Exhibition Poster and Program Flyers for ComFor 2018

2018 07 11 12uhr - 2018 09 20
„SuperQueeroes. Unsere LGBTI*-Comic-Held_innen“

In less than two and a half months, ComFor’s Annual Conference 2018 will take place at the University of Cologne on the topic “Spaces Between – Gender, Diversity and Identity in Comics”. At the same time one can visit the exhibition “SuperQueeroes. Unsere LGBTI*-Comic-Held_innen”, which was designed in 2016 by the Schwules Museum Berlin and shown with great success. For the first time, queer comic heroes of various kinds were thematized in the German museum world. As part of the ComFor annual conference, the exhibition was brought to Cologne under the organization of Christine Gundermann and reworked for the university by students as part of a seminar.
The exhibition can be visited from 11 July to September 20 in the foyer of the Philosophikum of the University of Cologne. Vernissage is on the 11th of July from 12 o’clock, opening with a talk by and about comic artist Ralf König . Subsequently, the exhibition will be opened by Dr. Kevin Clarke, curator of the Schwules Museum Berlin.

The organizers of the conference, Véronique Sina and Nina Heindl, have now also published digital program flyers in German and English (design: Julia Eckel), which not only provide quick overviews of the topics and the schedule of the conference, but – with motifs by artist Aisha Franz – also turned out to be very appealing:

Program flyer in German
Program flyer in English

Continue to the conference’s page with information on the registration process

Workshop “Comics Annotation” in Potsdam

2018 06 18 - 2018 06 19

On June 18–19, 2018, the Early-Career Research Group ‘Hybrid Narrativity’ will host a “Workshop on Comics Annotation: Designing Common Frameworks for Empirical Research”.

Organizers’ Announcement:

“This workshop will bring together scholars in the field of empirical comics research to define common standards and ensure interoperability between disciplines. Researchers interested in comics are increasingly discovering annotation as a necessary and highly beneficial way of digitally enriching their object of study and moving towards data-driven scholarship. For this purpose, a number of tools and data formats have been adopted in areas as diverse as literary and media studies, art history and linguistics, cognitive and computer science. While this diversity represents the outcome of different requirements and backgrounds, a lack of coordination may also make it difficult or even impossible to share data and compare results. The workshop aims to establish common frameworks for future research and answer the following questions:

• What standards do we need to define to ensure interoperability between different researchers and approaches?
• How can annotation schemes be developed and adapted for the visual aspects of artefacts such as comics?
• How can integration be achieved between text-oriented standards, such as TEI and CBML, and further non-text-oriented schemes?
• Where, and to what extent, do we need to move beyond, or in parallel to, XML to support empirical studies more broadly, taking in data on eyetracking, EEG, reading order, physiological responses, etc.?

Participants: John Bateman, Neil Cohn, Jeremy Douglass, Alexander Dunst, Jochen Laubrock, Frederik Schlupkothen, John Walsh…”

Organizer’s Website

Winter School Tuebingen: “De/Recontextualizing Characters”

2018 02 27 - 2018 03 02

A Tuebingen University Winter School, organized by Lukas R.A. Wilde, brings together eleven international keynote speakers and ten junior researchers to discuss

“De/Recontextualizing Characters: Media Convergence and Pre-/Meta-Narrative Character Circulation”

Topics concerning comics and manga are especially prominent within the 4day-program, likely due to the high number of ComFor participants: Jaqueline Berndt (Stockholm), Jan-Niklas Meier (Bielefeld), Christina Meyer (Osnarbrück), Stephan Packard (Cologne), Johannes Schmid (Hamburg), Jan-Noël Thon (Nottingham), Jeff Thoss (Berlin), and Vanessa Ossa (Tübingen) .

The conference takes place in the Turmzimmer of Castle Hohentuebingen. Due to limitations regarding the number of participants we would kindly ask you to register your participation at contextualizingcharacters (ät)
The conference is supported by the Institutional Strategy of the University of Tübingen (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, ZUK 63).

Continue to the full Program (Pdf)
Continue to organizer’s page

Continue to the organizer’s announcement

Conference of the Comic Studies Board in Gießen: “Graphic Realities”

The Comic Studies Board (AG Comicforschung) of the German Society of Media Studies (GfM) warmly invites to its international conference “Graphic Realities: Comics as Documentary, History, and Journalism”. Organized by Laura Schlichting (Gießen) and Johannes C.P. Schmid (Hamburg), in cooperation with the International Graduate Centre for the Study of Culture (GCSC) at the Justus-Liebig-University of Gießen, the conference encompasses 4 sections with 12 international presenters, including Prof. Dr. Jörn Ahrens (Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen), Dr. Nina Mickwitz (University of the Arts London), Prof. Dr. Dirk Vanderbeke (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena), and Prof. Dr. Wibke Weber (Züricher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften, Winterthur).

