5 November 2010
Transitions Comica Symposium is an annual one-day symposium promoting new research and multi-disciplinary academic study of comics/ comix/ manga/ bande dessinée and other forms of sequential art. The event takes place in the autumn, and is hosted by Birkbeck, University of London as part of the annual Comica London International Comics Festival.
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, the Transitions team hopes 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.
The first Transitions event was held in November 2010, on the initiative of Tony Venezia, who was writing a doctoral thesis centred on the work of Alan Moore.
Introductions Dr. Anthony Bale (Birkbeck); Paul Gravett (Comica director); Dr. Roger Sabin (University of the Arts)
Panel 1: Superheroes
Chair: Ariel Kahn (Roehampton)
Maggie Gray (Middlesex): “Nothing but flat, dead wood”?: Comics and Ecocriticism
Ian Hague (Chichester): Adapting Watchmen
Ben Little (Middlesex): The Caped Bolshevik: The Dark Knight Returns and Miller’s Shifting Class Discourse
Panel 2: Comics International
Chair: Will Brooker (Kingston)
Maria Vaccarella (King’s College London): Graphic Storytelling in the Medical Humanities
Chris Howard (SOAS): Manga and Postmodernism
Catriona MacLeod (Glasgow): Francophone comics and the (Post-)Colonial Utopia
Panel 3: New Archives
Chair: Paul Gravett
Sarah Lightman (Glasgow): Why am I curating Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women?
Ernesto Priego (University College London): 21st Century Comics: Comics as Migrant Art
Panel 4: Artists & Scholars
Chair: Alex Fitch (Resonance FM)
Nicola Streeten (Lincoln): An Experience of Research: a Research of Experience – Embedding the Anecdotal in the Academic
Sarah Zaidan (Kingston): The Adventures of MetaMan: The Male Superhero as a Metaphor for Modern Western Masculinity
Dr. Roger Sabin followed by discussion.