Vorträge & Tagungen

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

Programme of the Kiel Comic Conference “Beginnings and Renewals in Comics”

2016 09 09 - 2016 09 11

Organised by the editorial team of CLOSURE, Kiel University’s e-journal for comics studies, Kiel’s first comic conference will be held from the 9th to the 11th of September 2016 at the University of Kiel. The conference focuses on ›Beginnings‹ and ›Renewals‹ in comics and takes into account both formal and historical aspects of the genre. The conference explicitly seeks to approach this topic from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Panels consist of 11 papers delivered by international comics scholars, a keynote address by Silke Horstkotte, and a concluding panel discussion. On Friday night, the conference opens with a comic book reading at the art gallery in Kiel. Four comic book artists – Tanja Esch from Hamburg, Jul Gordon and Sascha Hommer (»Kontaktcenter Hamburg«) and Gregor Hinz (comic magazine »Pure Fruit«) – read from their respective works, thereby approaching the topics of Beginnings and Renewals from a performative perspective. Presentations and the comic book reading are free of charge and open to university members as well as to the general public.

Attending the conference is free of charge and open to the public. Lectures will be given partly in English and partly in German

On the conference’s topic:
“On your marks! More than any other narrative field, graphic storytelling is determined by beginnings. Case in point: 2012 saw the newest in a long line of reboots, as DC comics renumbered and restarted its series and its universe. It is not just the context of serial superhero stories, however, that is characterized by ›beginnings‹ and ›renewals‹ – any historical perspective requires both comics and comics studies to re-examine the question of beginnings.

The conference, held on September 9-11, 2016 in Kiel, Germany, will focus on the themes of ›beginning‹ and ›renewal‹ in comics, seeking a wide range of interdisciplinary approaches to the question of what constitutes a new start in comics and for comics. This includes ›beginning‹ as a formal device as well as related inquiries into the narratological, stylistic and theoretical implications of beginnings within the structure of comics. Further approaches include the question of beginnings of the medium, its discourses and the study of comics. Last but not least: ›beginnings‹, ›renewals‹ and ›fresh starts‹ will also be analyzed as themes and motifs.”


Location: Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Düsternbrooker Weg 1, 24105 Kiel

Friday, 09 Sep 2016
17:30–18:15 h Registration
18:30–19:30 h Welcome and Reception
20:00–21:30 h Comic Reading at the KunsthalleDetails

Location: Kiel University, Leibnizstraße 1 (room 204), 24118 Kiel

Saturday, 10 Sep 2016
09:15–09:45 h Conference Opening and Short Introduction
Panel 1
09:45–10:30 h Joachim Jordan (Berlin, Germany):
The Sleepless Nights of Major Stefanov. Uncertain, Endless Beginnings in the Bulgarian Comic of the Eighties.
10:30–11:15 h Carmela Artime Omil (Barcelona, Spain):
Claiming Truth: Beginnings in Spanish Graphic Novels on the Civil War (2005-2015)
11:15–11:30 h Break
Panel 2
11:30–12:15 h Paul M. Malone (Waterloo, Canada):
Werbecomics at the Beginning of German Comics
12:15–13:00 h Camilla Murgia (Geneva, Switzerland):
Speech Balloons, Bubbles and Captions: the Rise of Narrative in 18th-Century British Comics
13:00–14:00 h Lunch Break
Panel 3
14:00–14:45 h Janek Scholz (Aachen, Germany):
Game Over and Reset. Serielle Neuanfänge im Comic Daytripper von Fábio Moon und Gabriel Bá
14:45–15:30 h David Turgay (Wörth, Germany):
First Page, First Issue, New Volume: Starting a Character Again and Again
15:30–16:15 h Annina Klappert (Erfurt, Germany):
Anders anfangen. Building Stories von Chris Ware
16:15–16:45 h Break
16:45–17:45 h Keynote: Silke Horstkotte (Warwick, UK):
Textanfänge, Weltanfänge. Peer Meters Serienmörder-Trilogie
17:45–18:15 h Break
18:30–open end Conference Dinner
Sunday, 11 Sep 2016
Panel 4
09:30–10:15 h Lukas R. A. Wilde (Tübingen, Germany):
On the Contemporary ›Mangaization‹ of Japanese Public Spaces: the Base-Narrativity of Manga-Pictoriality
10:15–11:00 h Jasmin Böschen (Hamburg, Germany):
Neuanfang in der Wissenschaft? Comic als Initiator für Visuelle Bildung
11:00–11:15 h Break
Panel 5
11:15–12:00 h Pascal Lefèvre (Brussels, Belgium):
Publication Format and Beginnings
12:00–12:45 h Bettina Egger (Salzburg, Austria):
Aesthetics of Polemics: L’Association and the Transformation of the Comic Book in the 1990s
12:45–13:15 h Break
13:15–14:00 h Closing Discussion
14:00 h Farewell


