CFP: Circulation, translation, transmediality. Comics in a globalized world (II)

Comic-Symposium am Institut für Romanistik
University of Hamburg
July 4-5, 2024
Stichtag: 2024 05 15

Since its origins as comic strips in the American press at the tail end of the 19th century, comics have been a global cultural phenomenon, meaning that its artistic and industrial production is deeply informed by its circulation from country to country, continent to continent (Gociol & Gutiérrez, 2012) and, also, from one medium to another. This is more true today than ever, as evidenced in bookstores around the world: Spanish superheroes, Latin American graphic novels created to be sold in the French market, mangaesque stories of homosexual love adapted to German tastes.

In this second part of the International Symposium “Comics in the Globalized World”, subtitled “Circulation, Translation, Transmediality” and scheduled to be held on July 4th and 5th, 2024 at the University of Hamburg, we wish to extend the discussion to transmedial in order to ponder about how this global traffic translates into graphic, narratological and, especially, media terms for contemporary comics. To give an example, the marks of the reception, influence and appropriation of manga, but also its animated counterpart, anime, is visible in character design and line drawing inflections, both in an mangaesque style, both explicitly (Berndt, 2020; Santiago Iglesias, 2020), and implicitly (Latxague, 2018), giving rise to hybrid and novel styles. Even more, it has affected the way in which stories are narrated with images, understanding by this what has been called “visual narrative grammar” (Cohn, 2013) or “language” of comics (Groensteen, 2007). That is, it has deeply influenced how the elements that make the multimodality of graphic narrative are arranged (Kaindl, 2004; Rota, 2014). For example, onomatopoeias (Rampant, 2010; Borbély, 2014).

As evidenced by the growing number of graphic novels that attempt the transfer literary works into comics, both classic and contemporary, both in Latin America (Sepúlveda, 2021) and in Europe, particularly Spain (García Reyes, 2020; Mérida Donoso, 2022), these loans between different media are not exclusive to Japanese mass culture. Therefore, the analysis of innovations in visual narrative demands to be thought not only on a global scale, but also transmedial. That is, contemplating the existence and translation of narratives through different media, be it comics, prose, audiovisual productions or videogames, as a fundamental dimension for its analysis. In what ways is it different how a story is told in a comic compared to the prose novel or even the film that its adapting (Baile Lopez, 2020)? What are those resources or elements proper to graphic narrative that are “intranslatable” for television? Questions that bring us closer to thinking about the specificity of a medium that exists in constant circulation, translation and transformation, even between different media.

Proposals for the International Symposium should include a title and abstract (max. 300 words  plus  bibliography)  and  a  short  author  biography  (max.  100  words) until May 15th. Contributions can be submitted in Spanish or English and should be sent to As the selected contributions will be compiled into a collective volume to be published this year, accepted presentations should send the full paper by July 17th. Formal aspects of the paper will be communicated via subsequent circulars. Depending on the number of participants traveling by air, there is the possibility of reimbursement of travel and accommodation expenses, thanks to the sponsorship of the event by the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung.


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