Admission is free, but attendants are kindly asked to register until February 10th 2018 at

Organizer’s outline:
“While comics have traditionally been associated with fictional, especially funny and/or fantastic stories, they have in recent decades become a major vehicle for nonfiction, as well. This development coincides with a time that has been described as ‘post-truth’, in which established news media face a crisis of confidence. The turn towards comics is a turn towards a medium, which inherently promotes simplification and exaggeration. Cartoon imagery thus immediately exhibits the subjectivity of the artist and her or his interpretation – but what could be considered a hindrance towards factual reporting has become an important resource. The overt display of subjectivity and medial limitations as a show of honesty has been described as an authentication strategy of graphic nonfiction. In contrast to formats based on camera-recorded images like photography and film nonfiction comics cannot lay claim to indexing premedial reality. Rather, individual graphic styles index their own creator who as witness becomes the main authenticator. Thus, comics shift the weight of authentication from medial prerequisites towards their authors and artists and thus the textual properties referencing them. One of the questions that will be discussed at the conference is thus the relation of inherent medial properties of comics as vehicle for nonfiction.
While among graphic nonfiction life writing in particular has received widespread scholarly attention, this conference will focus on recent approaches to comics as documentary, history, and journalism. As opposed to graphic memoirs in which authors reflect upon their own lives and experiences, these works focus on the lives and experiences of others. Thus, authors and artists need to do justice towards their subjects, as well as to their own experience and negotiate their own voices within their stories. This becomes especially relevant as a majority of graphic reportages centers around highly traumatizing crises and catastrophes, such as war, displacement, natural disasters, and oppression. The conference is intended to explore how authors and artists utilize the medium of comics for nonfiction and address these ‘graphic realities’.”

Organizer’s page

Read more: Full Program

Conference Program “Stories of Illness/ Disability in Literature and Comics”

2017 10 27 - 2017 10 29

Stories of Illness/ Disability in Literature and Comics.
Intersections of the Medical, the Personal, and the Cultural

PathoGraphics research group

Friedrich Schlegel Graduate School of Literary Studies
Freie Universität Berlin

Organizer’s announcement:
“This conference examines the ways in which knowledge and experience of illness and disability circulate within the realms of medicine, art, the personal and the cultural. Speakers address this question from a variety of different perspectives, including literary scholarship, comics studies, media studies, disability studies, the health humanities and sociology.

With a Keynote by Leigh Gilmore (Wellesley College): “Tainted Witness: Risking Aversion in Autobiographical Comics”. Places will be made available for free and on a first-come, first-served basis. To register, please email between (but not before) 2-20 October 2017.”

To the organizer’s page

Continue Reading: Full program

Report “Summer School: Transnational Graphic Narratives”

University of Siegen, Germany. July 31st – August 5th 2017

Contributed by Amadeo Gandolfo, Pablo Turnes, Laura Nallely Hernández Nieto and Lia Roxana Donadon

Illustration by Suraya Binti Md Nasir (artistic web profile:; excellent visual work was created by several other participants as well (e.g., Subir Dey’s:


The first Transnational Graphic Narratives Summer School (abbreviated TGN) was held at the University of Siegen, Campus Unteres Schloß, from July 31st to August 5th of 2017. The participants included the following scholars (in alphabetical order): José Alaniz (University of Washington, USA), Benoît Crucifix (Université de Liège, Belgium), Veronica Dean (University of Los Angeles, USA), Subir Dey (Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, India), Harriet Earle (Sheffield Hallam University, England), Franca Feil (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany), Moritz Fink (Academy for Civic Education Tutzing, Germany), Amadeo Gandolfo and Pablo Turnes (National University of Buenos Aires / CONICET, Argentina), Isabelle Guillaume (University of Bordeaux Montaigne, France), Olivia Hicks (University of Dundee, Scotland), Ganiyu A. Jimoh (University of Lagos, Nigeria), Kenan Koçak (Bilecik Şeyh Edebali University, Turkey), Sarah Lightman (University of Glasgow, Scotland), Suraya Md Nasir (Kyoto Seika University, Japan), Laura Nallely Hernández Nieto (National Autonomous University of Mexico), Barbara Postema (Concordia University, Canada), Johannes Schmid (University of Hamburg, Germany), Pfunzo Sidogi (Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa), Simon Turner (Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Culture, England), Jocelyn Wright (University of Texas, USA), Tobias Yu-Kiener (University of the Arts London, Great Britain), Giorgio Buzzi Rizzi (University of Bologna, Italy), Lia Roxana Donadon (University of Siegen, Germany).

Group Shot by Jimoh Ganiyu

Group Shot by Jimoh Ganiyu


Prof. Dr. Daniel Stein and Dr. des. Lukas Etter (University of Siegen) were in charge of the organization of the TGN Summer School, with logistical support of student assistants Katja Dosztal and Yvonne Knop (University of Siegen). The Summer School was generously funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.

