Berndt Clavier and Jakob Dittmar: Defining “Graphic Novels” with the Help of “the Novel” – Reflecting on Emerging and Established Literary Forms.

Welcome to a K3 seminar with Berndt Clavier, Senior Lecturer in English Studies, K3, and Jakob Dittmar, Senior Lecturer and Docent in Media and Communication Studies, K3

The title of the talk is: Defining “Graphic Novels” with the Help of “the Novel” – Reflecting on Emerging and Established Literary Forms.

The seminar will take place on Wednesday, June 1 at 10.15-12.00. It will be a hybrid seminar. Please either come to NiB0501 or join online here: (this is the zoom link to all K3 seminars this term).

Below is an abstract for the seminar.

Narrative qualities of comics have become better understood with texts and images interweaving while offering different perspectives or focalisations in each image and different strands of texts. While different genres and styles are recognised in comics, a more differentiated approach to the distinct qualities of individual genres in graphic literature is needed if we want to understand and discuss these in their distinct graphic and narrative qualities that constitute their literary qualities, just like we discuss poetry and prose literature, film, and theatre – and their interrelations. The seminar looks into the use of the term graphic novel, into attempts to define it in different cultural contexts. The dominating approaches from Franco-Belgian as well as Ango-American comics research are discussed to develop a more substantial definition. For as soon as we look into comics narratives, they can be diversified into all kinds of things, but what we need to get into the discussion are aspects of graphiation and voice, as well as all the established criteria for understanding literature better.

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