Transitions 3

3 November 2012


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. Organized by Tony Venezia (Birkbeck) and Nina Mickwitz (UEA), the third Transitions event was 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.



Keynote: Julia Round and Chris Murray: 'Meanwhile, in the Batcave under The Ivory Towers…' Comics Scholarship and the Academy, or Scott McCloud Ate My Hamster.

Panel 1: Image and Narrative
Chair: Ann Miller
John Miers: Comics authorship and the relations between visual form and narrative content
Paul Davies: Animating the narrative in abstract comics
Federico Pagello: The Cinematic Superhero: comic book imagination and the aesthetic regime

Panel 2: Contextual Convergences
Chair: Ernesto Priego
Matthew Freeman: An historical approach to transmedia storytelling: Superman and the convergence of comics and other media in the classical Hollywood era
Paul Williams: Art Spiegelman and J. B. Rund: The making and marketing of ‘Adult Comics’ in the 1970s
Caroline Dahl: Comics disseminating science

Panel 3: Politics and Representation
Chair: Tony Venezia
Louisa Buck: The boulder of Sisyphus in British political cartoons
Harriet Earle: Traumatic representation and 9/11 in American Widow
Jonathan W. Gray: Representing Revolt in Graphic Media: Magdy El Shafee, Martin Luther King, Jr and the Arab Spring

Panel 4: Imagined Communities: Culture and Identity
Chair: Jason Dittmer
Adam Sherif: The duality of 1940s Wonder Woman comics: the war heroine in whose culture men do not feature
Bharain Mac an Breithiún: The comic strip and the street sign – linguistic landscape and sense of place in Brussels
Daniel Marrone: Seth’s historiographic metafiction: forging Canadian histories
Simon Turner: Japan Online: ethnic identity, culture and race in Yaoi manga fan websites

Respondent’s Remarks and Round-Table Discussion
Roger Sabin (UAL), Paul Gravett (Comica), Chris Murray & Julia Round (StiC), Ernesto Priego (Comics Grid), Ian Hague (Comics Forum) and Tony Venezia (Transitions, The Contemporary Fiction Seminar)

Wine Reception



Image by Dan Alcade under a CC BY-NC-ND license.


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