Preparing for Paris

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On Saturday I leave for a week in Paris, mostly to attend the Sixth International Graphic Novel and Comics Conference / Ninth International Bande Dessinée Society Conference being held at the University of London Institute in Paris, but I’m sure there will be some sightseeing as well. Don’t be surprised if my Instagram blows up.

My talk is called ‘Mapping the Journey: The Cartography of Autobiography’. I’ll be giving it on Tuesday morning, at 9:30am in the Auto/Biography panel. If you’re attending the conference, I hope to see you there!

Here is a copy of my abstract.

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Comics Forum 2014

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Just back from Leeds and my first time attending Comics Forum. I really enjoyed all the talks I attended in the two days, as well as getting a chance to see some of my favourite comics academics and catch up with most everyone. I missed a few folks, but that always happens.

I did a whole bunch of live-tweeting, for as long as my phone’s battery allowed, so you can catch up on the panels if you missed it by searching #comicsforum14.

My talk was first thing on the first day. I haven’t seen any documentation of it, as everyone was scrambling because the wifi in the library was down. But I heard from a few folks that they really enjoyed it, and it seemed well received, which is what matter most!

Here is my revised abstract:

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Cultural Politics of Memory Conference in Cardiff

 

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Bringing together almost 150 academics from across Europe and North America, the International Conference on the Cultural Politics of Memory at Cardiff University provided interdisciplinary insight into the diverse way memory studies is being utilized to contextualize contemporary life, societies and cultures.

Cardiff provided a very relevant backdrop for our discussions of memory. On the first evening, there was a trip organized to Butetown History and Arts Centre. Co-founded by Dr. Glenn Jordan and Professor Chris Weedon, who had given the opening lecture and helped organize the conference, the centre attempts to give voice to the marginalized histories of Cardiff’s dock-workers. Butetown, also known as Tiger Bay, has been home to immigrant populations in Cardiff for over one hundred years, and subject to numerous regeneration projects. It is a neighbourhood whose residents understand only to well the subjective memory of accepted history and the relevance of lived experience in contextualizing such official accounts. As part of a continuing project to engage with the community, the centre houses a repository of over 450 hours of oral history and 3,000 photographs collected over the past twenty years.

Each day, plenary lectures, such as the one on Butetown, were delivered by speakers well respected in their individual fields. Conference attendees came from a variety of disciplines: sociology, literature, history, and media studies to name a few. This provided an opportunity for a wide-range of viewpoints to converge on a single topic.

Presentations ranged from themes of war and power narratives to the use of memory in popular culture and literature. This provided an opportunity to re-contextualize my own research, grounded as it is in design practice, and encouraged dialogue between fields that may not otherwise overlap. My own paper, entitled ‘Subjectivity of Memory in Childhood Graphic Memoirs’, situated on a panel entitled Literatures of Identity and Self, was well received and generated useful discussion and feedback.

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Scotland And The Birth of Comics

Wanted to post a quick update about something I’m doing in a couple of weeks. On Tuesday, June 25th, I will be giving a talk titled “Digital Adaptability of Nontraditional Narratives In Comics: A case Study of Jason Shiga’s Meanwhile” in the 9-11am panel at the IBDS Scotland And The Birth of Comics conference in Glasgow.

Info and registrations are here: http://www.arts.gla.ac.uk/ibds/?page_id=91

I’m really looking forward to it! It doesn’t cost much: 5 day conference, plus transport to/from Dundee for about £40 for students. If you’re at a loose end that week, it might be worth attending. (Grant Morrison is giving a keynote on Monday, if that entices anyone)

There’s also a free Laydeez do Comics event Tues night at the CCA featuring some amazing folk http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/5468428216

Hope to see lots of folk at both these events in just a couple of weeks! Poster for the event and abstract under the cut.

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Adventures in Sunderland

I had a wonderful time in Sunderland last week at the Adventures in Textuality conference, hosted by the University of Sunderland. Thanks to Billy Proctor for having me and letting me be part of a great two days. I wish I could find a jpeg of their poster, as it was a lot of fun, but here’s a pic of my badge on it:

 

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There were lots of great talks, and the keynotes were fantastic. The link at the top has the full program. Special thanks must be given to Will Brooker, who came to give his keynote despite being quite ill. He gave a really interesting talk on the Batman Matrix before having to head back to London for treatment. I also particularly enjoyed Bryan Talbot‘s talk on the anthropomorphic tradition in comics. That talk was an interesting counterpoint to hearing Mary and Bryan talk about Dotter of her Father’s Eye the weekend before in Dundee. And thanks to Julia Round as well, for a really interesting talk, and especially for chatting with me, as I was slightly terrified on the first day of my first conference!

I also enjoyed the setting, too. During my first year in the UK I got to visit Newcastle briefly, but never made it down to Sunderland. Most of my knowledge of the city is from Talbot’s book, Alice in Sunderland, so it was exciting to go exploring and see these places for myself. I was lucky that the weather was lovely, so I had an opportunity to wander a fair bit. I didn’t think to take my big camera, so I’ll have settle with some instagram snaps. [Under the cut for ease of loading] Continue reading