Continue to the conference page with full abstracts

Symposium “Narrative Structures and Visual Storytelling” at the ITFS

2016 04 27 10:00

The Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Films (ITFS) will be the host of an academic symposium on “Narrative Structures and Visual Storytelling”, organized in collaboration with the Society of Animation Studies, the School of Art, Design and Media at Nanyang Technological University Singapore, the Institute of Media Studies at Eberhard Karls University Tübingen, the AG Animation and the Literaturhaus Stuttgart.

Organizer’s announcement:
“The symposium negotiates the role and use of narrative structure and visual storytelling in literature, illustration, graphic storytelling and animation. International experts will address this fascinating theme in presentations. Topics include the relationship between color and visual storytelling, choices of graphic techniques in adaptations for comics and animation and the socio-cultural context of color in illustration, animation and comics. We will welcome internationally renowned experts from around the globe plus a highly distinguished keynote speaker.”


Prof. Michaela Pavlatova: The stories without the story / From my kitchen (Keynote)
Prof. Michael Schwertel: Digital Storytelling – What we could learn from the past to handle virtual reality (Keynote)
Lea Vidakovic: Animation installation and spatial storytelling
Assoc. Prof. Benjamin Seide: The Influence of Digital Visual Effects on Storytelling Structure (Keynote)
Naima Alam: So Relatable: Comic Medium as a Portrayal of the Social Realities of Bangladesh
Markus Watzl: Writing for modern-day-children – Geschichten aus Märchental

Entry: 15,- Euro at box office/ Free with accreditation or Festivalpass ITFS

Continue to organizer’s page

Winter School “Transmedial Narratology: Theories and Methods”

2016 02 23 13:00h - 2016 02 26

Winter_School_Transmedial_Narratology_smallTuebingen University’s Winter School 2015/16, organized by Jan-Noël Thon, brings together nine international keynote speakers to discuss “Transmedial Narratology: Theories and Methods”.

Karin Kukkonen (Oslo) opens up the Comic Book-workshop of the Winter School with “Transmedial Narratology and Comics Storytelling”. Anne Rüggemeier (Heidelberg) gives a presentation on “’I pose for all the characters in my book’: The Multimodal Processes of Production in Alison Bechdel‘s Are you my mother?” and Laura Schlichting (Giessen) continues with “What Transmedia Can Do for Graphic Journalism”.

Other keynote-speaker are Werner Wolf (Graz), Alison Gibbons (Leicester), Jan Alber (Aarhus), Erwin Feyersinger (Tübingen), Michael Butter (Tübingen) , Jan-Noël Thon (Tübingen) himself, Irina O. Rajewsky (Berlin) and Marie-Laure Ryan (Independent).

Complete program
Organizer’s page

Masterclass with Lev Manovich

2015 09 23 10:00-17:00

Hybride Narrativität_Förderer


Date: 23 September 2015, 10am-5pm, University of Potsdam
To sign up for the workshop, please contact Jochen Laubrock at: laubrock@uni-potsdam.de. Participation is free but will be limited to 20 seats, so please register early.