Continue Reading: Conference Report

Panel by the AG Comicforschung in Paris

2017 06 28 - 2017 07 01

The AG Comicforschung hosts an English-language panel entitled “Cartoon Bodies and Graphic Sensuality” on Saturday, 1 July 2017 as part of the annual conference of the European Network for Cinema and Media Studies (NECS). Panel chair is Erwin Feyersinger (Tübingen).

Panel description (shortened):

“This panel combines four approaches to re-examine this idiosyncratic graphic sensuality: Ranging from the ambiguously emancipatory and racist traditions of physiognomically deformed bodies in the early 20th century, through their redrawing in the genre-defining art of underground comix and the political implications of their mutual naturalization and denaturalization in mainstream comics, to the yet innovative re-distribution of depicted and elicited agency in digital comics, these contributions are posed to focus the discussion of this aesthetic ambivalence and promise through four concrete analyses.”

Panel talks:

  • Lukas R.A. Wilde (Tübingen), “Interfacing (Digital) Comics: The Distribution and Negotiation of Agency and Control”
  • Markus Engelns (Duisburg-Essen), “Seeing fragmented Bodies – Towards an inherent political quality of comic books”
  • Stephan Packard (Freiburg/Cologne), “‘Striking Our Time in Its Face’: The Implausibly Denied Aggression of Caricature in Cartoons Focused Through Karl Kraus’ Battles with the Genre”
  • Véronique Sina (Bochum), “‘If only I’d had a nose job’ – Representations of the Gendered Jewish Body in the Works of Aline Kominsky Crumb”

Website of the AG Comicforschung (with extensive abstracts)

Website of the NECS conference

Forum “Drawing Illness: Graphic Memoir and the Art of Getting Better”

2017 04 20


“In recent decades the graphic memoir has emerged as one of the most successful genres of alternative comics. These works address real experiences ranging from war and persecution to migration and discrimination. Graphic illness writing, as a major sub-genre, tells of personal encounters with physical and mental illness. The comics form is particularly well-suited to express highly emotional experiences of personal crisis and trauma. The abstraction of the cartoon drawing style, as well as, the blanks in between panels for the readers to fill, enable artists to visualize experiences that elude other media.

In her recent graphic memoir Lighter than my Shadow (2013) British author Katie Green depicts her adolescent experience of eating disorders and abuse. But the self-described “trip into the black heart of a taboo illness“ is also a story of recovery, coming of age, and self-expression through art. The drawing process itself becomes a way to work through her experience, give them a shape, and, finally, of getting better. This workshop will seek to explore how lines and scribbles can express complex emotional trauma and comic panels frame, contain, and explain where words fall short.”


  • Katie Green, “Drawing Shadows”
  • Lukas Etter, “Lines, Curls, Scribbles: Individual Drawing and Individual Style”
  • Panel diskussion with Katie Green (Author of Lighter than my Shadow), Lukas Etter (University of Siegen), Christina Maria Koch (University of Marburg) and Johannes C. P. Schmid (University of Hamburg); moderator: Astrid Böger (Director Arbeitsstelle für Graphische Literatur, University of Hamburg)




2017 04 19 - 2017 04 21

Comics and Memory is an international NNCORE conference (Nordic Network for Comic Research) organized at the University of Ghent from April 19-21, 2017, in collaboration with the KU Leuven, UCLouvain (GRIT), and the ACME comics research group (University of Liège). This conference examines the complex relationships between comics and memory through the prisms of personal, collective, and medial forms as well as practices of remembering.

The conference is free and open to the public.

To the Conference Page

Continue Reading: Full Programm

Public Lecture “Ethics, Politics, and the Visual Representation of Disability” at the FU Berlin

Professor G. Thomas Couser (New York) is going to speak about the topic “PathoGraphic Embodiment: Ethics, Politics, and the Visual Representation of Disability” at the FU Berlin. The lecture is organized by the PathoGraphics research project and the Friedrich-Schlegel Graduate School for Literary Studies (FU Berlin).

Organizer’s announcement:
“Thomas Couser, Professor emeritus of English and founding director of the disability studies program at Hofstra University (USA) is internationally renowned for his research in the areas of life writing and disability. He is known within American literature and cultural studies circles specifically for his books Recovering Bodies: Illness, Disability, and Life Writing (1997),
Vulnerable Subjects: Ethics and Life Writing (2004), Signifying Bodies: Disability in Contemporary Life Writing (2009) and Memoir: An Introduction (2010).

In his lecture at Freie Universität Thomas Couser will speak about his work to date on literary pathographies as compared to visual/textual narratives of illness and disability in comics and graphic novels. What significance do the respective genres have for authors and their readers? What are the ethical, political and aesthetic concerns in narratives of illness and disability in both literary and graphic form?

The lecture will be followed by a discussion between Thomas Couser and MK Czerwiec (Chicago), American comic artist, nurse, and co-founder of the online platform Graphic Medicine, as well as author of the graphic novel Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371. Lecture and discussion are open to the public: all those interested are warmly welcome to attend. Reception to follow.”

Continue to the FU page