Transitions: New Directions in Comics Studies (Symposium - Nov. 5th 2010)

full name / name of organization: 
Birkbeck, University of London/Comica 2010

Comica Symposium 2010
Transitions: New Directions in Comics Studies Friday November 5th 2010
School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, London
9:30 am to 5 pm, room B01, Clore Management Centre,25-27 Torrington Square, WC1E 7JL

A one-day event promoting the multi-disciplinary academic study of comics/comix/manga/bande dessinée and other forms of sequential art.

Speakers: Maggie Gray (UCL); Chris Howard (SOAS); Sarah Lightman (Glasgow); Ben Little (Middlesex); Catriona MacLeod (Glasgow); Ernesto Priego (UCL); Nicola Streeten (Lincoln); Maria Vaccarella (KCL); Sarah Zaidan (Kingston). Chairs: Dr. Will Brooker (Kingston); Paul Gravett (director of Comica); Dr. Ariel Kahn (Roehampton). Respondent: Dr. Roger Sabin (Central Saint Martins).

Comics studies is a growing field in the academy, as testified by the emergence of multiple conferences and journals dedicated to comics in all their forms both nationally and internationally. It is an area that occupies, in the UK at least, a necessarily interdisciplinary space. Such a position is potentially one of strength, allowing for the convergence of diverse disciplinary knowledges, including; English, Cultural and Media Studies, Cultural History, Fine Art, Modern Languages, and History of Visual Media. Transitions is a one-day symposium devoted exclusively to promoting multi-disciplinary research of comics and graphic novels, manga, bande dessinée, webcomics and other forms of sequential art. Rather than be restricted by a specific theme, the aim of the symposium is to highlight research from postgraduate research students and early career lecturers bringing together different perspectives and methodologies, whether cultural, historical, or formal, thereby mapping new trends and providing a space for dialogue and further collaboration to emerge.

Dr. Roger Sabin, Reader in Popular Culture at Central Saint Martins and author of Adult Comics and Comics, Comix and Graphic Novels, will introduce the event and respond to the panel papers. By thinking about comics across different disciplines, the intention is to spark debate and address a wide spectrum of questions. Following the papers and response, there will be a roundtable discussion from artists/scholars who will reflect on the links between the two practices. Work will be on display in the foyer throughout the event. The day will conclude with a wine reception.

Transitions is organised as the opening event of Comica 2010, the London International Comics Festival in association with Birkbeck, University of London, Studies in Comics, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics and European Comic Art.

Attendance is free. Contact Tony Venezia and Paul Gravett to register ( and