Lev Manovich is Professor of Computer Science at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, and founder and director of the Software Studies Initiative. In 2014 he was included in The Verge’s list of the 50 “most interesting people building the future”. He is well known for the automated exploration, analysis, and visualization of big image data, as exemplified in the “One million manga pages” or “Selfiecity” projects. Manovich is the author of Software Takes Command (Bloomsbury, 2013), Black Box – White Cube (Merve, 2005), Soft Cinema (MIT Press, 2005), The Language of the New Media (MIT Press, 2001), Metamediji (Belgrade, 2001), Tekstura: Russian Essays on Visual Culture (Chicago University Press, 1993) as well as over 120 articles which have been published in 30 countries and reprinted over 450 times. He is also one of the editors of the Software Studies book series (MIT Press) and Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Science (Springer).

Organizers’ Page

Conference report “Mediality and Materiality of Contemporary Comics”

ZfM_LogoFrom April 24th to 26th 2015 the University of Tübingen hosted the 2nd Workshop of the AG Comicforschung (Comic Studies Board) of the Gesellschaft für Medienwissenschaft GfM (the German Society for Media Studies) under the header “The Mediality and Materiality of Contemporary Comics”. Keynote-speakers Daniel Merlin Goodbrey (Hertfordshire), Ian Hague (Comics Forum), Karin Kukkonen (Turku), Véronique Sina (Bochum) and Daniel Stein (Siegen), as well as 10 additional presenters, discussed how this relationship has changed in the context of digitalization and an increasingly convergent media culture. A detailed conference report , written by Christian A. Bachmann and Stephan Packard , is now available at Zeitschrift für Medienwissenschaft (ZfM) , the online journal of the GfM.

-> Conference report.

Workshop-Program “The Mediality and Materiality of Contemporary Comics”

2015 04 24 09:00 - 2015 04 26

The-Mediality-and-Materiality-of-Contemporary-Comics_kleinThe 2nd workshop of the Comic Studies Board (AG Comicforschung) of the German Society for Media Studies (GfM), „The Mediality and Materiality of Contemporary Comics“, examines the relation between the mediality and the materiality of comics, particularly focusing on how this relation has changed in the context of digitalization and an increasingly convergent media culture. Various aspects of the topic will be addressed in 10 paper presentations and 5 keynote speeches by international experts.

Friday, April 24, 2015

09:00-09:30 Jan-Noël Thon/Lukas R.A. Wilde (Tübingen)
Introductory Remarks
09:30-10:30 Daniel Stein (Siegen)
Serial Authorship and Comics in the Digital Age
11:00-13:00 Workshop I (Stein)
Sándor Trippó (Debrecen): Doing History in Graphic Literature: An Analysis of Media Convergence in Recent Documentary Comics by Susanne Buddenberg and Thomas Henseler
Jakob Kibala (Hamburg): Infrastructures of Iconographic Knowledge in Comics
14:30-15:30 Karin Kukkonen (Turku)
Materiality with an Attitude: The Case of Transmetropolitan
16:00-18:00 Workshop II (Kukkonen)
Hans-Joachim Backe (Copenhagen): Love in the Kingdom of TV-Heads. Metalepsis as Media Commentary in B.K. Vaughan’s Saga
Markus Oppolzer (Salzburg): Physical and Digital Transformations of David Hine’s Strange Embrace

