Contemporary Nordic Comics Research Conference October 7- 8 2021 Malmö University

The contemporary Nordic comics scene is diverse and multifaceted. Classic characters from the 30s are still popular and exist side by side with avantgarde, feminist, and political comics. A mainstream Nordic comic could very well be represented by semi-autobiographical funny animals published in a daily newspaper; alternately we also find self-published manga and epic genres (noir, fantasy, horror). Twenty-five years ago, the situation was radically different. Many feared that comics would soon be obsolete due to the fast growth of digital media. Since then, however, both comics and comics research has undergone an almost explosive development in the Nordic region. This is especially noticeable in Malmö, branded as The City of Comics, with a rich infrastructure of comics-related initiatives including education, research, professional artists’ networks, publishing companies, comics organizations and The Swedish Comics Archive.

In recent years, academic interest in Nordic comics has also increased substantially, both in the Nordic countries and beyond, in disciplines such as comparative literature, media and communication studies, and art history, as well as within the emerging field of comic studies.

The Contemporary Nordic Comics Research Conference aims to present and discuss current research on Nordic comics, as well as share resources including academic networks, archives, and collaborative projects. A long-term goal is to contribute to the development of both research about Nordic comics and comics research in the Nordic countries through facilitating collaborations between comics researchers in the Nordic countries and researchers in other countries who are also interested in Nordic comics.

We therefor invite the submission of papers to the Contemporary Nordic Comics Research Conference at Malmö university.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
* Trends in Nordic comics
* Comparisons between comics in the Nordic countries and abroad´
* The role of comics in Nordic culture(s)´
* The history of Nordic comics
* Nordic comics viewed from abroad
* Comics and the Nordic welfare states
* Nordic comics in dialogue with the world

Please, send proposals of 250 words, plus a short biography to:
gunnar.krantz@mau.se and magnus.nilsson@mau.se no later than March 15.

If the covid pandemic should make it impossible to host the conference in Malmö, it will take place online.


CfP: Feminist Comics in the Nordic Region

Contemporary comics in the Nordic countries have undergone an explosion in feminist comics and graphic novels since the 2000s. In Sweden, feminist comics have become commercial successes, winning prestigious prizes and appearing in exhibitions, Instagram and other social media Recently, a new generation of artists has entered the scene with a renewed focus on queer and intersectional issues. This special issue seeks to call attention to feminist comic art throughout the Nordic region (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Iceland), both by established creators and from emerging voices. The history of feminist comics can be traced back to the social movements of the 1970s, but the energy and creativity of contemporary feminist comics is new, reflecting both international trends and conditions specific to the region and to each national context.

This issue of European Comic Art invites articles on the diversity of feminist comics in the Nordic region in a variety of genres, from feminist satire and autobiography to fantasy and romance. Feminist comics have received a degree of attention from Nordic researchers, but few articles have been published in English. We welcome research on specific comics, creators, genres, or historical genealogies, as well as comparative or interdisciplinary approaches.

Submissions of research articles should be between 6000 and 7000 words.

Please send a short abstract (200 words) of your article to co-editors Mike Classon Frangos , (Senior Lecturer, Linnaeus University, mike.classon.frangos@lnu.se) and Anna Nordenstam (Professor, University of Gothenburg, anna.nordenstam@lir.gu.se), no later than 1 March 2021. We will respond with decisions shortly afterward, and the deadline for the completed article will be 1 September. Eventual publication will depend on feedback after double blind peer reviews of the completed article.

European Comic Art is the first English-language scholarly publication devoted to the study of European-language graphic novels, comic strips, comic books and caricature. For more information, see http://journals.berghahnbooks.com/eca

K3 Research Seminar: Saskia Gullstrand – Cinematic Storytelling in Comics

Film and comics share one very fundamental storytelling technique – the image montage, which offers the possibility to show the story to the reader through a sequence of images. Through artistic research, I’m investigating what montage strategies artists can use to create a cinematic flow in comics, and the effects it can have on the emotional involvement of the reader of narrative comics.

In this seminar, I’ll discuss what cinematic flow within comics narration can look like, with a focus on grid structure in page layout, the relationship between images and text and the use of dynamic “camera” perspectives and field sizes in the images. By combining my viewpoint as a comics creator and storyteller with academic comics theory, I want to conduct artistic research in comics that exists in dialogue with other forms of comics research, but also serve artists and their practices as storytellers.

This is work in progress. From the seminar, I’d like constructive critique on how to move forward, but also exchange ideas on how to create a dialogue on methods of artistic research between academia and comics artists, as well as an exchange of knowledge and perspectives on comics as an art form.  

