Colloquium on Morals, Faith, and Religion in Superhero-Discourses

The re-scheduled colloquium “Morals, Faith and Religion in the Superhero Discourse” 
will take place on March 13 and 14, 2021, at “The Wolfsburg” in Muelheim /Ruhr (Germany) and online.

We invite all scholars – especially students, PhD students and post-docs – to send in proposals for individual papers or more experimental approaches such as workshops, reading groups, discussions etc. Contributions will be presented at a colloquium at the Wolfsburg (Mülheim an der Ruhr) on March 13th and 14th, 2021.

Submit suggestions for contributions before December 7, 2020 at latest. Young projects in initial phases, initial project ideas, junior scientists and students are as well very welcome to be part of this event.

Indicative themes for discussion may include but are not limited to:

• Religious symbolism and its significance
• Faith as a defining quality of a character
(Daredevil, Nightcrawler, Father Jordan)
• Transfer of religious characters
(Thor, Loki, Ares)
• Religious texts and rituals as sources
• Divinity, pseudo-divinity and narratives of faith and salvation
(Superman and other figures of salvation)
• Religious locations and institutions and their representation in comics (St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Asgard)
• Representations of angels, demons, witches and devils
(The Joker as a representation of the devil, Hellboy, Scarlet Witch)
• (Coping with and negotiating) experiences of (Jewish) diaspora
(Shuster / Siegel)
• Intersectionality / diversity
(Daredevil’s othering as a Catholic in protestant America)

We also made all arrangements to make sure that the event can take place either in person, online or hybrid. Please include (in the mail or the proposal) if, following Covdi-19 restrictions, you will present in person or online only.

We are looking forward to your proposals!
Organizing Chairs
Dr. Torsten Caeners (
Gaspers M.A. (
Dr. Matthias Keidel (
We aim to publish the papers in an edited volume.

Call for Papers: Gothic and Comics — Gothic Studies Special Issue 25(3)

Guest Editors: Julia Round and Susanne Schwertfeger

Comic books are as transgressive in nature as the Gothic. The comics medium traverses the boundaries of sign systems because of its composition of images and words. Comics are uncanny and liminal: their visual narrative’s iconic-sequential logic makes the obvious seem strange, and time and space merge into one as (temporal) sequences spread out in front of the reader on the (spatial) site. Pages are haunted as images and icons are echoed and repeated; identity is destabilized as voices and perspectives become fragmented and multiple, and the narratives themselves are partial and obscure. In addition, the comics medium has been consistently discredited as harmful or trivial with no intellectual credibility. From their shared roots in penny dreadfuls and pulp publishing, to their modern incarnations as wildly popular cult franchises, the comics medium and the Gothic mode therefore seem to be a perfect match.

Both horror and Gothic always have been thematic staples for the comics market and, in turn, comics have added significant themes and subjects to the Gothic – whether from the early portfolio of the publisher EC or in the form of a cape-wearing dark crusader. This proposed special issue on Gothic and Comics (25/3, to be published November 2023) will explore how comics tell and enhance Gothic stories.
We invite papers that investigate the intersections of comics and Gothic in historical, thematic, cultural, structural, formalist or other terms. Suggested themes might include (but are not limited to) the following:

• What strategies do comics use to achieve terror or horror, or to convey key Gothic themes such the abject, the uncanny, and the grotesque?
• What roles do Gothic motifs such as masks, doubles and Others play in comics and their history?
• What can comics add to the meaning and experience of ‘classic’ Gothic tales when adapted into a new medium?
• How might comics narratologies be considered Gothic?
• What structural, linguistic or visual qualities of comics speak to the Gothic, and how?
• Analyses of relevant historical subgenres of comics or the appearance of Gothic archetypes
• Explorations of Gothic themes such as trauma, social commentary, paranoia, monstrosity

Please send detailed proposals of 500 words and a 100 word biography to
by 1 March 2021.

Informal enquiries may also be sent to the editors at these addresses.
Contributors will be notified of the outcome by 1 June 2021. The deadline for submission of completed draft articles (c.6000 words) will be 1 March 2022.

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:


Recorded seminars (more will follow):

Gunnar Krantz – introduction:

Saskia Gullstrand on comics and artistic research:

Gunnar Krantz on the praxis of inking:

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.