Saturday, April 25, 2015

09:30-10:30 Ian Hague (ComicsForum)
Circles, Squares and Dirty Windows: A Toolkit for Thinking About the Materiality of Digital Comics
11:00-13:00 Workshop III (Hague)
Christian A. Bachmann (Bochum): The Material of Metamediality: John Byrne – Scott McCloud – Brian Fies
Lukas Etter (Bern): Materiality and Style in Alternative Comics
14:30-15:30 Daniel Merlin Goodbrey (Hertfordshire)
Game Comics: Look, Listen, Play
16:00-18:00 Workshop IV (Goodbrey)
Gabriel S. Moses (Berlin): Serial Boxes #StackCracklePop. Redefining Social Media as a Game-Comics Hybrid
Oskari Rantala (Jyväskylä): Digital Disruptions of Medium-Specific Narrative Techniques Available to Comics

Sunday, April 26, 2015

09:30-10:30 Véronique Sina (Bochum)
(Re)mediation: Comics and Film in the Digital Age
11:00-13:00 Workshop V (Sina)
Sebastian Bartosch (Hamburg): Understanding Comics’ Mediality as an Actor-Network: Some Elements of Translation in the Works of Brian Fies and Dylan Horrocks
Mathias Bremgartner (Bern): In the Intermedial Zone: Comic Page Meets Theatre Stage

The conference takes place in Room 027 of the Neuphilologicum, also known as Brecht-Bau, which is located at Wilhelmstrasse 50, 72074 Tübingen.
Due to limitations regarding the number of participants we would kindly ask you to register your participation at contemporarycomics@graduiertenakademie.uni-tuebingen.de no later than April 15, 2015.

Jan-Noël Thon & Lukas R.A. Wilde
Department of Media Studies
University of Tübingen

Winter School Tübingen: Mediality and Multimodality across Media

2015 01 28 - 2015 01 30

Poster_Mediality_Multimodality_small The Winter School Mediality and Multimodality across Media examines the forms and functions of a wide variety of multimodal media forms from a range of different (inter)disciplinary perspectives. The keynote speakers will include Charles Forceville (Amsterdam), who is going to discuss Multimodality in Comics. Related issues will also be investigated in the paper presentations, for instance:

Benoît Crucifix (Leuven):
Frozen Moments. Database Logic and Narrative Drawing in Chris Ware’s Building Stories

Lukas R.A. Wilde (Tübingen):
Distinguishing Mediality. The Interplay between Modes and Conceptual Forms in Digital Comics

Fabian Gregori (Dresden):
To Cry Wolf in the Digital Age: Transmedial Narrative in Bill Willingham’s Fables and Telltale Games‘ The Wolf Among Us

Full program and additional information

Klaus Sachs-Hombach & Jan-Noël Thon
Department of Media Studies
University of Tübingen

Opening of the Comics Collection at the Library of the John-.F.-Kennedy-Institute

jfki-Collection_smallIn 2013, the library of the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies started to systematically develop its comic collection, which had been existing since the early 1970s. With the help of the Einstein Foundation, the library was able to buy more than 500 collections of historical newspaper comic strips, superhero anthologies from all ages, collections of important artists and writers, graphic novels and other current and historical examples of North American graphic narrative art. As part of a cooperation with the Comic Arts Collection at Michigan State University, the library additionally started collecting comic books. Michigan State University will donate double issues from its collection as a continuing donation to the library. The donations span genres and time periods from Action Comics of the 1960s and 70s to science fiction comics from the 1980s and current superhero comics. Together with other popular primary sources as movies, tv series, magazines or newspapers, comics serve as a regular source for research and teaching at the John F. Kennedy Institute. They are of special interest to the Research Unit “Popular Seriality — Aesthetics and Practice”.

The Collection offically opened on Nov. 25, 2014. You can read two talks about the collection that were held at the opening ceremony here:

Julia Mayer: Comics in wissenschaftlichen Bibliotheken und die Comic-Sammlung der Bibliothek des JFKI

Daniel Stein: Comics Studies in Germany: A Look at the John-F.-Kennedy-Institute’s Comics Collection through the Lens of the Research Unit “Popular Seriality – Aesthetics and Practice”

Further Information about the collection can be accessed here: http://www.jfki.fu-berlin.de/en/library/holdings/comics/index.html