November 18 at 10.00 AM (CET) on Zoom: https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/65766558955?pwd=RUNrUGtBNnZWcGtUZUFONGZQM21UUT09

Saskia Gullstrand, Li Jönsson, Kristina Lindström and Åsa Ståhl: Un/making pollination through graphical visualisations

(From https://blogg.mah.se/k3researchblog/ posted by Bo Reimer 2020-10-28)


Welcome to a K3 seminar with Saskia Gullstrand, Lecturer in Comics, K3, Li Jönsson, Associate Senior Lecturer in Design, K3, Kristina Lindström, Senior Lecturer in Product Design, K3, and Åsa Ståhl, Senior Lecturer in Design, Linnaeus University.

The title of the seminar is Un/making pollination through graphical visualisations

This will be an online seminar, carried out through Zoom, and it will take place on Wednesday, November 4 at 10.15-12.00. Please join here:

https://mau-se.zoom.us/j/66498482776?pwd=Nmdja1gxd2g3S0Q2dTVOekpia3dOdz09

Below you will find an abstract and three pictures that it would be good if you had available during the seminar.

Abstract

Reports, observations, predictions and speculation tell us stories about a limited future. In the project Un/Making Pollination we have engaged in one particular prediction of a thin future: the alarming loss of pollinators, and along with that many of our present times fruits, vegetables, berries and more that we take for granted today.

How do these (often) thin predictions and speculations of the future influence the way we act in the present and the here and now? How do they influence how we relate to, prepare for, and intervene into the future?

In this seminar we will discuss these questions through a series of public engagement events that approach these matters of concerns through different material engagements and expressions. This includes enacting appetizer recipes, the making of hand-pollination tools and narration through poetic comics.

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Comics and Society: Research, Art, and Cultural Politics

Comics and Society: Research, Art, and Cultural Politics (2019-2021) is an interdisciplinary three-year initiative that aims to cultivate our understanding of comics as a social and socially defined phenomenon and to strengthen the status of comic art and comics scholarship in the Nordic-Baltic region. Through academic discussion, artistic work, and social engagement we explore how comics take part in making sense of societies, social phenomena, and societal changes especially, but not exclusively, in the Nordic and Baltic countries.

The CFP for our final winter session has been published! We will collaborate with Circle 4: Narrative and Violence in March 2021. See the CFP here (or download as a pdf).

Pascal Lefèvre appointed honorary doctor at Malmö university

We are happy to announce that comics historian and theorist, Professor Pascal Lefèvre is appointed honorary doctor at the Faculty of Culture and Society. As the 2020 Annual Academic Ceremony has been postponed due to the pandemic, he is the only one appointed by the University this year.

“Professor Pascal Lefèvre is a pioneer in comics research. His work on the history and theory of this art form has been fundamental to the development of the research field in Europe, not least at our Faculty,” says Rebecka Lettevall, Dean of the Faculty of Culture and Society.

Continue reading here: Pioneer in comics research is appointed honorary doctor at Malmö University

Malmö Comics Research Lab at Skillinge Comics Festival 2020

Official poster by Moa Romanova (image) och Kalle Mattsson (typography) 2020.

A panel of 3 lectures + discussion on comics research (live – via Zoom)

On Friday September 11th, Malmö Comics Research Lab will present research in progress. Jakob Dittmar will discuss documentary narration in Charlie Christensens comics, Saskia Gullstrand will give her view on comics and artistic research and Gunnar Krantz will talk about the praxis of  inking. The panel will be followed by a discussion with comics artists participating in the exhibitions at the festival.
The panel will take place between 10 to 12 AM, followed by a discussion at 13.30 to 15 PM.

For more info about the festival, please visit the official website:
https://seriefestival.wordpress.com/

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/skillingeseriefestival

Recorded seminars (more will follow):

Gunnar Krantz – introduction:
https://play.mau.se/media/t/0_607uuwm2

Saskia Gullstrand on comics and artistic research:
https://play.mau.se/media/t/0_5w66y9c6

Gunnar Krantz on the praxis of inking:
https://play.mau.se/media/t/0_jpt8gh6j

Comics Research at Malmö university

Comics Research at MaU is combining artistic research and approaches that utilise analytic methods from diverse subjects (currently mostly Literature, Visual Communication, Cultural Studies, Science of Arts, Media and Communication Studies). 

The focus of our comics research is on narratives and how they are executed, how visual and textual elements are interlinked to be read. While theories and analyses of specific examples allow us to understand much about comics, some issues and theories need to be tested in application, productions. While artistic research allows us to advance our understanding of comics production and the expression of distinct voices, reflections on experimental productions allow us to question specific aspects of comics theory and develop theories further.