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Transitions 4 Comica Symposium

Comica, the London International Comics Festival returns this autumn and presents Transitions 4, a free one-day symposium promoting new research and multi-disciplinary academic study of comics/ comix/ manga/ bande dessinée and other forms of sequential art, now in its fourth year at Birkbeck. It will be held on Saturday October 26th 2013 at the School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, London WC1E 7HX. The Keynote will be given by Dr. Ann Miller (University of Leicester, joint editor of European Comic Art) and the Respondent will be Dr. Roger Sabin (Central St. Martins, University of the Arts London). The full programme is announced below. As a totally free event, it promises to make another stimulating exchange of ideas about the medium accessible to a wide audience. Registration is essential, so reserve a place please by sending an email to transitions[dot] symposium[at] - see you there!


Saturday October 26
Main Building, Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street (entrance Torrington Square)

9.30-10 AM – Registration (outside Room B35 in basement of the Main Building)
10-10.15 AM Welcome
10.15-11 AM – Keynote: Dr. Ann Miller (B35)

11-12.15 PM – Panel 1: Singapore Comics (B35) (Chair: Paul Gravett)
12.15-12.45 PM – Coffee (own arrangements)
12.45-2 PM – Panel 2: Practices (B35)                  Panel 3: Readings (G15)
    (Chair: John Miers)                         (Chair: Simon Grennan)

2-245 PM – Lunch (own arrangements)
2.45-4 PM – Panel 4: Contexts (B35)                    Panel 5: The Gothic (G15)
    (Chair: Louisa Buck)                          (Chair: Xavier Marco del Pont)

4-4.45 PM – Keynote: Dr. Paul Williams (B35)
4.45-5 PM – Break
5-6.15 PM – Panel 6: Histories (B35)                     Panel 7: Subjects (G15)
            (Chair: tbc)                        (Chair: Nicola Streeten)

6.15-7 PM – Response & Plenary (B35)
7 PM – Wine reception (B04)

Panel 1 (Singapore comics)
Singapore Comics: Global Influences, Local Concerns and Alternatives (Panel)
Cheng Tju LIM, Dave CHUA, Jingxuan HU

Panel 2 (Practices)
Anarchy, Combinatorial Schizophrenia & Comics: The Foundations of a 21st Century Language Creativity
Nye Wright, comics artist

Graphic Medicine, Graphic Research: Can I do my thesis as a comic?
Muna Al-Jawad, Royal Sussex County Hospital

Stories as Methodology: collaborative graphic storytelling and social engagement
Penelope Mendonça, Central Saint Martins

Panel 3 (Readings)
Cognitive semantics as a basis for understanding comics
Richard Finn, University of Sheffield

Simulacra and Simulation: Seth’s Dominion City
Julian Ferraro, University of Liverpool

The Empty Frame
Florian Hadler, University of Arts Berlin

Panel 4 (Contexts)
Serena becomes Usagi: Investigating the Technical Evolutions of Japanese Manga in Anglo-translation in Naoko Takeuchi’s Sailor Moon.
Tara-Monique Etherington, English Department, University of Exeter

The Comic Book and the Artist’s Book
Rosie Sherwood, Camberwell College of Art

Snap, Chat, Comics! – An Experiment in Graphic Narrative and Digital Media
Paddy Johnston, University of Sussex

Panel 5 (The Gothic)
Female Suffering and Subjectivity in Batman: Death and the Maidens
Tosha Taylor, Loughborough University

The Real Dead: Subjectivity and Psychoanalytic Identity in Zombie Fiction,
Stephen O’Donnell, PhD Student in English, University of Dundee

The Gothic and the Sublime in Comic Adaptations of H. P. Lovecraft
Rebecca Janicker, University of Portsmouth

Panel 6 (Histories)
Inventing the Nose, inventing the Other: Physicality, physiognomy and the degenerate nose in visual representations of the Syphilitic, the Irish and the Jew during the 19th century
Rebecka Klette, University of Lund

Secret History: the Overlooked Comic Strip Work of Jack B. Yeats
Michael Connerty, Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology

Everything Including the Kitchen Sink
Damon Herd, Jordanstone College of Art and Design

Panel 7 (Subjects)
Dyke to Watch Out For: configuring feminist lesbian desire in Alison Bechdel’s autobiographical graphic novels
Prudence Chamberlain, Royal Holloway

Queer Heroes: The Objectification and Marginalization of Homosexual Characters in Superhero Comics
Joseph Willis, University of Nottingham

The freedom to teach: Implications of the removal of Persepolis from Chicago schools
Sarah McNicol, Manchester Metropolitan University

Dr. Roger Sabin (Central Saint Martins);
Dr. Ernesto Priego (City University)

Transitions is currently the only regular academic comics event based in London.  The symposium provides a platform where different perspectives and methodologies can be brought together and shared.  As an event devoted to promoting new research into comics in all their forms the symposium provides a forum for research from postgraduate students and early career lecturers. Comics studies occupy a unique multi-disciplinary middle-space, one that encourages cross-disciplinary pollination and a convergence of distinct knowledges: literary and cultural studies, visual arts and media, modern languages, sociology, geography and more. By thinking about comics across different disciplines, we hope to stimulate and provoke debate, to address a wide spectrum of questions, to map new trends, and to provide a space for dialogue and further collaboration to emerge.

Tickets: Free but Book!
Where: School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London WC1E 7HX
When: Saturday, October 26, 2013


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"I was about to fall off my chair from overstimulation."
Sarah McIntyre

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Liban Diriye

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David Greene

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Mike Leader

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Francesca Cassavetti

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Bart Beaty

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