Next Friday, ComFor member Elizabeth ‘Biz’ Nijdam is organizing and chairing a panel discussion at the Goethe-Institut Montreal for the German Studies Association’s Comic Studies Network with comic artist Birgit Weyhe and Dr. Priscilla Layne (UNC-Chapel Hill) about their recent collaboration on Rude Girl (2022). Involved are also the UBC Comic Studies Cluster and the Department of Classics, Modern Languages, and Linguistics at Concordia University. For those interested, online registration and participation is possible.
“In 2018, Birgit Weyhe joined a room of German comics scholars at a GSA (German Studies Association) panel on diversity and inclusion in German-language comics to bear witness to a presentation by Dr. Brett Sterling that openly criticized her graphic novel Madgermanes (2016) for its representation of Blackness and cultural appropriation. While this commentary was far from welcome, it marked the start of the author’s journey in revaluating her power and privilege as a comics artist. Soon thereafter, Weyhe met Dr. Priscilla Layne, an Associate Professor of German Weyhe und Layne in MontrealStudies at UNC-Chapel Hill with Caribbean roots. Over the course of the next few years, Weyhe and Layne collaborated on the graphic novel Rude Girl (2022), which explore Layne’s life growing up in Chicago, experience of racism, and path to German studies, all the while interrogating what it means for a White artist to represent Black lives.
This panel will take the form of a conversation with the co-creators of Rude Girl, discussing Layne and Weyhe’s collaboration and the role of comics in intersectional explorations of Black identity.”