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Symposium report: Tradition and Innovation in Franco-Belgian bande dessinée

by Fransiska Louwagie and Simon Lambert

 

On 13 March 2020 the University of Leicester hosted an International Symposium titled “Tradition and Innovation in Franco-Belgian bande dessinée” organised in collaboration with Wallonia-Brussels International. This one-day symposium – for which the progamme can be found here – was organised with generous support from the ASMCF, the Society for French Studies and the School of Arts at the University of Leicester.

The day was opened by Simon Lambert as Academic and Cultural Liaison Officer for Wallonia-Brussels in the UK, in conjunction with Fransiska Louwagie (University of Leicester). Keynote speakers were Professor Laurence Grove from the University of Glasgow and graphic novelist Michel Kichka, who also delivered a public seminar on his work. Across three panels, the day focussed on various forms of tradition and innovation in Franco-Belgian bande dessinée: the first panel was dedicated to “Revisiting the classics”, the second panel to “Contemporary perspectives”, and the final ASMCF panel to “Reshaping Franco-Belgian bande dessinée”. The closing remarks were organised as a roundtable session on collaborative international research projects.

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Conference Report: Fluid Images — Fluid Text: Comics’ Mobility Across Time, Space and Artistic Media (Cardiff University, Wales)

by Andrea De Falco

 

‘Fluid Images – Fluid Text’ was the title of an interdisciplinary conference that took place at Cardiff University (Wales) on 23-24 January 2020. The conference, organised by Dr Tilmann Altenberg (School of Modern Languages) and Dr Lisa El Refaie (School of English, Communication and Philosophy), hosted eighteen speakers from twelve institutions spread across seven different countries, featuring a wide range of backgrounds and approaches. The conference received financial support from Institute of Modern Languages Research (London), University Council of Modern Languages, Cardiff Comics Storytelling Network, Cardiff School of Modern Languages and Cardiff School of English, Communication and Philosophy.

The aim was to investigate from a transdisciplinary perspective three different and interlinked dimensions underpinning comics’ mobility: time, space and artistic media. The chronological dimension covers a broad field including the relationships between comics and history and the transformations investing their editorial and reading practices. Translation is the key word to understand how comics have been able to transcend national borders, by means of transmission in different languages and cultures. The last dimension leads us to comics’ adaptation in other media, investigating their relationships with different forms of artistic expression.

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Bangladeshi Women Creating Comics

by Sarah McNicol

Comics are, of course, found in many cultures, from Japanese manga and Chinese manhua to South and Central American historietas, and Filipino komiks that draw on traditional folklore as well as elements of mainstream US comics. Moreover, it has been argued that comic books “have always been attuned to the experiences of immigrant Others” (Davis-McElligatt, 2010: 137). Graphic narratives have long played a crucial role in representing and constructing immigrant subjects and the immigrant experience. Today, several of the most widely known graphic novels address issues of migration including Chris Ware’s (2001) Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth and Shaun Tan’s wordless graphic novel (2007) The Arrival. The latter is often said to depict a universal story of migration, telling “not an immigrant’s story, but the immigrant’s story” (Yang, 2007). Nevertheless, it is explicitly the story of a man’s migration as he leaves his wife and daughter behind to make a better life in a new land. At the end of his struggles, the man reunites with his family who, it would appear, settle seamlessly into their new life without experiencing any of the hardships he has endured. Discussing literature more broadly, Pavlenko (2001: 220) argues, “immigrant women’s stories were continuously ignored by the literary establishment” despite the fact that female migrant life writing often explores different themes from those of traditional male autobiographies.

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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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Posted by on 2017/03/09 in ACME, Conference reports

 

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Experiments in Digital Comics: Somewhere between Comics and Multimedia Storytelling by Jakob F. Dittmar

This paper looks at a few experiments on comics-storytelling in digital comics. The paper starts with introducing aspects from media psychology and research on technical documentation to look into the narrative and graphic structure of comics and touches on the characteristics of digital media before focusing on specific examples in more detail.

It can be said that a lot of digital and analogue comics constantly experiment on formal and narrative options. This is most obvious where elements of other narrative media get included (see Dittmar 2012 for a more thorough discussion of digital comics). The growing spectrum of forms offers more and more areas to use comics for: not only fictional but also non-fictional issues are communicated increasingly often in comics. For instance, maintenance manuals and assembly instructions for all kinds of artefacts are provided in sequential images more and more (see Schwender 2007, also: Jüngst 2010) – they are much easier to read than descriptive texts, as no translation of text into visual information is done, but the artefact in question and its parts are depicted and can be recognised easily.

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Posted by on 2015/03/14 in Guest Writers

 

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