am equally ecstatic about the reelection of Stephan Packard as president and the election of Véronique Sina as vice president of the society. For more information on all three board members, please see our introduction of the “ComFor’s New Managing Committee”.

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The Bi-Monthly ComFor Update for April 2018

By Julia Ingold

Finally, spring has arrived in most parts of Germany, and with it some exciting events. The summer term has just started and on our website we have again put together a list of most classes related to comics studies taught at German-speaking universities in various fields like history, literature or didactics. ComFor’s President Stephan Packard and the Comic Studies Working Group’s speaker Véronique Sina, for instance, are organizing a series of lectures at Cologne University under the title “Aktuelle Perspektiven der Comicforschung” (“Recent Perspectives in Comics Studies”). They compiled a broad program to shed some more light on the ever-expanding diversity of the field as an interdisciplinary practice. The speakers are from all different realms of the humanities (and even beyond), such as semiotics, media studies, linguistics, childhood studies, digital humanities, fan studies, sociology, narratology, political science, intersectionality studies, postcolonial studies and Japanese studies. The program intends to give students insights into the flourishing domain of comics studies and to teach them about methodology in media studies in general. For more information on this promising project visit our website.

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The Bi-Monthly ComFor Update for February 2018

By Lukas R. A. Wilde

It might be a little late to open the 2018 installments of our column with a “happy new year”… but nevertheless: happy new year! As usual, ComFor‘s 2018 started off with our edited lists of international comic book reading recommendations from some of our members. This time around, the participation was exceptionally high, with more than a dozen seasoned scholars, junior researchers and prolific journalists involved.

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The Bi-Monthly ComFor Update for December 2017

by Stephan Packard

 

For comics studies in the German speaking parts of the world, the last two months of this year were dominated by two major conferences.

On the one hand, the annual ComFor conference took place in early December. Hosted for the first time at Bonn University, the conference focused on Comics and their Popularity. With this topic, organisers Joachim Trinkwitz and Rolf Lohse brought the continuously expanding discussion in the German Society for Comics Studies back to some aspects that had almost been neglected in several years of research, as the discipline had moved towards perspectives on advanced, avant-garde and aesthetically unique comics. This year returned our attention to the art form as a decisively popular genre and thus revisited questions of seriality, popularity, ideology and culture industry. Beginning with the by now traditional open workshop for planned and ongoing research, the conference then moved on to discussing practices of identity, political and ideological aspects, discourses of cultural legitimacy, facets of authorship and finally the concept of the popular itself. In their keynote lectures, Julia Round (Bournemouth) and Martin Lund (Växjo/New York) discussed canonicity and aestheticism in Neil Gaiman’s Sandman and the popular propaganda of Jack T. Chick’s ‘chick tracts’ respectively.

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