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Workshop Report: “Formen der Selbstreflexivität im Medium Comic”

[Forms of Self-Reflexivity in Comics]

by Laura Schlichting and Markus Streb[1]

 

The workshop “Formen der Selbstreflexivität im Medium Comic” [Forms of Self-Reflexivity in Comics] organized by the German Society for Media Studies’ committee on Comics Studies, brought scholars from various disciplines together to discuss the relationship between comics and self-reflexivity as well as self-referentiality. The organisers, Nina Heindl (University of Cologne, Faculty of Art History) and Véronique Sina (Ruhr-University Bochum, Faculty of Media Science) carefully selected papers, each 15 minutes long, with regard to a five-part workshop structure comprised of aesthetic self-reflexivity; self-critical (fan) discourses; mechanisms of self-referentiality; factual and fictional (self) representations in comics; and meta-reflections on comics.

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Poetics of the Algorithm: A Report

By Leslie Goufo Zemmo, Giorgio Busi Rizzi and David Pinho Barros

 

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In June 2016, for three days, scholars from all over the world met at the Université de Liège for a ground-breaking bilingual conference on digital media. The starting points for the discussions were several challenging questions about the way storytelling is evolving with the adoption of new technologies on the part of  artists and writers. Poetics of the Algorithm was mainly concerned with the ways in which medial creations are changing, the impact these changes have on viewers and readers and how humanities scholars should deal with this paradigm shift. The ethical implications and the political consequences of the current state of digital creation were also fore preoccupations of the organisers Aarnoud Rommens, Benoît Crucifix and Björn-Olav Dozo when they set up this project.

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Report on the Superhero Identities Symposium (December 2016)

By Naja Later

Organised by the Australian Research Grant-supported Superheroes & Me research team, the Superheroes Identities Symposium ran at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne on 8-9 December 2016. The symposium hosted over 50 speakers whose research questioned what defines superheroes and how superheroes define us. With a wide range of panels, speakers, events and attendees, the symposium created a dynamic environment in which new frontiers of superhero research collided and collaborated with wonderful possibilities for the future.

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A report on the BCCS Comics Day and Tea Party by Paul Fisher Davies

The British Consortium of Comics Scholars emerged from an initially nameless reading group founded in 2012, in which a group of scholars in the South-East, mostly engaged in part-time PhD studies, gathered to discuss graphic narrative theory every few weeks, circulating venues between Brighton University, Sussex University and Central St Martins. What we shared was an interest in the practical nature of comics creation, its station in the world of discourse; and most of us were pursuing practice-based PhDs, or we ourselves created comics as well as being scholars of the medium.

Nicola Streeten was a key driver in moving forward this first BCCS symposium, which sought to celebrate those two strands of our interests — scholarship and creation of comics — by structuring a day, Saturday 30 May 2015, which would progress from research-led in the morning, through to creator-led in the later afternoon, and which would bring together comics scholars and creators, as well as being open to interested members of the public. All attendees were encouraged to draw (and write, and photograph) their notes and reactions to the day, and pages were left blank in the programmes for this very purpose.

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Tintin at 85: A Conference Review by Paddy Johnston

Tintin at 85 was a one-day symposium at UCL, scheduled for the 85th anniversary of Tintin’s first appearance in Le Petit Vingtième. Organisers Tyler Shores and Tom Ue had been working on a forthcoming academic book on Tintin for a year before the conference, pursuing a personal interest in Tintin, before being inspired to put together a conference after meeting with Moulinsart, the Hergé foundation. This meeting inspired Tyler and Tom to organise a conference which would interest scholars from various disciplines, fans of the Tintin series and the growing number of Tintinologists. In its bringing together of these communities, the symposium was the first of its kind in Anglophone scholarship. With the broad aim of examining and celebrating Tintin’s cultural legacy, the conference attracted a number of international scholars and, most notably, Tintinologist Michael Farr. Farr has written numerous books on Tintin, many of which are in-depth studies of the characters, and he has translated works from Francophone scholarship into English, including those of comics scholar Benoît Peeters.

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